July 2012 Featured Friend: Cynthia Von Orthal

About Cynthia

Cynthia Von Orthal is an artistic director, writer, performer, teacher and puppet designer.

Cynthia has studied in Prague at the Trejnar Studios and is a graduate of The Goodman School of Drama.

She has designed, directed and performed on television and for many theaters across the country and in Europe including: Redmoon, The Goodman Theater, The Actors Gang (Los Angeles), Victory Gardens, Running With Scissors, Old Town School of Folk Music, Live Bait Theatrical, CityLit, Pegasus Players, LifeLine Theater, Defiant Theater, The Incurable Theater and The Joffrey Ballet.


Von Orthal Puppets is composed of a group of Chicago-based artists dedicated to bringing children and adults quality cultural experiences in the puppetry arts.

With a mission to travel the earth telling the story of their hearts through the art of puppetry Von Orthal Puppets has been captivating audiences for over a decade with a unique combination of traditional European, Japanese and American puppetry techniques.

The Von Orthal Puppets style blends imagination, music and story with expressively alive characters and a refined artistic quality.

Von Orthal Puppets also offers a variety of classes and workshops for adults and children as well as commissioned work for several theatre and dance companies around the country.

Personal Journey

Cynthia has served as an artistic liaison for international groups such as Spirits of the Earth, which provides such necessities as food, clothing, medicine, farming equipment and art to children and their families in Peru.

In 2009 Von Orthal Puppets was invited to perform at the Festival Internacianal de Titeres, an International Puppetry Festival in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  This festival also included several outreach programs to the orphans in Bolivia. Film and Television credits include, Roseanne, Fuzzie Buddies, Freeing Bernie Baren, and several episodes of the educational childrens program, “I Can Like Peli Can”.

Cynthia has won an International UNIMA Award for Excellence in Puppetry Arts for her co-creation of an all puppet version of “The Adding Machine”, by Elmer Rice.


To learn more about Von Orthal Puppets or contact Cynthia, please visit: www.VonOrthalPuppets.com