File puptcrit/puptcrit.0510, message 104

Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2005 14:51:59 -0400
To: <>
Subject: [Puptcrit] Early American Shadow Puppet Theatre

Dear All,
I am an undergraduate student at Lesley University in Massachusetts in their Learning Community Bachelor's program.  What that means is that I basically have an advisor and do all independent research work.

To that end, I am seeking to earn a degree in writing and currently am researching a "how to" guide for researching historical subjects.  Specifically, my paper will be about shadow puppetry in early America.

Questions I need to answer are as follows:  (If you have further information or resources to share beyond my thought process, please expand your answers.)
1.  From where did shadow puppet theatre come to the U.S., is there any direct historical evidence of transmittal from Turkey or Greece, or through Europe from these locations?
2.  Were the stories told in this theatre adaptions from the Greek, Turkish or other European tales or are many original?
3.  Where might I find evidence of these shows, were they listed in newspapers or other media and are there archives anywhere of "proof" of same?
4.  Was the purpose merely entertainment, did these shows stand alone or were they performed along with other entertainment and/or informative talks/performances?
5.  If there is anyone connected with this who knows some of the older stories and their origins, or lack thereof, can they share these with me?
6.  Any ideas on resources, books, articles, personal notes, theatre courses, etc. that you might pass along?

As you might be able to tell, while I am doing what is called a "process paper" about "how" to do historical research on a subject, I am also extremely interested personally in researching the shadow puppet topic and developed an interest in this type of puppetry from the stories/shows at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.

I also have books I have borrowed from a puppeteer about the Karagoz (sp?) and Karagioz (sp?) and have had access to some of the German shadow books etc.

Again, whatever information or direction you might offer would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you for the work that you do in puppetry and I hope that through my research, I might offer whatever information I pull together back to this forum/group for future reference.

In gratitude,
Kate Robinson
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