In 1964 Margo Lovelace bought 58881/2 Ellsworth and renovated it to make the Lovelace Marionette Theatre. Out of these humble beginnings, Margo created a unique theatrical experience that is a treasured memory for anyone who grew up attending Lovelace puppet shows. From the 60’s to now the 5800 block of Ellsworth in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside has changed significantly. Margo moved into a street lined with abandoned buildings, and her theater became an integral part of that neighborhood’s development. In 1985 the doors of Lovelace Marionette Theater closed and its puppet collection was donated to the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum. In this way, Margo’s influence remains a part of Pittsburgh’s narrative even today.
Margo activated interest in the area, offering a missing dose of whimsy to anyone who came to her productions. She believed that people are “starved for beautiful fantasies, but afraid to admit it.” She shared the “Magic of Puppetry” as a remedy.
Ironically the intimate characteristics that made Margo’s theater so important to its patrons also made its memory fragile. Margo’s productions were never televised, and her playbills were handmade for each performance. The Magic existed in fleeting breathtaking moments archived only in the hearts of the audience.