American Puppet Modernism: Essays on the Material World in Performance (Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History) (Hardcover)

American Puppet Modernism: Essays on the Material World in Performance (Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History) By John Bell Cover Image

American Puppet Modernism: Essays on the Material World in Performance (Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History) (Hardcover)


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Please note this is a 'Palgrave to Order' title (PTO). Stock of this book requires shipment from an overseas supplier. It will be delivered to you within 12 weeks. This study analyses the history of puppet, mask, and performing object theatre in the United States over the past 150 years to understand how a peculiarly American mixture of global cultures, commercial theatre, modern-art idealism, and mechanical innovation reinvented the ancient art of puppetry.
John Bell is the Director of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut, USA.
Product Details ISBN: 9781403979810
ISBN-10: 1403979812
Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
Publication Date: September 19th, 2008
Pages: 280
Language: English
Series: Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History


"Bell's survey is neither all-inclusive nor exhaustive but rather an in-depth examination of specific theater events, practitioners, and types of object performance (the Little Theater Movement, Remo Bufano, Bread and Puppet Theater) - a discussion that helps to contextualize the development of object performance into Bell's notion of 'puppet modernism.' Summing Up: Recommended" - CHOICE

"American Puppet Modernism deepens the discourse of performing objects in general while charting the uniquely American (re) discovery of the puppet.Not only is Bell's book an intriguing companion to the history of modern puppet performance, but is also benefits studies in radical street theatre, early avant-garde performance, and Kustom Kulture." - Robert J. Vrtis, University of Oregon, Theatre Journal

"Brilliant writing! Bell manages to enlighten and enthrall us with a historical perspective on humanity's reliance on, as he calls it, 'the nature of the material world in performance' with insightful accuracy and new data while also challenging readers to consider daring contemporary influences." - Vincent Anthony, Director of the Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta

"In this impressive and wide-ranging study, Bell reminds that we belittle puppets at our peril. A unique mixture of the mysterious and the funny, they can to be found at every corner of culture, from rituals to avant-garde performances and from high modernism to popular entertainment. This splendid book offers us nothing less than a fresh view of American culture." - Martin Puchner, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University and the Director of the Mellon School for Theater and Performance Research

"The modernist puppet theatre's movement, from indigenous rituals to the Little Theatres to large political protests,proves to be a fascinating subject, which Bell animates with the expert knowledge, precision, and colorful details one expects from a master puppeteer and a leading scholar." - Joel Schechter, Editor of Popular Theatre

"American Puppet Modernism suggests a radically new understanding of the insistent role of animated objects in Modern culture. From Zuni ritual performance to Bread and Puppet's political activism to Kustom Kulture, objects and puppets perform in uncanny, compelling, and surreptitious ways. Bell's exemplary scholarship illuminates the persistent and evocative power found in animating the inanimate." - Janie Geiser, Film/Theater Artist, Director, The Cotsen Center for Puppetry and the Arts, Calarts

"The essays in American Puppet Modernism are a welcome addition to puppet research and writing. Most of us around the world are so very involved with the practicalities of performance that we often forget our basic histories and memories; until it is to late. Bell is to be congratulated for putting together rituals and histories face to face with the creators and influences of Modernism in American Puppetry." - Dadi D. Pudumjee, President, Union International de la Marionette (UNIMA) and Director, Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust, New Delhi