Open Call for Puppetry Acts

Photo by Ben Gibbs

The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles seeks puppetry acts for its ninth annual Skirball Puppet Festival on Sunday, April 26, 2020. This day long, campus-wide festival will feature a wide range of puppetry, from small to large scale, utilizing diverse media and drawing on a variety of artistic and cultural traditions. The festival celebrates imagination and storytelling and will be presented to family audiences, primarily children ages 2–8 and their parents. General attendance is approximately 2,000 visitors.

About the Skirball

The Skirball Cultural Center is a place of meeting guided by the Jewish tradition of welcoming the stranger and inspired by the American democratic ideals of freedom and equality. We welcome people of all communities and generations to participate in cultural experiences that celebrate discovery and hope, foster human connections, and call upon us to help build a more just society.

For the Skirball, which opened in 1996, the performing arts serve as a vehicle to explore and forge connections among individuals, cultures, and communities in engaging, inclusive, and memorable ways. Rooted in storytelling traditions central to Jewish culture and many others, the Skirball celebrates puppetry as one of the most powerful means of sharing stories and building community.

What We’re Looking For:

  • Shows running approximately 20–35 minutes
  • Puppetry acts that represent diverse artistic styles and cultures; the Skirball Cultural Center is dedicated to diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and equity, and we’re particularly interested in acts that represent the diversity of our community
  • Stories told through puppetry that connect to the Skirball’s mission of connecting people across cultures, examining history and identity, celebrating diversity, and making the world a better place by caring for the earth and one another
  • Acts that tell original stories or, like the award-winning family destination Noah’s Ark at the Skirball™, provide a new take on folktales
  • Innovative acts that tell stories with a fresh interpretation of puppetry
  • Family-friendly acts that engage audiences across generations
  • Acts that can be performed in traditional and nontraditional performance spaces like outdoor patios, museum galleries, or public spaces (special consideration will be given to performances that do not require significant technical support)
  • Pageant/strolling puppets and acts
  • Puppet films

What We’re Not Looking For:

  • Nonnarrative work that would prove challenging for audiences of varied ages
  • Performances geared toward adults (e.g. depictions of sex, violence, or storylines and situations that might be too sophisticated for young children)
  • Performances with significant technical needs, requiring elaborate sets, lighting, or sound


Each participating group will be offered a stipend, marketing opportunities, and amenities on the day of performance.

How to Apply

Email with the subject line PUPPET. In the email, please include the following:

  • An introduction of yourself
  • The name of the proposed performance
  • A brief description of the performance
  • Links to video clips and/or high-res images of the performance
  • A list of the technical requirements and number of performers
  • Your contact information
  • A résumé and at least two references
  • Any other work samples you’d like to share

The deadline for submissions is January 10, 2020. If we are interested in setting up an in-person interview or audition, we will contact you after receiving your materials.