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Puppets Perform, No Strings Attached

‘I’ve been a puppet… a poet, a pawn and a king.”

Frank Sinatra wasn’t talking about actual puppets when he sang those words in his 1966 song “That’s Life,” but festival-goers should expect puppets, kings, poets and more at Jerusalem’s International Festival of Puppet Theater, presented from August 9 to August 14 at the Train Theater.

The 18th annual event, making its return with stringed friends in tow, will have a variety of puppet shows and events for kids and adults. It will feature 28 different productions from countries all over the world, including Germany, Belgium and Holland.

Ilan Savir and Ornan Braier’s “The Magic Box” focuses on imagination and creative thinking as it follows the story of a young carpenter looking for work, a dancer looking for peace, and a quiet and lazy king looking to have some fun.

“Far Over the Sea,” created by Israeli Alina Ashbel, depicts a young girl’s search for lost poems that have disappeared from an old book. The poems eventually come to life through old objects and music.

“Wooden Circus,” put on by Karromato, a traditional marionette theater from Prague, includes wooden marionettes performing customary circus acts. Based on 19th-century variety shows, the marionettes will tame wild puppet animals and perform puppet acrobatics!

With multiple shows each day of the festival, these diva puppets better gear up for a long week of hanging around. Hopefully, the stress won’t get to the more highly strung marionettes.

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