Now they hope to establish a more regular Philadelphia presence, which can only be beneficial to us all.
At the tiny Shubin Theater on Bainbridge Street, they're currently presenting a short evening called Rash Acts, seven "snapshots" culled from a total of 18 that Bishop and Fuller have toured and published.
Each of these "comedies, nightmares and quirky character portraits" is performed within or around a tiny black stage, about three feet wide and two feet deep, and most of them involve puppets. The puppets are of various shapes and sizes; the features of the largest are remarkably alive and lifelike.
My favorite vignettes, though, were those in which the Bishops themselves upstaged their puppets.
Perhaps that's because the faces of these resourceful performers are infinitely mobile, capable of virtually any expression of delight or horror.
Or perhaps it's because these sketches best permit the pair to use their hands, which are seemingly disconnected from the rest of them and wave, float and point in eloquent and often very funny ways.
The first sketch, "Dreamers," may be the best.
It has Bishop and Fuller looking out from within a pair of picture frames in the back wall of their little stage and wringing an endless series of variations on the theme "I want . . . "
There's hardly a conceivable object of desire that isn't enumerated in these few minutes - false teeth, new toys, world peace, and so on and so on - and the result, as in many of these works, is to locate the essence of an abstract concept by objectifying it.
Beguiling, too, are "Doom," in which the Bishops don false noses and black bowlers and invade another of their little stages to bully a female puppet into curing all her troubles (which are substantial) with a lottery ticket.
Or "Peace Negotiations," which casts the pair as old ladies making their first visit to a Burger King and coming to terms with everything from two-for- one coupons to death.
Or "Watchers," in which three puppet characters - a man, his wife, and an old lady with fading vision - witness a murder from their living-room window and satisfy their civic obligation by phoning an utterly unintelligible report to the police.
Not everything works as well as these sketches - although, since I've already discussed more than half the evening, the show's tilt is clearly toward the plus side. Miss Bleep, a sendup of by-the-numbers education, is an older piece and looks it; we've heard this indictment before.
And Monopoly, in which two couples turn vicious while playing the board game, grows a bit confusing as we attempt to determine who's speaking. It is, though, remarkably relevant to today's grab 'n' gobble social and economic climate.
The little boxes in which these cautionary fables transpire serve both to focus the action and, by distancing it, to sharpen it in the manner of a scene viewed through the wrong end of a telescope.
Michele Mercure's synthesized music foreshadows the mood of each piece.
Rash Acts will be performed at the Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St., at 8 p.m. today and next Thursday through Saturday. I guarantee that you've never seen anything quite like it.