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Thursday, July 22, 2010 12:58 am

PUPPET MASTERS

Whether small enough to fit on your finger or large enough to engulf your whole body, puppets can be hilarious or tragic, entertaining or terrifying. From the strings of the marionette to the unseen hand inside the ventriloquist dummy, a good puppeteer can make a puppet come to life and reveal truths that are not always self-evident.

At the Great Lakes Regional Puppetry Conference in Springfield next week, there are sure to be plenty of characters, both puppets and masters. You can catch traditional marionette puppet shows or newfangled special effects shows – and everything in between. They’ll be covering topics like Abraham Lincoln, Africa and even pirates, with shows geared for all ages. Workshops throughout the conference will cover the behind-the-scenes work of puppetry, and a silent auction will feature handmade puppets and puppet-related gear.

The fun begins with a show at 6:30 p.m. July 29 at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center downtown and runs until the final show at 10:15 a.m. on Aug. 1. For more information and a schedule of events, visit www.puppetryinlandoflincoln.com or call 789-1219.
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