Founded in 1948, the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater is the longest continuous running puppet theater in the United States. Puppet performances are presented throughout the year by a variety of troupes. The theater presents approximately 45 shows a year, with different shows each week: 12 shows a week during the winter and 15 shows a week during the summer. The theater has 6 rotating resident puppeteers and 2 associate puppeteers plus occasional guest artists from around the United States. The theater seats 200 with a large proscenium stage and many of productions are "full-stage" using life-size puppets.
The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater is sponsored in part by the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department.
The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater presents original productions and classic fairytales. Show titles range from “The Tortoise and The Hare” to “Cinderella” and “The Little Engine That Could”. Some favorite original characters are Benito Bunny, the Christmas adventure with Alfie the Elf, and the Polka-Dot Ghost. “Whispers of the Forest” is an Earth Day production that features an eight foot talking tree that asks the children in the audience to help save him from the woodcutter.