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The Boston Globe

Magazine

First Person

The importance of puppets

John Bell, a visiting theater professor at Boston College, hopes a December 2 festival will help spread his love of puppets.

I grew up watching television, so I saw Kukla, Fran and Ollie and Howdy Doody. I liked to act and sing, and in college I started to perform. But I WAS A TERRIBLE ACTOR, and I think the focus on my own person was sort of a problem for me. And at that time, I saw Bread and Puppet Theater, and I saw this was a way of making theater, but instead of focusing on yourself, you could focus on this object and make it move.

PUPPETRY IS PERFORMANCE that involves the focus of the performer and the audience both being on this material object, which can be sculpted to represent Punch or Kermit or Elmo or a Shalako puppet from the Zuni people or whatever.

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