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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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Upcoming Wishing Chair Events

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Puppet Truck Presents: Anansi the Spider

Puppet Truck Presents: Anansi the Spider

February 4, 2023 10:30 AM
Bellevue
This colorful marionette and hand-and-rod puppet play is based on African tales of a tricky spider who uses his cleverness to achieve his wishes. The Wood and Strings Puppet Company created the show’s beautiful marionettes especially for the Library, while our very own Wishing Chair Productions created the hand-and-rod puppets and all other aspects of the show. For ages 3-9, but all are welcome.
Wishing Chair Productions Story Time

Wishing Chair Productions Story Time

February 7, 2023 9:30 AM
Main Library
Join Library Pete, Dr. Ev and their puppet friends as they sing, juggle and read books. Story Time is presented in the Children’s Theater. Cancellations may occur. Please consult the library website: http://www.library.nashville.org/wishingchair, Wishing Chair Productions Puppet Troupe Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WishingChairProductions or call the Main Children’s Department for information. Recommended for ages 2 - 6 but all are welcome. Run Time: 30 min. Group accommodations are not available for this program time.
Wishing Chair Productions Story Time

Wishing Chair Productions Story Time

February 7, 2023 10:30 AM
Main Library
Join Library Pete, Dr. Ev and their puppet friends as they sing, juggle and read books. Story Time is presented in the Children’s Theater. Cancellations may occur. Please consult the library website: http://www.library.nashville.org/wishingchair, Wishing Chair Productions Puppet Troupe Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WishingChairProductions or call the Main Children’s Department for information. Recommended for ages 2 - 6 but all are welcome. Run Time: 30 min. Group accommodations are not available for this program time.
Wishing Chair Productions Story Time

Wishing Chair Productions Story Time

February 7, 2023 11:30 AM
Main Library
Join Library Pete, Dr. Ev and their puppet friends as they sing, juggle and read books. Story Time will be presented in the Children’s Theater. Cancellations may occur. Please consult the library website: http://www.library.nashville.org/wishingchair, Wishing Chair Productions Puppet Troupe Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WishingChairProductions or call the Main Children’s Department for information. Recommended for ages 2 - 6 but all are welcome. Run Time: 30 min. Group accommodations are not available for this program time.
Puppet Truck presents Anansi the Spider

Puppet Truck presents Anansi the Spider

February 8, 2023 10:30 AM
North
This colorful marionette and hand-and-rod puppet play is based on African tales of a tricky spider who uses his cleverness to achieve his wishes. The Wood and Strings Puppet Company created the show’s beautiful marionettes especially for the Library, while our very own Wishing Chair Productions created the hand-and-rod puppets and all other aspects of the show. For ages 3-9, but all are welcome.

Marionettes & Puppetry Arts at NPL

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.

Tom Tichenor and Early Puppet Shows

Tom Tichenor was only 15 when he staged “Puss In Boots” at Nashville’s Carnegie Public Library in 1938. In 1947, at age 24, he was hired as part-time staff member and began regular marionette shows for the library. His career spanned over more than forty years. During that time, he wrote and performed for the Library, radio stations, New York City’s Broadway, and an ABC Christmas Special. The Library has a collection of over 450 puppets created by Tichenor that are still used in productions today.

Brian Hull and Wishing Chair Productions

In 1997, Brian Hull was hired to reinvent the puppet program begun by Tom Tichenor. Library Director Donna Nicely coined the name, and “Wishing Chair Productions” was born. The first project was an update of Tichenor’s “The Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings.”

The troupe went on to produce over 40 individual shows, most including original music. 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 the Shakespeare series which includes a half hour version of the Tempest and hour-long versions of Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

In 2017, Wishing Chair Productions and Nashville Public Library were honored with the Puppeteers of America Award.

The Puppet Truck

The Wishing Chair Productions Puppet Truck 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.

Wishing Chair Productions Today

This one-of-a-kind, in-house theater production company provides original full-scale literature-based puppet productions and interactive story times every week of the year. All performances are free of charge to the public.

Wishing Chair also 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.

They continue to preserve Tom Tichenor’s memory through the continued use of his beloved marionettes and puppets, and performances of his original shows.

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