Our Summer Show

‘Where Our Spirits Reside’

Use this EventBrite LINK to buy show tickets for the Chapel Hill shows.

Use this EventBrite LINK to buy tickets for the Raleigh shows.

Our 2023 show is about love, memory, loss, transformation, grief, celebration, and ultimately – the strength and resilience we build together to heal. We can see and learn from our ancestors everywhere: those that have come before us, a mighty river, an old tree, a little mushroom, an animal, or even the stars themselves. Come pour some creative community gold into the cracks of our somewhat broken world and hearts. All are welcome here.

For 2023, our shows will be at the Forest Theatre in Chapel Hill for the weekends of August 4th through September 17th, and the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh on September 22nd through September 24th.

The shows are Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at 7:00 p.m. with a 6:20 p.m. pre-show. There will also a Labor Day Monday show. Matinees are on September 10th and 17th starting at 3:00 p.m. with a 2:20 p.m. pre-show.

All questions regarding ticket sales should be directed towards the Paperhand Puppet Intervention group at Paperhand.org@gmail.com. Please do not contact the show venues.

Please note that water from the public tap at the Forest Theatre doesn’t taste great and is possibly unsuitable for drinking. Event goers should bring their own water to the Forest Theatre shows. We will have Just Water (16 oz. boxes) for sale at the front gate and also a limited supply of aluminum water bottles w/stickers for sale – pre-filled & chilled w/filtered water for optimal win-win.

The show is a giant puppet spectacle production for all ages featuring masks, stilts, painted flats, cardboard trickery, illuminated puppets and shadows. All of this art moves! Our work comes to life with a fantastic score played LIVE by the Paperhand Band!

This year, we are thrilled to be collaborating with 6-time Grammy nominated jazz vocalist and storyteller Nnenna Freelon, and her son, Grammy-nominated children’s musician, hip hop artist, and picture book author Pierce Freelon. The show will feature music off of their new album AnceSTARS.

We are also collaborating with Chapel Hill poet laureate CJ Suitt and NC Poet laureate Jaki Shelton Green! You don’t want to miss the magic being generated here.

Pre-show Entertainment Line-up:

Friday, August 4 – 6:20pm
Mysti Mayhem

Saturday, August 5 – 6:20pm
Curtis Eller’s American Circus

Sunday, August 6- 6:20pm
Big Celtic Fun

Friday, August 11 – 6:20pm
Project Mastana

Saturday, August 12 – 6:20pm
Crystal Bright

Sunday, August 13 – 6:20pm
Certain Seas

Friday, August 18 – 6:20pm
Honey Magpi

Saturday, August 19 – 6:20pm
Jimmy Magoo

Sunday, August 20 – 6:20pm
Chris Titchner

Friday, August 25 – 6:20pm
The InerACTive Theater of Jef

Saturday, August 26 – 6:20pm
Bulltown Strutters

Sunday, August 27 – 6:20pm
Remona Jeannine

Friday, September 1 – 6:20pm
Lyn Koonce

Saturday, September 2 – 6:20pm
Pippa Hoover

Sunday, September 3 – 6:20pm
Sun v Set

LABOR DAY MONDAY September 4 – 6:20pm
Sadie Rock and the Mad Ryans

Friday, September 8 – 6:20pm
Shannon O’Connor

Saturday, September 9 – 6:20pm
Tea Cup Gin

Sunday, September 10 – 6:20pm
Eric Bannan

MATINEE Sunday, September 10 – 2:20pm
Pinkerton Raid

Friday, September 15 – 6:20pm
Tom Eure and Amelia Osborne

Saturday, September 16 – 6:20pm
Red Nucleus

Sunday, September 17 – 6:20pm
Rus Hames

MATINEE Sunday, September 17 – 2:20pm

NCMA Friday, September 22 – 6:20pm
Daniel Ayer

NCMA Saturday, September 23 – 6:20pm
Slow Teeth

NCMA Sunday, September 24 – 6:20pm
Ancestor Piratas

About our Summer Shows

Each year we write, create, build and perform a large summer pageant-play-extravaganza. These performances last about an hour and a half, include an ensemble of professional musicians who create an original score of music and involve a cast of puppeteers, which has included as many as twenty-eight performers.

Our Summer Show is attended by over 25,000 people each year!

We open our studio to the community every Saturday in June and July for Work/Play Days where folks of all ages and persuasions get messy building puppets and props for the Summer Show.

Through our annual summer performance, Paperhand helps create a community that shares picnic blankets, ideas, experiences and a love of wonder. We hope you can join us.

Summer Show Questions & Answers here.

View our past shows here.