The Wonder Wagon, a mobile performance platform made from a converted trailer, brings puppets to Chicago Parks, connecting communities through collective imagination and wonder.


Conceived and created by Will Bishop and Grace Needlman.

Designed and built by Will Bishop, Jacklynn Kelsey, Grace Needlman, Nicole Nienow, Mike Oleon, and Kathryn Shivak.

2019 show devised and performed by Katelyn Douglass, David Gordetzky, Kate Healy, Jerrell L. Henderson, Sam Lewis, Felix Mayes, Scott Ray Merchant, Jose Nateras, Ray Rehberg, Dani Santisteven, and Kevin Wesson.

2018 show devised and performed by Tyler Brown, Kaylen Carter, Katelyn Dogulass, David Gordetzky, LaQuis Harkins, Jacklynn Kelsey, Maddy Low, Sonja Mata, Felix Mayes, Scott Ray Merchant, and Ray Rehberg. 

2017 show devised and performed by Lara Carling, Katelyn Douglass, David Gordetzky, Kay Kron, Sonja Mata, Scott Ray Merchant, Ray Rehberg and Michele Stine.


The Wonder Wagon is presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks series, supported by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Arts programming in neighborhoods across the city advances the goals of the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Cultural Plan. Now in its sixth year, the 2019 Night Out in the Parks series will host over 2,000 cultural events and programs at more than 250 neighborhood parks throughout the city, making community parks a safe haven and hubs of activity. Projects vary from traditional performances and concerts, to movies, peace rallies, community workshops, nature based programs, dance pieces, festivals, and more. The Chicago Park District has partnered with more than 140 arts and community organizations to expand and produce this successful initiative.

This project was partially supported in 2016, 2017, and 2018 by an Individual Artist Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.