File puptcrit/puptcrit.0707, message 102

Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2007 08:49:11 -0400
To: <>
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Federal Theatre Question

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I don't know of one unified source for this; I don't think there is one.  But certainly many great American puppeteers were part of the FTP marionette units across the country, including Remo Bufano, Donald Vestal and David Lano as well as Ralph Chesse.  Alan Cook has information about Los Angeles puppeteers from the FTP. 

Paul McPharlin headed the puppet element of the Michigan Arts and Crafts Project, which was a federal program in the 1930s, but not FTP specifically.

I just found a book chapter in The Arts Workshop of Rural America by Marjorie Patten which talks about puppet companies as part of 1930s Agricultural Extension Service projects.

Free, Adult, and Uncensored has some references to other puppet projects of the FTP.

Bernice Silver wrote a wonderful article in Puppetry Journal a few years ago about activist puppet theater in upstate New York during the 1930s; it wasn't government funded, but quite parallel.  Musician Pete Seeger was part of that project...

By the way, the work of Lola Cueto and others in Mexico (i.e., activist, community-focused puppet theater) was going on at the same time; another cool connection.

I look forward to reading about what you find; it's new territory in terms of puppet history; something really important about our past which no one has really written about!



From: on behalf of Carolyn Roark
Sent: Wed 7/11/2007 2:29 PM
To: Puppetry Listserv
Subject: [Puptcrit] Federal Theatre Question

Hi All:

Forgive the research shortcut. I'm at the Harry Ransom Center and up to my eyeballs in marionette scripts from the 1930s. Does anyone know of a source that would provide further information about puppet performances sponsored by the Federal Theatre Project? Did they have a stable of puppeteers, or train local folks for regional performances?



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