The Death of “The Puppet”?

Authored by: Margaret Williams

The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance

Print publication date:  July  2014
Online publication date:  July  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415705400
eBook ISBN: 9781315850115
Adobe ISBN: 9781317911722


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In his message via the Internet to puppeteers for World Puppet Day on March 21, 2011, Henryk Jurkowski celebrates the vitality and diversity of international puppetry today. Yet he suggests that “from now on the object will replace the figurative puppet,” and ends with the hope that “the tradition of the figurative puppet has not disappeared over the horizon” and “will always remain as a valuable point of reference” (Jurkowski 2011). If it seems a rather wistful conclusion, it echoes a concern shared by some devotees of the puppet theatre. Many people at festivals of “puppetry and related arts” still complain that there weren’t any puppets. That might not trouble many of us, but the complainants do have a point – is it puppetry if there are no puppets in it? And just how are the “related arts” related to puppetry?

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