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Sophisticated puppetry storytelling for children.

Wishing Chair Productions

Wishing Chair Productions, the library’s resident puppet troupe, continues the puppet tradition started in 1938 by Tom Tichenor. The troupe creates world-class shows that delight children and adults alike.

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Puppet Shows and Story Time at Main Library

Story Time

Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30 AM. Main Library.

Story Time is a weekly must for children of all ages. You won't want to miss the Professor, Library Pete, and Mary Mary as they sing, juggle, and read lots of wonderful books for your family.

Many Moons

Fridays and Saturdays: Apr 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 10:30 and 11:30 AM. Main Library.

Your entire family will enjoy this musical version of Many Moons, the Caldecott Medal-winning classic written by James Thurber and illustrated by Louis Slobodkin. Our production features the fabulous Peeko Puppets! Recommended for ages 4 – 12 but all are welcome. Performed in the Children’s Theatre. Run time: 30 minutes.

Sky Bear

Fridays and Saturdays: Jun 12, 13, 19, 20, Jul 17, 18, 24, 25 at 10:30 and 11:30 AM. Main Library.

Adapted and set to music by Wishing Chair Productions, Sky Bear is a Native American folktale about how the Milky Way was formed. This lovely story is told with marionettes created by Wood and Strings Puppet Company and Wishing Chair Productions. Recommended for ages 4 – 12 but all are welcome. Performed in the Children’s Theatre. Run time: 30 minutes.

Locations and Showtimes

String City

Monday-Saturday: Jun 29-Jul 4; Jul 6-11 at 10:00 and 11:30 AM. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

An array of puppets chronicles the history of country music illustrating how Nashville became Music City, USA! This special show features 90 puppets including marionettes built by Wishing Chair Productions and Phillip Huber. Recommended for the whole family. Run time: 75 minutes.

Performed at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the Ford Theatre. Admission is free.

Locations and Showtimes

Tomas and the Library Lady

Fridays and Saturdays: Aug 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 at 10:30 and 11:30. Main Library.

A marionette show based on the true story of Tomas Rivera, the son of migrant workers who became a national education leader. His life changed when as a boy he was encouraged to read by a librarian in Iowa. Based on the book by Pat Mora. Produced with special permission from Random House. Recommended for ages 4 – 12 but all are welcome. Performed in the Children’s Theatre. Run time: 30 minutes.

Locations and Showtimes

Group Reservations for Main Library Performances

Groups of 10 or more wishing to attend a puppet show at the Main Library must make a reservation. Shows for groups are usually on Thursdays. Room capacity: 140. Call 862-5785 for more information and to make reservations.

Puppet Truck on Tour

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

April 2020: Various days and times. Check Calendar for Locations and Showtimes.

“Open Sesame!” Enter the magical Cave of Wonders and behold Wishing Chair Productions’ colorful adaptation from the Tales of the Arabian Nights. Classic storytelling—with a cast of exotic marionettes, clever sets and props, and exciting original music—is sure to enchant the entire family. For ages 6-12, but all are welcome.

About Wishing Chair Productions

Puppet Troupe

Children in Nashville have been enchanted by Nashville Public Library’s puppet shows since Tom Tichenor’s first production in 1938. Wishing Chair Productions, the library’s resident puppet troupe, continues the puppet tradition by creating word-class shows that delight children and adults alike.

Brian Hull leads a talented group of performers, who create puppets, scenery, and music for original productions. The troupe continues performing original Tichenor shows, such as The Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings. Wishing Chair also produces original shows. Many, like Anansi the Spider, reflect the diverse storytelling traditions and cultures of Nashville. Others reimagine classic works like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Wishing Chair Productions partners with cultural institutions like the Nashville Symphony and the Nashville Jazz Workshop. Drawing on Nashville’s own talented musicians and theater professionals enables the troupe to bring each story to life with wonderful music and inventive storytelling.

The Wishing Chair Puppet Truck program began in 2005. The Puppet Truck works in conjunction with the library’s Bringing Books to Life! program to perform live shows at community events. The Puppet Truck allows the library to reach children and school groups who aren’t able to visit the library’s Children’s Theatre.

Each year, over 69,000 children attend the puppet shows and story times at the Main Library. Annual attendance for Puppet Truck performances tops 27,000.

The Tichenor Legacy

Tom Tichenor was only 15 when he staged Puss In Books at the Nashville Public Library in 1938. In 1947 he was hired as part-time staff member and began regular marionette shows for the library.

Wishing Chair Productions is proud to preserve Tom Tichenor’s memory through the continued use of his beloved marionettes and puppets.

Contact

Bret Wilson, Puppet Truck Supervisor, (615) 880-2263

Marie Preptit, Bringing Books to Life! Program Coordinator, (615) 880-1625

Brian Hull, Wishing Chair Production Company Manager, (615) 862-5788

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