The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance offers a wide ranging perspective on how scholars and artists are currently reevaluating the theoretical, historical, and theatrical significance of performance that embraces the agency of inanimate objects. This book proposes a collaborative, responsive model for broader artistic engagement in and with the material world. Its twenty-eight essays aim to advance the study of the puppet not only as a theatrical object, but also as a vibrant artistic and scholarly discipline. This Companion is organized into three sections: theoretical approaches to puppetry and material performance, performing objects in history and tradition, and analyses of puppets, robots, and objects in live and mediated performance.
Its wide range of topics, which span fifteen countries over five continents, encompass: visual dramaturgy theatrical juxtapositions of robots and humans contemporary transformations of Indonesian wayang kulit Japanese ritual body substitutes recent European productions featuring toys, clay, and food The book features newly-commissioned essays by leading scholars such as Matthew Isaac Cohen, Kathy Foley, Jane Marie Law, Eleanor Margolies, Cody Poulton, and Jane Taylor. It also celebrates the vital link between puppetry as a discipline and as a creative practice with chapters by active practitioners, including Handspring Puppet Company's Basil Jones, Redmoon's Jim Lasko, and Bread & Puppet's Peter Schumann. Fully illustrated with more than sixty images, this volume comprises the most expansive English-language collection of international puppetry scholarship to date.