Archives for posts with tag: research

This is another one of my favorite images, even though not many people I showed it to share my excitement. Actually nobody I showed it to liked it, but then I think only a handful of people have seen it so far.

I admire the old lady, holding tightly on to her handbag, striding out with great determination. Her crooked body still exudes purpose. There is no waiver in her gait. Straight down the middle, protected by spring-green chestnut trees. These trees have been around for centuries and have seen many old ladies passing by. (Yes, I do understand why other people might not get excited :)

Yesterday I had some time to do more research on the Internet regarding the puppet world. I found some amazing stuff overseas, but New Zealand looks pretty grim. There is a “Puppeteers in New Zealand” organisation. But their website ( has a very neglected feel. There is a forum with 13 members but it is locked and the last entry was 2010.

There are of course puppeteers for children around and there seems to have been a New Zealand Puppet Theatre founded by Annie Forbes in 1984, which was going for some years. Annie Forbes, a third generation puppeteer, has moved to Australia.

The funniest thing I found was on Wikipedia (puppetry subhead oceania). There are a couple of good paragraphs about Australia and then – New Zealanders hold onto your seats!– one sentence: “In New Zealand, a similar history has taken place.” That’s it! Thinking about it now, that might be because all the good puppeteers have moved across the Tasman (see above).

I am going to finish Push-Push today.

I have mentioned before on my blog that I am obsessed with eyes. Tree eyes fascinate me, even though I find them sometimes tricky to photograph. I have to think about the camera settings a little bit longer. But with so many other things, the dede puppets pretty much stopped my eye collection in its tracks.

When researching puppets you very quickly come across the name Peter Schumann. He founded the Bread and Puppet Theater in 1963 in New York and in the 70s moved to a farm in Vermont. There they still hold puppet events and workshops today (bread and puppets). A really interesting story.

I was amazed by Peter Schumann’s article “The Radicality of the Puppet Theatre” (reprinted in Schlechter, J (ed). Popular Theatre, Routledge 2003).  Amongst other enlightening aspects, he points out the clear difference between actors and puppets. An actor tries to fake a character. He tries to become somebody he is not. Ergo an actor’s success is based on his capability to deceive the viewer. A puppet on the other hand is the character. It is what it is and the stories emerge from within the puppet.

It makes all perfect sense to me.