Puppet Slam Nation, St. Paul, MN (panel)

On July 20th, 2007 I presented Puppet Slam Nation, a version of  The New American Vaudeville, as a workshop with Heather Henson at Condordia University as part of the National Puppetry Festival.  I contextualized evenings of short-form puppet and object theater for adult audiences in intimate settings. Puppet Slam Nation was also an opportunity for puppet slam curators and artists from around the country to exchange information and ideas. 

The New American Vaudeville was informed by my position as co-founder and coordinator of the Puppet Slam Network from 2005 to 2016. Also presenting as part of the workshop was Great Small Works’ John Bell, and Martin P. Robinson presenting on his relief work with No Strings

Presentation Excerpt:

Underground puppet slams have been popping up everywhere. They feature contemporary short-form puppet and object theater for adult audiences, often late at night in small venues, nightclubs, and art spaces.  Puppet Slams exist at the nexus of vaudeville, burlesque, and performance art through the intersection of experimental theater, art, music, and dance as a viable alternative to the culturally homogenous digital mass media.

When was the very first puppet slam? Surely there must have been Paleolithic Slams or something like them with cave people projecting shadows onto their walls by torchlight to communicate the location of food. (Read More)

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 Presentation History

The Puppeteers of America is a national non-profit organization founded in 1937 to provide information, encourage performances, and build a community of people who celebrate puppet theatre. Puppeteers of America has produced over 160 national and regional festivals to celebrate and share the art of puppetry. The organization publishes the quarterly magazine, The Puppetry Journal. Founded in 1949, The Puppetry Journal provides a continuing chronicle of contemporary puppetry.

Ibex  Puppetry is an entertainment company dedicated to promoting the fine art of puppetry in all of its mediums. Founded in 2000 and receiving multiple UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionette) awards, Ibex Puppetry supports puppet art in the mediums of film, stage, gallery exhibits, workshops and artist presentations.