The art of puppetry has morphed over the years: from marionettes, to Muppets, to the dancing of shadows on far-away walls to Simon Morley's renowned stage show Puppetry of the Penis. But at the core, puppetry is the art of playing with and manipulating objects as extensions of oneself.
Ramin Zahed Writer/director Dan Clark on left with puppeteer Sean Johnson on right, both prepping a mutant puppet
Many events of L.A. Puppet Fest, taking place over the past few weeks, are not what you might expect of puppetry. These gatherings, brought people together from all over, from puppetry pros to scholars intrigued by the history and cultural pertinence of puppetry in our technological age.
Change the World: A Show Puppet Performance combined puppetry in the form of shadow projections with social issues like fracking. Other highlights of the Fest have included a lively night called Pulling Strings & Funny Things at the Bob Baker Marionette Theatre and a lecture by historian J. Eric Lynxwiler at the Los Angeles Central Library, which recognized the connections among puppetry, Hollywood and L.A.'s gay community. The night was dedicated to commemorating how the Yale Puppeteers and Turnabout Theatre gave the gay community a voice, through the practice of puppetry, in a time before they had one. The lecture also included black and white photos, including one of Albert Einstein holding a puppet version of himself at CalTech in 1931.More »