Northern California Puppet Festival – Performances


View to our performances for both Friday, Aug 2nd and Saturday, Aug 3rd

Friday, August 2nd

“Personal Space” by Stinky Tales Doug & Anne Zesiger
10:00 AM (Andrews Hall)

Doug Zesiger, master classroom teacher and storyteller, has created the world of Stinky Tales, an interactive storytelling experience that brings children and puppets together to explore the tricky social problems they face every day. Doug expertly facilitates interactions between the puppets and his audiences. Children directly relate to the stories and are excited to share their thinking and problem solving skills. This magical combination of master teacher, beloved puppet friends and the power of storytelling builds confidence, empathy and a toolbox of social skills for  audiences. Award winning children’s music artist, Anne Zesiger adds original songs that help support the message and create a musical takeaway for families to enjoy long after. Best for ages 3 to 8.. 

“Carnival of the Animals” by Fratello Marionettes
4:00 PM (Andrews Hall)

Classic fairy tales brought to life with marionettes, woven together with Saint-Saens’ score.

Fratello is the Premier San Francisco Bay Area Marionette Company

“Animalitos” by Magical Moonshine Theatre
7:00 PM (Andrews Hall)

A collection of Aesop’s fables woven together in a magical puppet dance. This story is told in a combination of English and Spanish. This show was awarded the Golden Apple Award for Best Children’s Play at the World Puppet Carnival in Almaty, Kazakhstan.


Saturday, August 3rd

Puppet Parade
9:30 AM (Sonoma Square to SCC)

Gather near the City Hall horseshoe driveway around 9 am with your puppets (any type from tiny to giant puppets) or be cheering support. At 9:30 the parade will move down the horseshoe drive, turning east (left) on the sidewalk. Keeping to the sidewalk and crosswalk, we will joyfully parade to the Sonoma Community Center 2 blocks away, arriving in time for the show “Tommy’s Space Adventure” at SCC’s Andrews Hall.

Tommy’s Space Adventure by Puppet Art Theater
10:00 – 10:50 AM (Andrews Hall)

Embark on an out-of-this-world journey with “Tommy’s Space Adventure,” a spellbinding puppet show that blends the magic of live performance with captivating digital sets and animations. Meet Tommy, a young explorer whose love for outer space and extraterrestrial tales knows no bounds. His wildest dream? To encounter a genuine space alien. Little does he know, his wish is on the brink of becoming reality.

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“The Green Bird” by Oregon Shadow Theatre
4:00 PM (Andrews Hall)

A shadow play based on Mexican Folktales. Behind the illuminated shadow screen, colorful shadow puppets come to life and tell the story of The Green Bird. A drum roll and a cymbal crash, the calliope sound of a button accordion, and the play begins: a boy is transformed into a fortune-telling bird by a magician. A brave girl journeys through Mexico to save him. In her travels, she encounters fantastic characters and scenes from Mexico’s rich folkloric traditions. She sees skeletons dancing to the song La Bamba at a Day of the Dead fiesta. The climax of the play is set in the bull ring, where the audience joins in shouting “Ole!”

Colorful and intricate shadow puppets combine with live music, voices and sound effects to create a delightful family entertainment.

Forbidden Puppet Cabaret “Summer of Puppet Love” SLAM by Forbidden Puppet Cabaret
7:00 PM (Approximately 2.5 Hours) (Andrews Hall)

Forbidden Puppet Cabaret gathers eclectic, eccentric puppet artists for the purpose of presenting short works of unbridled theatre, at S. F. Bay Area Venues. 

Dust off your hippie tie dye and groovy headbands and join us for a ’60s style puppet love fest as Forbidden Puppet Cabaret celebrates the Bay Area’s best and most fun puppet acts for grown-ups.
Explore the hip art world of underground puppetry with a collection of short form puppet acts, from coolio experimental explorations, to far out stylish presentations by master puppeteers. 
There will be adult beverages available.

Your groovy MCs, Michael and Valerie Nelson, have been organizing and presenting the popular Forbidden Puppet Cabaret at Bay Area locations for over a decade. The couple are professional puppeteers, producing both family and adult shows since the late 1970s. They have performed in 18 countries around the world, in 8 different languages and their history includes a short stint as house puppet troupe for an aphrodisiac factory in Napa. They are responsible for the Vallejo Giant Puppet Project and have worked with numerous theatres and events, providing puppetry and support. And they are really fun folks. Join them for what they promise will be a fantastic evening of puppetry.

This event is supported in part by the Puppet Slam Network https://www.puppetslam.com/

Quotes from past audience members:
“THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! This was the BEST Saturday night I’ve had in a long time thanks to the wonderful world of puppetry. I appreciate the puppeteers’ efforts in bringing such an eclectic array of performances. YOU GUYS ROCK!”

“The woman sitting behind us was laughing so hard I thought she might fall out of her chair.”

“This was my first time attending a puppet show of any sort and can’t wait to go again.”