Puppets, inanimate figures manipulated by a puppeteer, have been seen by audiences since the beginning of American theatre. Whether hand puppets or marionettes (puppets manipulated by strings), these iconic human symbols date to the beginning of theatrical history. Spanish puppeteers first performed in North America as early as the 16th century and Native Americans were known to use puppets in ritual performances. English puppet shows were frequently seen during the 18th century, with the earliest documented performance in Barbados in 1708. Chinese shadow puppets were seen in America in this era, as were puppet performances from Central and South America, France, Italy, and elsewhere. Puppets were popular with American children from the early 18th century and many shops sold puppet stages and puppets to youngsters. Tony Sarg (1880-1942) was perhaps the first important modern puppeteer, beginning with performances in his studio in 1915. He toured and performed The Rose and the Ring, Don Quixote, and Rip Van Winkle with frequency. Prior to 1930, other major American puppeteers included Helen Haiman Joseph, Edith Flack Ackley, Remo Bufano, Marjorie Batchelder, and especially Paul McPharlin (1903-1948), whose seminal book, The Puppet Theatre in America: A History (1949), provides a detailed record of the often overlooked history of the puppet and its manipulators in the United States.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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  • Puppetry — is a form of theatre or performance which involves the manipulation of puppets. It is very ancient, and is believed to have originated 30,000 years BC. [ Puppetry and Puppets/Eileen Blumenthal/Thames Hudson/2005/ISBN 13 978 0 500 51226 5]… …   Wikipedia

  • Puppetry — Pup pet*ry, n. Action or appearance resembling that of a puppet, or puppet show; hence, mere form or show; affectation. [1913 Webster] Puppetry of the English laws of divorce. Chambers. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • puppetry — [pup′ə trē] n. the art of making or operating puppets or producing puppet shows …   English World dictionary

  • puppetry — /pup i tree/, n., pl. puppetries. 1. the art of making puppets or presenting puppet shows. 2. the action of puppets. 3. mummery; mere show. 4. puppets collectively. [1520 30; see PUPPET, RY] * * * Art of creating and manipulating puppets in a… …   Universalium

  • puppetry — puppet ► NOUN 1) a movable model of a person or animal, moved either by strings or by a hand inside it, used to entertain. 2) a person under the control of another. DERIVATIVES puppeteer noun puppetry noun. ORIGIN later form of POPPET(Cf. ↑poppet …   English terms dictionary

  • puppetry — noun (plural ries) Date: 1528 1. the production or creation of puppets or puppet shows 2. the art of manipulating puppets …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • puppetry — noun a) The art of making, and performing with puppets b) The action of a puppet, or a stilted or puppet like dramatic performance …   Wiktionary

  • puppetry — (Roget s IV) n. Syn. exhibition, mummery, play; see act 2 , performance 2 , show 1 …   English dictionary for students

  • puppetry — pup|pet|ry [ˈpʌpıtri] n [U] the art of performing with puppets …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • puppetry — pÊŒpɪtrɪ n. puppet show; art of creating or manipulating puppets …   English contemporary dictionary