File puptcrit/puptcrit.0909, message 165

To: "''" <>
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 2009 13:27:47 -0400
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] colonial times

The fact that the only source we are able to cite regarding puppets and colonial American culture is Paul McPharlin's 1949 work "The Puppet Theater in America" is a marker of the dire nature of puppet history in the United States.  Could we imagine any other branch of the performing or visual arts in the U.S. whose most recent and only history is a work from 1949 (updated in 1969 by Marjorie Batchelder McPharlin)?  Clearly there is a need for a new comprehensive history of American puppet theater!  What could we do about this situation?

Dr. John T. Bell
Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry
University of Connecticut
6 Bourn Place Unit 5212
Storrs, Connecticut=A0 06269-5212
office: 860 486 0806
cell: 617 599 3250

To make a contribution to the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, please go to, and select "Ballard Puppetry Museum" from the "Purpose" list.  Thanks for your support!

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Hobey Ford
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2009 7:42 AM
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] colonial times

And limberjacks  (planchettes)

On Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 8:21 PM, Fred Greenspan<> wrote:
> My understanding is that rod puppets did not become popular until the
> early 20th century. I could be wrong. Rod-marionettes, on the other
> hand, were the rule as opposed to all-string marionettes - which were
> only used for trick marionette acts. All-string marionette shows did
> not become popular until the late 19th century. =A0I agree that shadow
> puppets and hand puppets were also around along with the rod-
> marionettes during the colonial period.
> Fred Greenspan - Traditional Puppeteer
> Ossining, New York
> Punch & Judy, Italian marionettes, flea circus
> On Sep 8, 2009, at 8:10 PM, Christopher Hudert wrote:
>> Now I'm no historian, but I would venture a safe bet is
>> Shadow puppets
>> Marionettes
>> Hand Puppets
>> Toy Theatre
>> Rod Puppets (though maybe fairly simple)
>> Certainly shadow or toy theatre would be a workshop that would be
>> simple enough to do in a relatively short time. If you have more time,
>> of course, you could get more involved.
>> As to supplies, that would depend on how historically accurate it
>> needed to be. It's possible that it only needs to be the type and
>> look,
>> or they may want authentic type materials (a printer copy of era dress
>> on modern paper vs a wood block or hand drawn, natural dyes on hand
>> made paper). The more authentic the need, the more you should be
>> charging for the workshop as there will be more research involved and
>> odds are the costs of the materials may be higher. (Unless you are
>> using corn husks. You might get those pretty cheap.)
>> But that's just my opinion.
>> Christopher
>> On Sep 8, 2009, at 2:19 PM, Puppet People wrote:
>>> I have been contacted by =A0a historical =A0society to do a colonial era
>>> puppet
>>> building workshop. Does anybody know what kind of puppet was popular
>>> back
>>> then? What supplies they used?
>>> Thanks Michelle
>> _______________________________________________
>> List address:
>> Admin interface:
>> Archives:
> _______________________________________________
> List address:
> Admin interface:
> Archives:
List address:
Admin interface:
List address:
Admin interface:


Driftline Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005