File spoon-archives/puptcrit.archive/puptcrit_2003/puptcrit.0306, message 14

Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 13:43:00 -0400
Subject: Re: PUPT: Puppet Criticism Again: A Call for Ideas!

         I'm sorry that Robert has never "encountered writing (critical
writing) about puppetry that was useful to the artist"!  That's a
shame!  Right off the bat I would suggest the following:
1) Barthes, Roland. "At the Music Hall." In The Eiffel Tower and Other
Mythologies. Translated by Richard Howard, 123-126. New York: Hill and
Wang, 1979.
2) ________. "Lesson in Writing." In Image-Music-Text, 170-178. New York:
Hill and Wang, 1977.
3) Bogatyrev, Petr. "A Contribution to the Study of Theatrical Signs: The
Perception of the Signs in Puppet Theater, Theater with Live Actors, and
Art in General." In The Prague School: Selected Writings, 1929-1946, ed.
Peter Steiner, 55-64. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1982.
4) _______. "The Interconnection of Two Similar Semiotic Systems: The
Puppet Theater and the Theater of Living Actors." Semiotica 47.1-4 (1983):
5) Craig, Edward Gordon. "The Actor and the =DCbermarionette." The Mask 1
(1908): 3b-16b.
6) ________. On the Art of the Theatre. New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1980
7) Honzl, Jindrich. "Ritual and Theater." In The Prague School: Selected
Writings, 1929-1946, ed. Peter Steiner, 135-173. Austin: University of
Texas Press, 1982.
8) Jurkowski, Henryk. "Transcodification of the Sign Systems of Puppetry."
Semiotica 47.1-4 (1983): 123-146.
9) Kleist, Heinrich von. "On the Marionnette Theatre." Translated by Amadeo
Foresti. The Marionnette 4 (1918): 105-113.
10) Proschan, Frank. "The Semiotic Study of Puppets, Masks, and Performing
Objects." Semiotica 47.1-4 (1983): 3-46.
11) Schumann, Peter. "The Radicality of the Puppet Theater." TDR 35.4
(Winter 1991): 75-83.
12) Veltrusky, Jiri. "Man and object in the theatre." In A Prague School
Reader on Esthetics, Literary Structure, and Style, ed. Paul Garvin.
Washington: Georgetown University Press, 1964.
13) ________. "Puppetry and Acting." Semiotica 47.1-4 (1983): 69-122.

         I would also suggest the essays by Bogatyrev, Stephen Kaplin, and
Steve Tillis in Puppets, Masks, and Performing Objects, which I edited.
         More: Scott Shershow's Puppets and "Popular" Culture is worth
looking at; also Tillis's Towards an Aesthetics of the Puppet, Laurence
Kominz and Mark Levenson's The Language of the Puppet, Dina and Joel
Sherzer's Humor and Comedy in Puppetry, and Michael Meschke's In Search of
Aesthetics for the Puppet Theatre.
         How about Peter Arnott's Plays Without People?
         There are a lot of non-English books listed in the Bibliographie
Internationale de la Marionnette, published by the Institut International
de la Marionnette, which is admittedly hard to find!  However, the
following seem interesting: Didier Plassard, L'Acteur en effigie, Massimo
Schuster, Ave marionnette, and Le Theatre de marionnettes, with articles by
Alain Recoing, Emile Copfermann, Annie Gilles, Jurkowski, and many others.
         There are also all sorts of books now about objects and
performance, such as Susan Stewart's On Longing , and sociological and
anthropological texts about traditional forms of puppet theater on all

         I think there's a lot out there about puppets, because we still
can't figure them out!  A lot of the above have been useful to me,
especially the Frank Proschan essay (#10 above).

john bell
great small works

At 10:22 AM 6/11/03 -0400, you wrote:
>Later this month Mum Puppettheatre will perform at the 10th Annual
>International Dance Festival and Conference in Bytom, Poland,  a gathering
>of those who dance, those who make dance, and those who write about dance.
>Past participants have included Mikhail Baryshnikov; Anna Kisselgoff,
>Dance Critic for the New York Times comes this year.
>In addition to performing we will take part in symposia for students of
>dance criticism. We believe that our inclusion in a dance festival is
>significant for the world of puppetry, as so far it dance seems to be the
>only established art form that is willing to look at puppetry on its own terms.
>This is also significant for Mum Puppettheatre and American puppetry, as
>this marks the first time this prestigious festival has included puppetry
>in its offerings, even though Poland has long led the world in its
>explorations of puppetry.
>I have been asked to contribute examples of writing about the artform that
>I have found useful. I've drawn a blank. I'm not sure that I've ever
>encountered writing (critical writing) about puppetry that was useful to
>the artist. So, I ask the assembled for their wisdom.
>What writing has helped you in your own work? Has there been a piece of
>writing specifically aimed at your work that you found useful? Graduate
>students from all over the world will take part in these symposia, seeing
>work at night and writing and discussing it during the day. This is a
>chance to get some thinking done about puppet criticism (what an idea for
>this list!) Historically, dance, more than any other art form in our time,
>has really gotten its act together, figuring out how to include everyone
>under the tent, raising the profile of the form, creating a core of study
>that passes academic muster. Puppetry can learn a lot from dance.
>I'd like to share, possibly, the best of the best with the conference in
>Poland. I'd appreciate any assistance or examples you might care to give.
>Thanks for your help.
>Robert Smythe
>Artistic Director
>Mum Puppettheatre
>115 Arch Street
>Philadelphia, PA 19106
>T: 215.925.7686
>F: 215.922.5184
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