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Dramatis Pupae: The Special Agency of Puppet Performances


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9317

Dramatis Pupae: The Special Agency of Puppet Performances

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Title: Dramatis Pupae: The Special Agency of Puppet Performances
Author: Mráz, Casey
Advisor(s): Herrera, Brian
Committee Member(s): Linnell, Jim
Cyrino, Monica
Avila, Elaine
Department: Theatre & Dance
Subject: Puppets
Degree Level: Masters
Abstract: Puppets have been used in performance by many cultures for thousands of years. Their roles in performance are constantly changing and evolving. Throughout the twentieth century there has been much contention between performance theorists over what defines a puppet. I aim toward a definition that emphasizes the puppet/audience and puppet/puppeteer relationship: Puppet: Any performing object that mechanizes human facial/bodily structures and features through movement and animates emotion. Puppets make us laugh because they are larger than life, playful and tend to employ comic mannerisms. Therefore, performing their sexuality, gender or race and placing them in violent situations magnifies their comic potential. Puppets, like comedy, possess the power of subversion. This is their special agency in performance. They distance us from reality through performance at the same time they reinforce a suspended reality. Puppets also perform an imitation of an imitation of life rather than the direct imitation of life itself.
Graduation Date: May 2009
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9317

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