A Journey Into European Puppetry

A Brief History Of Puppetry

Laurel & Hardy Puppets

Puppets of comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy join the marionettes at the Spejbl and Hurvinek Theatre in Prague, March 2016.

March 2016 while in Huémoz Switzerland I had a chance to give a lecture with slides called A Brief History of Puppetry at L’Abri. Now I have met people involved with puppetry who know an awful lot about the subject. This lecture isn’t really for them, though I suspect they’d appreciate it. This is for the multitudes who only have a glimmer of an idea about puppetry. A couple of years ago I uploaded my Puppetry As Antidote Art, which was essentially my personal apologia for puppetry to be considered as a serious art form. And I’ve been surprised by the number of people who have watched it and in some manner contacted  me as a result. And so I present to you a more detailed follow-up. Not a particularly scholarly history but nevertheless more involved and detailed than anything else to be found in video at this moment.

(It’s over an hour and a half long. The best way to watch it might be to download it and spend some time with it. I’ve added much more visual material than when I gave it live so that should help.)

If you find it worthwhile let me know. And if you want to correct my dates and facts also get in touch. Leave comments below or on the YouTube page.

And remember I must get back to Europe this year to continue and hopefully get closer to wrapping the interviews for Gravity From Above, our documentary on European puppetry. We do need financial help if you want to donate to the cause use the “Make A Donation” button above. It’s simple, painless, direct and absolutely needed. Plus I will put your name on the final film.

Stay tuned, more will be developing as we go. And thanks to all those who have already helped out or followed our progress in some manner.

Byrne Power

Haines, Alaska

April 9th 2017



2 responses

  1. Nancystaub

    Enjoyed a lot of the imagery in your lecture.

    NOTE: Peter Schumann not Baumann, Bread and Puppet Theater not Bread and Puppets

    Thanks to the Jim Henson Foundation there is a lot of innovative interesting puppetry in the USA. Look at the grant descriptions on the web site:

    jim henson foundation grants

    Manuel CInema and Shadowlight Theater as well as Basil Twist, Julie Taymor and Michael Curry are all innovative and brilliant. Google them.

    Best wishes,

    Nancy Staub

    May 11, 2017 at 1:00 PM

  2. Nancy, Thanks for correcting me on Schumann. I am indeed familiar with the others. One can only say so much… I believe I have apologies in different parts of the lecture. And I am quite aware of the Henson Foundation and have applied a grant in the past. I tend to concentrate on the European scene because it has influenced me most. I appreciate the comment!

    May 11, 2017 at 3:59 PM

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