Puppetry Theory

Warhorse: The Puppeteers Speak

By September 14, 2011 February 20th, 2017 No Comments

Sorry for the lack of recent updates, I’ve been preoccupied with a big project that’s been several years in the making (you’ll be hearing about it here very soon). To help make up for it I wanted to share something that I think will be really fascinating to anyone who has a serious interest in puppetry.

Several months ago I had the privilege of attending a great event in New York called Warhorse: The Puppeteers Speak. Hosted by The New School, it was a panel discussion about contemporary puppetry with Handspring Puppet Company co-founders Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler, South African poet, author and scholar Yvette Christiansë and American puppeteer Dan Hurlin.

The discussion touches on a number of concepts and theories, including:

  • The importance of breath in puppetry.
  • Part of puppetry’s appeal stems from the fact that on either a conscious or sub-conscious level, humans believe in Animism.
  • The distance between humans and puppets makes puppets better mirrors of ourselves than actors do.
  • Puppetry is a deeply meditative state that requires the puppeteer to submit to their puppet.

All in all, it’s one of the most interesting discussions about puppetry that I’ve ever witnessed. Special thanks to the Vera List Center at the New School for making this available online in its entirety!

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