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40 Years of Puppetry 

This year (2023), Great Arizona Puppet Theater will celebrate its 40th anniversary. With the help of dedicated staff and supporters from the community, the theater has evolved from its humble origins as a touring company to the largest puppet theater in the western United States. Its now-permanent home, a former LDS church, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rich with history, this museum exhibit guides visitors from Founders Nancy Smith and Ken Bonar’s first projects together up to the present day. It features a mix of original souvenirs, documents, and dozens of unique handcrafted puppets accumulated over decades of performances.

The exhibit is open to the public Wednesday-Friday, 10 am-4 pm, and Saturday, 10 am-3 pm – no ticket purchase required. It is the perfect opportunity for field trips or for anyone interested in learning more about local Phoenix history and the arts. The exhibit will be on display through November 15, 2023and quarterly we will change the gallery to presentations highlighting the various forms of puppetry in the United States and Internationally.

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