Women and Puppetry is the first publication dedicated to the study of women in the field of puppet theater. This book includes critical articles and personal notes that interrogate specific historical moments, cultural contexts, and ideas about women on and off the stage. Representing female writers and practitioners from around the world, Women and Puppetry offers students and scientists a comprehensive interrogation of the challenges and opportunities women face in this unique art form.
Contributors and practitioners of puppet theater from the United States, Indonesia, England, Iran, Taiwan, Africa and other countries will participate in the discussion.
Claudia Orenstein, Theatre Professor at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, has spent nearly two decades writing on contemporary and traditional puppetry in the US and Asia. Her recent publications: co-edited volumes Women and Puppetry: Critical and Historical Investigations with Alissa Mello and Cariad Astles and The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance with Dassia Posner and John Bell. She worked as dramaturg on Tom Lee and kuruma ningy? master, Nishikawa Kory? V’s, Shank’s Mare, is Board Member of UNIMA-USA and Associate Editor of Asian Theatre Journal. Her current book projects: Thinking Through the Puppet: Essays on Puppet Dramaturgy and a two-volume co-edited anthology, Puppet and Spirit: Ritual, Religion, and Performing Objects with Tim Cusack.
Alissa Mello is an independent scholar, practitioner and Managing Director at Sandglass Theater, a leading puppet theater company based in the US. Sandglass is an internationally renowned company established in 1982 and located in rural Putney, VT on the unceded lands of the Pennacook, Wabanaki and Abenaki peoples. As an independent scholar, Mello is at the forefront of puppetry scholarship on women, race, gender, identity and social justice. She co-edited Women and Puppetry: Critical and Historical Investigations (2019) with Claudia Orenstein and Cariad Astles that was a finalist for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s 2020 Excellence in Editing Award. She has presented at numerous international conferences and speaking engagements; additional publications include: book chapters in Undisciplining Dance in 9 Movements and 8 Stumbles (2018) and Playing with Theory in Theatre Practice (2011); articles in Performance Research, Puppetry International, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, Animations Online, and Puppet Notebook. She was a founding member of Inkfish (www.inkfishart.com), with whom she directed numerous experimental puppet productions. As a performer and choreographer, she has worked with Theodora Skipitares, Anna Kiraly, Jane Catherine Shaw, and Ishara Puppet Theater.