File puptcrit/puptcrit.0704, message 188

Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 20:05:09 -0400
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Bruce David Schwartz

I first saw Bruce when we were both working at the Renaissance Pleasure
Faire in Marin County in 1973.He was a teenager and I was 20 something. At
the Faire there were  print makers who  captured the image of Bruce's
walking stage with his lead character Elinor in "Rat of Huge Proportions"
clearly visible on stage. I still have the print. The duet of 2 puppets
playing recorders is still one of the finest opening bits for a show that I
have ever seen. The wit and bawdy humor of "Rat" was perfect for the
Renaissance Faire. I think it was in Connecticut in 76 that I first saw his
exquisite lyrical rod puppetry

In addition to performing on the Muppet Show, Jim Henson commissioned
puppets from Bruce In 1985  Bruce was one of the featured artists in the 6
part "Jim Henson's World of Puppetry" series. Members of Puppeteers of
America can borrow the DVD from the Puppetry Store

On 4/28/07, Alan Cook <> wrote:
> Bruce had a short write-up in 2005 October issue #37 of Yogi Times, Los
> Angeles Edition (Theme of issue: "All one music") with a thumbnail photo of
> him.
> He is a partner in YOGA HOUSE in Pasadena CA and in the just-opened Yoga
> House in Tolucca Lake (North Hollywood) CA.
> I'm glad so many remember his puppet artistry, but you might be surprised
> at the difficultes there were to bring him to the attention of Puppeteers of
> America. His first Regional Festival appearance at Asilomar CA began with a
> five minute PIERROT on the Pot Pourri late night program (Richard Green was
> not willing to allot him more time for the 15 minute RAT OF HUGE PROPORTIONS
> first performed at Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Agoura and Mill Valley CA
> and scripted by Bruce at age 17). Thanks to Lettie Schubert, we were told
> that if the Membership Business Meeting ran shorter than usual, he could
> have a 15 minutes but if only 14 minutes or less remained, there would be no
> perfomance. Several who saw the PIERROT the night before, helped make sure
> the Busness meeting was more efficient than usual. So Bruce debuted at a
> REGIONAL Festival during or immediately after the Busness Meeting (in the
> same chapel space).
> His first Nationl Festival was in a LARGE AUDITORIUM, which he very nearly
> cancelled cuz 300 was about the maximum size audience for his chamber
> puppetry. Well, I advised him to perform anyway because 300 more people
> would know about his work, and I proceeded to buttonhole some of our more
> effective PofA members and plead with them to arrive early for a close-up
> seat. I was unaware that others eavesdropped in the cafeteria line and also
> arrived early. That was the only show that week which had a big waiting line
> before the doors opened.
> Later, Bruce did an unofficial bonus performance in a 500-seat
> classroom---still too big, but an improvement.
> At the 1980 World Puppetry Festival in Washington, DC headed by Nancy
> INTIMATE  PERFORMANCE SPACE. Among the resulting benefits was a tour of
> Japan (Finally!---we had sent photos to Japan of his beautiful puppets with
> no results earlier. In fact I asked one Japanese puppeteer if they had
> received the earlier photos & press kit and was told, "Yes, but we didn't
> know what he DID with the puppets" until the 1980 Festival. Once they saw,
> Bruce went to Japan, performing in Japanese, went to France (where some
> puppets were stolen then returned after news releases) and finally a lot of
> people got to see him around the world.
> It should not have been so difficult, but all too often there is a lot of
> struggle involved. It WAS made easier by help from some great allies in PofA
> (including Mary Churchill & Paul Vincent Davis in the Boston area and Jim
> Henson put Bruce on the Muppet Show as a guest with Cleo Lane),
> The full story was an example that when a puppeteer is REALLY GOOD, too
> many assume that such a performer does not need any help in finding
> audiences. If that were true, who needs theater critics or puppet
> organizations???
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