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Puppetry

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NEWS
March 5, 1986 | By Dianna Marder, Inquirer Staff Writer
Down a darkened flight of stairs in the basement of Glassboro State College's Memorial Hall, piles of cloth and paper and foam are slumped in cardboard boxes and slung on wooden racks, waiting for the magic that will bring them to life. With the help of Diane and George Neff, artists in residence at the college, the inanimate materials become puppets, creatures of song and story and dance. And with the help of the Neffs, Glassboro State will present a monthlong exhibit featuring the creations of nine renowned puppeteers, including Jim Henson and Bil Baird.
NEWS
June 16, 1988 | By Pat Zabriskie, Special to The Inquirer
Robert Smythe's parents like to tell stories about how he would rescue items from the trash and make puppets out of them. He would stage these little shows for his schoolmates. It probably was all very cute. Then, when he was in high school, he decided he was being very unfair. To the puppets. "I liked them, but I didn't know why, and I didn't know what to do with them," Smythe recalled. Enter fellow Phillips Academy student Peter Sellars, now an enfant terrible of the American theater.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 28, 1997 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
The program for Fantoccini, the new Mum Puppettheatre production, notes that the term fantoccini was used by 19th-century traveling puppet showmen to describe short performances presented while scenery was being shifted. There is no scenery to move in the spare Mum presentation in its Manayunk theater. Artistic director Robert Smythe and technical director Bradley Pope are presenting the fantoccini without the excuse. The diverting, pleasant show consists of a series of short pieces of puppetry followed by a program of improvisation.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 24, 1993 | By Inga Saffron, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In this country we usually relegate puppet shows to the category of children's entertainment. But in Indonesia, where puppetry is taught in universities, the animated dramas are high art, essential to penetrating the culture. Shadow puppets, the flat rawhide figures traditional to the Indonesian island of Java, served as a useful motif in Peter Weir's classic film, The Year of Living Dangerously, about the 1965 Indonesian revolt. The movie opens with a small dance between two puppets.
NEWS
December 27, 2012
LONDON - Gerry Anderson, puppetry pioneer and British creator of the sci-fi hit "Thunderbirds" TV show, has died. He was 83. Anderson's television career launched in the 1950s. Once "Thunderbirds" aired in the 1960s, "Thunderbirds are go!" became a catchphrase for generations. It also introduced the use of "supermarionation" - a puppetry technique using thin wires to control marionettes. - ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEWS
December 28, 2012
Gerry Anderson, 83, puppetry pioneer and British creator of the sci-fi hit Thunderbirds TV show, has died. Mr. Anderson's son Jamie said his father, who got a diagnosis of mixed dementia two years ago, died in his sleep Wednesday at a nursing home near Oxfordshire, England. Mr. Anderson's television career launched in the 1950s. Once Thunderbirds aired in the 1960s, "Thunderbirds are go!" became a catchphrase for generations. It also employed "supermarionation" - a puppetry technique using thin wires to control marionettes - and made sci-fi mainstream, according to Jamie Anderson.
NEWS
July 21, 1995 | By Cynthia J. McGroarty, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
In 18th-century England, puppetry was the vogue. Everyone who was anyone was seen at puppet shows. The same was true in France, where marionette operas were fierce competition for live theater. Even shadow puppetry thrived, having its own Paris theater and a host of fashionable patrons. Today, puppetry has lost its gloss to high-tech media. Yet it continues to be beguiling entertainment, especially for children. Starting tomorrow, puppet lovers and novices of all ages may satisfy their passion and curiosity with a weeklong festival of puppet shows at the National Convention of the Puppeteers of America at Bryn Mawr College.
NEWS
April 5, 2013
Jane Henson, 78, Jim Henson's partner in marriage and Muppets, died Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at her Connecticut home following a battle with cancer, the Jim Henson Co. said. She and Jim Henson met in the mid-1950s in a University of Maryland puppetry class, and they became creative and business partners in the development of the Muppets. The Hensons married in 1959 and had five children: Lisa, Cheryl, Brian, John, and Heather. The pair separated in 1986, and Jim Henson died in 1990.
NEWS
September 28, 2008 | By Walter F. Naedele INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Robert T. Lenton, 80, a classical musician, painter, craft-store owner, and puppeteer, died of rectal cancer last Sunday at his home in Philadelphia. In a 1979 interview with a Philadelphia columnist, Mr. Lenton voiced concern about the fourth career that he had chosen. "The hardest thing about puppetry is getting people in to see it, the Muppets notwithstanding," he said. "People just forget about puppets once they're out of childhood. They seem foreign and strange to adults.
NEWS
May 28, 1989 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
Flower the Kite is the story of a journey traveled by a kite, whisked away from its owner in a gust of wind. The Magic Coin changed the events in Philadelphia on May 13, 1985. By wishing on a magic coin, the bombing of a house on Osage Avenue never happened. Leprechauns Always Lie told of a pot of gold spirited away by a fibbing green munchkin. Such were the titles and stories contained in books written by the 260 students at the Simmons Elementary School in Horsham.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 1, 2014
School's out for summer. School's out forever.   School's been blown to pieces . - "School's Out," Alice Cooper SCHOOL'S OUT, and some of you (or people you know) will enter college in the fall and are thinking about a major, which means a course of study that leads to a job that (theoretically) pays a living wage. Education for its own sake is a blessing (theoretically), but, really, don't you want a j-o-b when you reach the end of the long, winding road known as higher education?
ENTERTAINMENT
August 2, 2013 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
When puppeteers get together, which they do now and then, there are certain things that generally happen. You hear the phrase "totally amazing!" a totally amazing number of times. You hear lots and lots of laughter. You hear talk of "the tribe" and "the community. " And if it's a national puppet conclave, full of workshops and talks and performances attended by hundreds of tribe members, you will witness a creative outpouring that will, in all probability, smother every remaining enfeebled image of the 1950s TV show Kukla, Fran and Ollie hobbling about your antiquated brain.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 1, 2013 | BY MICHAEL RUSSELL, Daily News Staff Writer russelm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5713
A GIANT yellow bird making friends with a green curmudgeon who lives in a trash can. Counting to the "number of the day" with a friendly vampire and his bats. Thanks to "Sesame Street" and the Muppets, puppets have been teaching kids about sharing and kindness - and math - since the '50s. But the puppet story is way more complex than that. "Puppets have never been for kids," declared longtime local puppeteer Robert Smythe, director of the Puppet Festival (r)Evolution for the last two years.
NEWS
April 5, 2013
Jane Henson, 78, Jim Henson's partner in marriage and Muppets, died Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at her Connecticut home following a battle with cancer, the Jim Henson Co. said. She and Jim Henson met in the mid-1950s in a University of Maryland puppetry class, and they became creative and business partners in the development of the Muppets. The Hensons married in 1959 and had five children: Lisa, Cheryl, Brian, John, and Heather. The pair separated in 1986, and Jim Henson died in 1990.
NEWS
December 28, 2012
Gerry Anderson, 83, puppetry pioneer and British creator of the sci-fi hit Thunderbirds TV show, has died. Mr. Anderson's son Jamie said his father, who got a diagnosis of mixed dementia two years ago, died in his sleep Wednesday at a nursing home near Oxfordshire, England. Mr. Anderson's television career launched in the 1950s. Once Thunderbirds aired in the 1960s, "Thunderbirds are go!" became a catchphrase for generations. It also employed "supermarionation" - a puppetry technique using thin wires to control marionettes - and made sci-fi mainstream, according to Jamie Anderson.
NEWS
December 27, 2012
LONDON - Gerry Anderson, puppetry pioneer and British creator of the sci-fi hit "Thunderbirds" TV show, has died. He was 83. Anderson's television career launched in the 1950s. Once "Thunderbirds" aired in the 1960s, "Thunderbirds are go!" became a catchphrase for generations. It also introduced the use of "supermarionation" - a puppetry technique using thin wires to control marionettes. - ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEWS
January 31, 2011 | By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Little Prince - beloved by many over the course of its 67 years - is a gentle, sweet fantasy that magnifies human behavior through the lens of existentialism. It's filled with metaphors, with many adult characters who represent some aspect of the human condition. The original story by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry seems made for puppetry, as a new version with actors and puppets clearly demonstrates, in a technically pumped but strangely distant production at Bristol Riverside Theatre.
NEWS
September 5, 2010
Cankerblossom. What's most remarkable about Pig Iron Theatre Company's first foray into the family theater market is its timing. This was the summer that 3-D entertainment burgeoned in popular culture. So along comes Pig Iron Theatre Company with Cankerblossom , its through-the-looking-glass visit to Flatworld, a 2-D land populated by the extraordinary cardboard puppetry of Beth Nixon (a "co-conspirator" of the West Philly theater company Puppet UpRising). Though the production contains many elements of a classical quest, it also alludes to, in no particular order, Shake?
ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 2010 | By Monica Peters FOR THE INQUIRER
On Sunday, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present Asian New Year Party: The Year of the Tiger. Kids and adults are invited from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. to the Make and Take Workshop to create lanterns and scroll paintings based on the museum's collection of Asian art. A traditional New Year's Dragon Dance parade with local dancers will wind through the museum at 11 a.m. Artists will demonstrate calligraphy from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Chinese Theatre...
LIVING
October 14, 2009 | By Natalie Pompilio FOR THE INQUIRER
Every 20 seconds, a new slide appeared on the wall-sized screen: "Fun . . . or death trap?" it said atop a water-park complex. "Space to play . . . or torture arena?" were the words superimposed on an Olympic-size pool. Former NCAA swimmer Sam White walked the audience through the presentation - 20 slides in six minutes, 40 seconds - conveying a wealth of information: Pools can be dangerous. Learn to swim. Team sports can be nasty, but rewarding. That burning in your eyes is probably not chlorine.
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