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Artful Dodges - Pinocchio's Marionaette Theater

Pinocchio’s Marionette Theater
525 South Semoran Boulevard (Route 436), Winter Park 32792
(407) 677-8831

Tucked away in a shopping center on the northern fringe of metro Orlando is a delightful vest-pocket marionette theater that brings timeless children’s stories to life while teaching kids basic theater etiquette.

Don’t let the shopping center location fool you, either. The technical and artistic quality of the productions here are first rate and the miniature sets (if expanded to three times their actual size) would be the envy of most Orlando area theaters. A visit here is definitely worth the trip.

Pinocchio’s is a non-profit organization and the labor of love of David Eaton, who writes most of the shows, and Pady Blackwood, a master puppeteer who worked with Howdy Doody. The set designers have worked for Disney and Universal, and it shows. The two-foot-high marionettes, which are pre-Muppet stringed puppets, are all hand-crafted for each show and costumed with the elegance and attention to detail you’d expect of much grander theaters.

The repertory includes children’s classics like Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, and of course Pinocchio. Performances are given Thursday through Sunday, with up to three shows daily. Call or visit the web site for exact times. Reservations are suggested since many shows sell out and on occasion the entire theater will be booked for a birthday. Each show runs about two to three months. At Christmas time a seasonal show is presented with more frequent performances.

Admission is $9 for adults and $8 for children 3 to 12 and seniors 55 and older. There are special rates for groups of 10 or more. Birthday parties, which include a puppet show, can be arranged for up to 18 kids. Call for details.

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