Recipe for Joy: Puppets, People, Sunshine, Skirball

The popular day-long happening returns to deliver mirth, stories, creativity, and cheer.

What to Know

  • Sunday, April 29
  • Skirball Cultural Center
  • $12 general

Here's a brain-scratcher: When a puppet is addressing you, speaking at your face, turning his button eyes in the general direction of where your eyes are, do you...

A) Find yourself instead speaking to the puppeteer, who is, spoiler alert, in the near vicinity of the puppet? 

Or B) are you engaging directly with the puppet?

This is the sort of soul-searcher many of us have to answer at some point, especially if we're drawn to puppets, those colorful, whimsical, life-like figures of fantasy, storytelling, and art.

For sometimes? A puppet can be so alive that we find ourselves in deep conversation with one, a rather amazing experience.

Those art-amazing icons will be calling upon the Skirball Cultural Center in big numbers, as they do each spring, for the annual Skirball Puppet Festival.

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The fest is on Sunday, April 29, there is admission — an adult is $12 — and so many talented puppeteers will be around the grounds.

Highlights? They're all highlights at the "family-friendly festival," but you might choose to seek out those oh-so-beloved Bob Baker marionettes, or a gnome dance party led by Animal Cracker Conspiracy, or "... the annual appearance of the grand 'Noah's Art at the Skirball' elephant, operated by four Noah's Ark puppeteers working in unison.

There's also a workshop devoted to the making of finger puppets, which sounds like a most merry, laugh-summoning exercise, and a Puppet Party! to close out the happy day.

There shall be music flowing through the Puppet Party!, courtesy of Paradigm Brass, and a chance to stir up all the cheer, in one celebratory moment, that the day has delivered.

So, do you talk to a puppet or a puppeteer or both at the very same time? It's up to you, really, how you want to steer the conversation. 

But a puppet is such a life-like creation, so full of humor and wisdom, that spending a few minutes engaging with one, on a host of topics, can feel a little magical, like conversing with the whole of art itself.

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