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Puppet2010

  • 4.3
Unlike almost everywhere else in the world where puppets are embedded in religion, folk crafts and high art, America has long thought of puppetry only as a children’s medium. Since the nineties, however, serious adult puppetry has exploded in the United States. Although it still sits at the fringe, there has been a marked increase in press coverage of the puppet world. Puppets are suddenly on Broadway and even at the Metropolitan Opera. Why was puppetry first marginalized in America, and what does it mean that we’ve returned to this ancient form? Interviews with practicing artists, historians, theorists and theater professionals including Eileen Blumenthal, Stephen Kaplin, Frank Episale and Victoria Nelson cover a range of theoretical approaches to American puppetry. At the center of the film is Dan Hurlin's “Disfarmer,” a complex puppet work which premiered in 2009 at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY, about a Depression-era portrait photographer named Mike Disfarmer who changed his name to Disfarmer to show his distaste for the rural farming community in which he was raised. Beginning two years before the premiere, the documentary chronicles the entire development process: the early puppet construction, research, rehearsal residencies and finally, opening night. An illuminating documentary, PUPPET is fascinating look at the history of American puppetry as well as its current renaissance.

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