File puptcrit/puptcrit.0509, message 226

Subject: RE: [Puptcrit] Re: cancellation of Thai puppets' & visas.
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 09:18:28 -0400
To: <>

For some reason, we had no problems bringing the Palestinian National Theater to our Great Small Works Toy Theater festival last June (not sure why...), but it seems like these problems are getting more frequent.

In the interests of supporting the international flow of culture and ideas, I wonder if we, as American puppeteers, can somehow petition or lobby the State Department for a better policy of welcoming foreign artists to the US?

john bell
great small works

 -----Original Message-----
From: []  On Behalf Of
Sent:	Wednesday, September 21, 2005 2:01 AM
Subject:	[Puptcrit] Re: cancellation of Thai puppets' & visas.

Dear Alan, et al,
   I was fortunate to visit the Joe Lewis Theater in Bangkok....nice show,
very nice theater.. Tammy Hunt told me about it.  
     It is a shame the State Dept denies visas from time to time. At the 
Western Arts Alliance Conference, the subject of visas for foreign performing
artists is frequently discussed.   This problem is not solely aimed at puppeteers,
sometimes even well-known artists are denied visas.  
    I had to jump through hoops to get visas for Belarus and Russia two weeks
ago...ultimately resorted to a 3rd party to get them for me...Belarus visa
cost me about $150 plus Fed Ex charges, but Russian Federation cost me about
$400 plus.   Part of the cost was that the respective embassy wanted (lots) of
time and I was traveling and needed my passports for Korea and Italy trips with
only three days between.   Same day service, "official" invitations from 
travel agents (as opposed to official invitations from the sponsoring festivals)
Fed Ex charges, etc....mount up considerably.
    I'm just back from outstanding Obraztsov Festival in Moscow and
Belaja-Vezha 2005 Festival in Brest, Belarus....will write a report soon.   Sincerely, 
 Jim Gamble
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