For the second year in a row, the Puppetry Guild of Pittsburgh is celebrating all things puppet with a happy hour event upstairs at Brillobox on Thursday, March 21st from 6:00-9:00 pm. Enjoy short puppet shows from local puppeteers, music by Unfinished Symphonies, and even perform your own improvisational show using the props and puppets provided by the guild. You’re not just an audience member at this happy hour event, you’re a participant.
“People can expect to see a diverse assortment of puppets and puppetry subgenres,” Dave English, guild president, said. “I’m personally looking forward to hanging out with the other puppeteers and seeing what our audience participants come up with for their improv shows.”
Established in 2016, the Puppetry Guild of Pittsburgh “unites puppeteers, puppet-makers and people that love puppets. They support and celebrate the art of puppetry in the greater Pittsburgh region.”
And, in case you didn’t know, puppetry has been a mainstay of the Pittsburgh arts scene for many years, thanks to Margot Lovelace’s Marionette Theater (which is the longest-running professional puppet theater in the country), as well as the beloved hand puppets that make up Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
Sidebar: One of Margot Lovelace’s puppets will be performing at the Pittsburgh Day of Puppetry Happy Hour for the first time since the late 1970s!
The Pittsburgh Day of Puppetry
The Pittsburgh Day of Puppetry – decreed by a proclamation from Mayor Bill Peduto in 2018 exists in coordination with the Union Internationale de la Marionnette or UNIMA, aka the International Union of Puppetry.
Earlier this month, the guild had a brief installation at the City-County Building thanks to support from the mayor’s office. A puppet theater, complete with seats, and a daily rotation of puppets entertained and engaged passers-by.
Last year, the guild crashed City Hall to dance and show off its City Council finger puppets. Some of its other events include Puppet Karaoke in collaboration with Boom Concepts, an annual Puppet Slam showcasing short puppetry acts by local puppeteers and a cabaret-style Halloween show.
Pittsburgh Day of Puppetry Party Happy Hour
When: Thursday, March 21, 2019, from 6:00-9:00 pm.
Where: Upstairs at Brillobox 4104 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224.
Cost: FREE! Must be 21+ to attend. Food and drink available for purchase downstairs
More info here.
Interested in learning more about the Puppetry Guild of Pittsburgh?
According to its website, “members do not have to be practicing puppeteers or puppet makers. Anyone interested in the art of puppetry is welcome. Current members include ventriloquists, arts educators, librarians, ministers, visual artists, professional puppeteers, as well as people interested in learning more about puppetry. Those interested in learning more about the Guild are invited to come to meetings or slam events.”
Keep tabs on guild events via the guild’s website, or via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Wanna celebrate Pittsburgh Day of Puppetry, but can’t make it to Brillo? Check out these other events around the city:
Puppet Prance – A Giant Puppet Fitness Class at California Cycle Path
Wear a giant puppet while following along to dance fitness routines from 5:30-6: 30 pm on Thursday, March 21st. Sign up: https://californiacyclepath.com/
Puppet Fun at the Sharpsburg Library
Preschool Hands-On STEAM Storytime with puppet fun on Thursday, March 21 at 10:00 am, plus STEAM Play program featuring puppet-making and stories on Saturday, March 23.
Comedy Night at J. Hicks on the Square
Ventriloquist Bob Rumba will be featured on Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 PM. For tickets call 724-622-1401.
Want to make your OWN celebration of World Puppetry Day?
Using just a library card YOU can check a giant puppet out of the Braddock Carnegie Library and go celebrate as you see fit. Don’t forget to tag your puppet fun with #puppets4pgh.