Much to our disappointment,

we have decided to listen to the projections of our best scientists and pull the plug on The Great Plains Puppet Train, originally scheduled for September 10-13, 2020. So far we are still planning to hold the 24th annual West Liberty Children’s Festival on Sept.13 and, if all goes well, a workshop day and an evening puppet slam on Friday, Sept.12. Since no registration is required for this event and since planning can be shorter term, we’ll wait till mid-summer to make a final call on its viability. If you planned to attend the festival, please still consider joining us for the Children’s Festival, should it happen, with its series of five puppet shows in our charming downtown pocket park.

Whether or not it’s safe to gather in September, we hope to host a virtual Puppeteers’ Check-In, a live stream event in which we meet with each other, show everyone what we’re doing, and share ideas, plans, and optimism.

Onward and Upward!

Monica Leo, Festival Director

Pamela Corcoran, Artistic Director

Dan (Digger) Romano, Workshop Director



Come to West Liberty, Iowa for the Great Plains Puppet Train 
Sept. 10-13, 2020!  

Located close to Iowa City, home of the University of Iowa and the internationally renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop, West Liberty is an iconic small town, with an active main street  and midwestern hospitality.  The Regional Festival will take place in various buildings downtown, all within a distance of about four to six blocks, starting Thursday evening with registration, finger foods, a show, and a party.  Friday will include workshops, performances in our opera house, and a Puppet Slam.  Saturday will feature the West Liberty Children’s Festival, complete with five puppet performances and lots of street food and activities, A street dance with a Latino band, and finally a delicious catered dinner and another performance.  Sunday: breakfast, one last show, and farewells to friends, old and new!

We’re looking for the following kinds of shows:

  • Family friendly shows that can be performed outdoors
  • A school show that connects to the curriculum
  • Any other show including adult-oriented, small shows, slam pieces, etc.                                                                                                     

 And workshops:

  • In view of current events, workshops that help navigate the online world might be especially helpful
  • Connecting puppetry to the curriculum (for puppeteers and teachers)
  • Workshops helpful for librarians
  • Business workshops to help puppeteers make a living in the current economy
  • Any other workshop including performance, construction, and/or writing

Find Performance and Workshop proposal forms on the appropriate pages. Please submit a proposal if you have a show or workshop you’d like to share!

                      West Liberty Children’s Festival


Monica Leo, Festival Director
Stephanie Vallez, Assistant Director
Pam Corcoran, Artistic Director
Dan (Digger) Romano, Workshop Director
Gary Neil Holmquist, Technical Director
Puppetry Store, TBA
Festival Exhibit, TBA
Justin Cornett, General Assistant