Current Touring Repertoire

The following shows are currently available for touring. Use the links below to highlight general audience or kids’ shows. Contact us for bookings.

A Piano with Three Tales

In this production, a classical piano recital masquerading as puppet show, young audiences experience masterworks by monumental composers for the instrument, not to mention an enthralling tune for toy piano (yes, toy piano!) by living composer Stephen Montague.  Three pieces for piano are collected in this hour-long spectacle for children and children-at-heart, all performed in […]

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The Vinegar Works

The Vinegar Works, a puppet show inspired by the art of Edward Gorey This original staging is a toy theater production of Edward Gorey’s “three volumes of moral instruction,” The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Insect God, and The West Wing, by Chicago’s own Blair Thomas & Company. Inspired by the same Victorian spirit from which Gorey drew, these miniature paper theater productions faithfully render the macabre […]

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Moby Dick or The Brotherhood of the Monastic Order of Ancient Mariners Purges the Ills of Society Through a Reading of the Tales of Moby-Dick

Our narrator Ishmael recounts his journey on the Pequod as Captain Ahab’s relentless pursuit of the White Whale leads the entire crew to the depths of the ocean’s great unknown.

The words of this great American novel are brought to life on the stage through bunraku puppets, rolling paper scrolls and a unique combination of the folk songs of Michael Smith and the ambient sound of percussionist Michael Zerang.

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The Selfish Giant

Two Chicago theater icons—Blair Thomas and singer-songwriter Michael Smith collaborate on this staging of an Oscar Wilde classic. Running time 45 minutes. Original puppets and music tell the story of a grumpy old giant who forbids the children in his village from playing in his beautiful garden. After the children are locked out, the trees and flowers refuse to grow and the garden plunges into an eternal winter. Then one morning, the children sneak back into the garden, bringing with them the joyous rebirth of spring.

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Hard Headed Heart

High art meets low when the words of early 20th Century Poets are given voice in this cabaret of wooden puppets, rolling paper scrolls and bass drums. This solo performance includes a traditional hand puppet show performed with drum kit, a one-man band accompanies a rod marionette show with motorized story scroll and a shadow puppet show is performed on a series of hand cranked paper scrolls. The performances are based on the writings of Federico Garcia Lorca and Wallace Stevens as well as a traditional New Orleans blues song.

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Cabaret of Desire

This show is collection of chamber puppet theater pieces based on the writings of the Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca. Featuring his short plays “Chimera”¯, “The Maiden, the Sailor & the Student”¯ and “Buster Keaton’s Stroll”; it also includes some poems and letters. A company of 4 puppeteers and musicians render these works […]

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The Ox-Herder’s Tale

This is a fable of a magician who, being rejected by his village as a failure, attempts to overcome his despair by performing the ultimate magic trick and in doing so embarks on a journey of enlightenment. Based on the traditionally Zen Buddhist parable, this production features a human size bunraku puppet, a stilt dancer as the bull, shadow puppetry and rolling screens and a live drumming score throughout.

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Workshops

Blair and the puppeteers of his company lead a variety of workshops at the adult and at the youth and family level. Here are some examples:   (limit 25 participants) The Puppet Tells The Story (2 hour workshop) This workshop introduces a way to turn a story into a puppet show. Participants write a short […]

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