Who we are
We are a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to sharing the magic of puppet theatre through education outreach, performances and special events
WHERE WE STARTED:
Formed in 1957, under the guidance of Pat Platt and Kay Kitchen, the Guild began when 12 local San Diego puppeteers banded together to become the 5th guild chartered by Puppeteers of America (PofA), our national organization. Under the P of A umbrella we hosted one national (1966) and five regional puppetry festivals (1963, 1976, 1980, 1988 and 1996) that drew puppeteers from around the region and across the country. For its first 37 years, the Guild held monthly meetings in members’ homes sharing demonstrations, talks, workshops, and performances combined with social get-togethers. In 1963, the Guild began a six week summer series of performances for young children in the Puppet Theater in Balboa Park. Gradually over the years the series was extended until, in 1983, we began performing year round. In 1994, wishing to better serve the greater San Diego Community, we obtained our official nonprofit status.
WHERE WE ARE NOW:
In 1994, we were a loose knit group of puppeteers performing our own shows for audiences of young children. In the twenty years since, our mission has broadened. We have had four homes: the Puppet Theater, the Children’s Museum, a storefront in Clairemont Town Square, and now our studio at San Diego's Space 4 Art, where we have mounted many of our exhibits since 2010. Other exhibit sites have included libraries, shopping malls, schools, universities, and the San Diego Airport. We offer training and internships for those who want to learn the art. We create and perform shows for adult and family audiences as well as for small children. Our education outreach program started in a single 4th grade classroom in 1998, and we now teach, train and inspire students from pre-school through college and beyond. Our giant puppet parade programming currently produces parades for up to 600 participants. We bring guest artists from across the country and around the world to perform and teach.We collaborate with local theaters, and middle, high school and college theater departments.
We invite you to join us in the coming years as we continue to grow the magic of the puppet theatre experience here in San Diego.