Chicago man's 'Lockdown Puppet Theatre' wows neighbors from apartment window

ByNatalie Heller Localish logo
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Chicago puppeteer wows neighbors from apartment window
A Chicago man is entertaining his neighborhood during the COVID-19 pandemic with puppet shows.

CHICAGO -- Chicagoan Matthew Owens is bringing the joy of the theatre to the streets of his Lakeview neighborhood.

It all started after he was laid off from his job at the Brookfield Zoo, where he would create natural-looking toys and devices, called "enrichment devices," for the animals.

Instead of sitting around the house and letting his creativity go to waste, he got to work creating a stage and puppets so that he could perform weekly shows for his friends and neighbors, and it has grown into a full-blown production.

It is now formally known as "The Lockdown Puppet Theatre."

"This is really raw theater; it's not hyper-production values, we don't have sound effects and we don't have stage lighting and we don't have things that would be great to have for a conventional theatre production, but that's part of the appeal of it," Owens said.

The community is loving the weekly shows, and the theatre attracts spectators from all over.

"People genuinely love it. They're singing along, they're clapping along, they're coming back week after week, and that's a bit of a new experience for me," Owens said.

Owen's specific address in Lakeview is a secret, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for puppets the next time you're in the neighborhood.