The Tichenor Legacy

Tom Tichenor was only 15 when he staged Puss In Books at the Nashville Public Library in 1938. In 1947 he was hired as part-time staff member and began regular marionette shows for the library.

Tichenor’s association with the library, both as volunteer and staff member, spanned 50 years, including a period in the 1940s and 50s when he worked for commercial radio stations WSM and WSIX.

From his nationally televised Poindexter series to his outstanding work with the Circle Players and the Nashville Children’s Theater, and his stunning contribution of puppetry in the Broadway musical Carnival!, Tichenor’s professional career was exciting and varied.

In 1967, after the completion of his daily children’s program Birthday House, broadcast on WNBC-TV in New York, Tichenor returned home to the Nashville Public Library. His first production after returning to the library was The Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings. He continued to perform until his retirement in 1988.

Nashville suffered a great loss upon Tichenor’s death in 1992, but his work lives on today. Wishing Chair Productions is proud to preserve Tichenor’s memory through the continued use of his beloved marionettes and puppets. The Nashville Public Library honors and embraces the legacy of the unique craftsman, artist and storyteller that was Tom Tichenor.

Tom Tichenor

Our Marionette Collection

Tom Tichenor left his collection of marionettes to Nashville Public Library. Wishing Chair Productions still uses Tichenor marionettes in The Frog PrinceThe Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings, and Puss in Boots.

New puppets, created by Wishing Chair staff and the puppet Wood and Strings Puppet Theater, are added as new shows are developed.

Through generous donations from The Kohler Foundation and Nashvillian Rachel Love Steele, the library now owns nearly 450 marionettes, including close to 250 marionettes created by Tichenor.

Read more about our collection.

Tom Tichenor Books

Tom Tichenor wrote several children's books and books on puppet making.

Tom Tichenor Books

Tom Tichenor Scrapbook Collection

The collection consists of three scrapbooks and miscellany related to the life and career of Nashville puppeteer Tom Tichenor (1923-1992). View the collection summary in PDF.