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International Puppet Festival returns for 10th year

By Jade Arroyo

The International Puppet Festival, now in its tenth year, is just around the corner. From April 1 through 7 puppets and puppeteers will bring fantasy and imagination to the city. Even though it is a festival for young and old alike, this is one of the only events in San Miguel that is geared especially toward children.

Like every year, all the festival’s shows and activities will be completely free, true to the belief that culture should be accessible to everyone, not only those who can afford a ticket. This year, the puppet festival will be part of the festival “San Miguel Arte,” an event promoted by the municipality that will include several artistic activities around town.

Throughout the week, different puppet shows will be offered, the fruit of the imagination of puppeteers from Mexico, other Latin American countries and Spain, encompassing a wide spectrum of performance styles from old-school traditional to more conceptual pieces.

Among those companies coming from other countries are La Enananaranja, from Spain, which will present Lolo:Encargo 215, which tells the story of a boy whose life is changed by a visit from Imagination; Maki Maki, from Peru, with Hilos (Threads), a play about belonging and being lost, told through music and movement; S.O.S Titirinante, from Spain, with Paracirco, a circus-themed show; and Libélula Dorada, from Colombia, with La Rebelión de los títeres (The Rebellion of the Puppets), a funny and somewhat absurd play. The Mexican companies are La Liga/Teatro Elástico, presenting A la deriva, Joc (Drifting, Joc), a play inspired by Huckleberry Finn; Shaday Larios/Microscopía Teatro, with Soloy, which deals with imagination as an antidote for loneliness and hunger; Francisco Vega/La Cartelera, with Shakespeare hoy (Shakespeare Today), a play about the bard and his most famous works; and B. Barrios, I. Arce and A. Ruíz, presenting El Sueño de Martina (Martina’s Dream), a “handmade”-style film in which the characters and scenery are drawn in a box with sand, based on the play by Mónica Hoth. The festival will be held in different venues, including El Sindicato, the Cinema Splendor, the Jardín and the Ángela Peralta Theater.

The director of the festival, Mónica Hoth, commented that this year for the first time a series of free workshops by the performers will be offered. All the workshops are related to scenery and puppets. These two-hour workshops for teenagers and adults will be held at Bellas Artes April 2 through 6. Some of the workshops are “The poetic sign and the practice of the object in the contemporary scene: Creation laboratory” by Shaday Larios, “The puppet as a tool of social transformation” by S.O.S Titirinante, and “The puppet and its double” by the Alvarez brothers. The workshops are mainly for actors, playwrights, creators, writers or social workers, “but everyone who is interested is welcome,” Hoth remarked.

A puppet-making workshop for children will be given from April 1 through 5 from 11am to 1pm in the back patio of the Consejo Turístico (tourism office) and the former city hall.

Hoth said, “We are very glad to have the support of the FONCA, of Iberescena and of the municipality. The artistic community of San Miguel thinks that we don’t need patrols or armed men—we need culture, we need to heal the spirit of the Mexican, which has been beaten down for a long time. We don’t need repression; we need education and love.”

For more details about the festival, hours and information on how to enroll in the workshops, visit

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