Posts in Blog
Karagoz Comes to America

In Turkish culture, Karagoz and Hacivat are like Punch and Judy: the inseparable mainstays of a long comic tradition, the precise origins of which are uncertain. Ayhan Hulagu is a young performer from Turkey who has trained with a master puppeteer and made it his mission to bring Karagoz to America. I met him this summer.

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The Mysterious Power of the Unbounded

There are art installations at intervals along the path. I always linger at one in particular: a series of nine weathered wooden poles, their tops painted different colors, set in a flower garden. And in front of them there’s a gleaming, pure white frame, about 12 feet wide and high, the work of a different artist.

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Dancing On The Edge of Death

Pulcinella is the oldest character in European puppet theatre. He jumped off the stage of the Commediain 17thcentury Naples and proceeded to invade Europe. Centuries later, his antics continue to amuse diverse audiences, and he also inspires contemporary puppeteers whose shows bear little apparent resemblance to the original. What’s the secret of his longevity?

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Let’s Hope He’ll Be Back

Javier Aranda is a solo performer who creates characters out of his own hands. They emerge magically from a single box, which he places on a table with great humility at the beginning of a show. With just a few scraps of cloth and a couple of wigs and false noses, his two hands are transformed into living creatures.

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The In-Between World of Automata

Automata inhabit an in-between world. They are sculpted and painted like a puppet, and they move; but they don’t present the illusion of intentionality, the self-direction that is the puppet’s special gift. In a way, they’re anti-puppets: condemned to repeat exactly the same motions over and over again.

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What IS Object Theatre, Anyhow?

Object theatre has been around for 20 years, and it’s increasingly popular, especially among young performers who want to tell their own stories. I propose a range of approaches, any of which can produce brilliant theatre, with a natural bias toward comedy—but with a huge risk at one extreme.

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Les Sages Fous

Their work is wordless, rooted in the improvisations of street theatre. They are fascinated by the detritus of our society—the solitary souls who wander the streets, checking garbage bins for treasures in cast-off objects.

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The Théâtre de l’Oeil

Andre Laliberté is an imposing man, with a wide face and heavy glasses, a thick grey beard and tangled hair worn in a pony tail. He’s one of the giants of Quebec’s thriving puppetry scene. The Théâtre de l’Oeil, which he founded in 1973, is a cultural treasure.

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Freedom or Death

This six minute cabaret piece by Philippe Genty offers the ultimate version of one of puppetry’s deepest and most universal tropes: the puppet as existential prisoner of his strings.

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Felix Mirbt

Through his teaching and mentoring he inspired a new generation of Quebec artists; in particular, Francis Monty, Olivier Ducas and Marcelle Hudon pay tribute to his impact and his brilliance….

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