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A visit to The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater in San Diego





During our family’s recent staycation in San Diego, we visited The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater for the first time.  We saw a cute puppet show called Giddy Goat based upon the book by Jamie Rix.


The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater is a 234 seat, indoor theater located within Balboa Park, home to several world renown museums such as The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, The San Diego Air & Space Museum and The San Diego Museum of Man.

San Diego’s Balboa Park Puppet Guild was formed in 2001 with the mission of operating the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater.  They offer workshops, apprentice opportunities, children’s programs and a year round performance schedule offering shows Wednesdays through Sundays.

According to Theater Seat Store online, “Puppetry is an ancient form of artistic expression that is a variation on storytelling or human theatrical productions.  In puppetry, a drama unfolds that is entirely or primarily acted out by specialized representational objects, which are manipulated by a puppeteer.  The human animator may or may not be visible to the audience.  Cultural variations of puppetry developed independently in many parts of the world, with distinctive types still carried on today in Japan, China, Germany, Indonesia, and the United States, among other places.  Some specific puppets became international icons in the age of television, including Howdy Doody, Lamp Chop, and Jim Henson’s Muppets.”


Field Trip Girl and Field Trip Boy enjoying a puppet show at The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater.

When you enter The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater you will notice a few key differences about this theater.  For example, there are no movie screens or high tech production equipment.   Instead, you will observe a return to classic puppetry where the focus is on the art form itself.

The San Diego’s Balboa Park Puppet Guild uses a variety of puppetry, staging and vocal techniques in their productions; including hand puppetry, ventriloquism, marionettes, large format puppets, life-size puppets, shadow theater, muppet style puppets (like in Giddy Goat) and full stage black light shows.


Field Trip Girl and Field Trip Boy enjoy drawing outside the theater.

The group’s current list of resident puppeteers include Enid Bartnicki, Zachary Crook, Joe Fitzpatrick, Eva Kvass, Millie Patterson and Gaston Morineau.


The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater hosts shows for people of all ages, from pre-school, grade school to adultIf you live in the San Diego area or plan to visit anytime soon, it makes for a great family outing or class field trip.

There are two remaining puppet productions this summer, before they plan to launch their fall line up.

August 20 – August 24

King Midas – The king has everything he wants, or does he?  When everything he touches turns to gold, including his beloved daughter, the king is very sad.

August 27 – September 1

Jungle Show – This charming hand puppet variety show includes Aesop’s fable, The Lion and the Mouse, and African tale, Who is in Rabbitt’s House?

The cost to see a show is $5.00 per person.  Each show lasts approximately 30 minutes.

The theater also offers group discounts.  For groups of 10-24 people, receive 10% off.  For groups of 25 or more, receive 20% off.

To learn more about The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater and preview one of their past shows called Whispers of the Forest, visit

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets to The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater for media purposes only.  All points of views and comments are our own.  Images used by permission.

joe fitzpatrick

Sunday 24th of August 2014

Thanks for the review....the theater is run by volunteers and we work very hard to make it an enjoyable experience. Glad you enjoyed Zac and Giddy Goat. Big Joe


Sunday 24th of August 2014

You are truly welcome. You have a great little program going there.