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- ItemWomen in American Theatre, 1850-1870: A Study in Professional Equity(1986) Cooley, Edna Hammer; Meersman, Roger; Communications Arts & Theatre; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)This study supports the contention that women in the American theatre from 1850 to 1870 experienced a unique degree of professional equity with men in theatre. The time-frame has been selected for two reasons: (1) actresses active after 1870 have been the subject of several dissertations and scholarly studies, while relatively little research has been completed on women active on the American stage prior to 1870, and (2) prior to 1850 there was limited theatre activity in this country and very few professional actresses. A general description of mid-nineteenth-century theatre and its social context is provided, including a summary of major developments in theatre in New York and other cities from 1850 to 1870, discussions of the star system, the combination company, and the mid-century audience. Important social influences on the theatre, and on women working in the theatre, include the emergence of the Women's Rights movement in 1848, the ''Gold Rush" and consequent westward expansion, and increased immigration. A discussion of the nineteenth-century view of women's role in society and the prescriptive ideal of "belle femme" wife and mother demonstrates that the American actress, successfully employed, constituted a contradiction of society's ideal. Two indicators of professional equity are discussed: career opportunities and salaries. A description of the careers of four actresses, Mrs. W. G. Jones, Maggie Mitchell, Kate Reignolds, and Mrs. J. R. Vincent, illustrates four differentiated career patterns open to women in mid-century theatre. The management careers of Mrs. John Drew, Laura Keene, and Mrs. John Wood are described to exemplify opportunities open to women as theatre managers. Additional information on twenty-two other actresses active on the American stage from 1850 to 1870 is also presented. Research on wages paid to men and women in mid-century theatre demonstrates the degree to which women's salaries were comparable to men's salaries. The study concludes that from 1850 to 1870, the American theatre offered women opportunities for stable employment, long and varied careers, success as theatre managers, and a degree of economic equity with male counterparts which exceeded economic equity possible in other occupations.
- ItemSpirals from the Matrix: The Feminist Plays of Martha Boesing, An Analysis(1987) Greeley, Lynne; Gillespie, Patti P.; Communication Arts and Theatre; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)Martha Boesing is a feminist playwright who in association with the feminist theatre, At the Foot of the Mountain, has written and produced feminist plays since 1974. Boesing has contributed to the development of feminist dramatic theory and criticism in the United States. In this dissertation, Boesing’s twenty-two published and produced plays are analyzed. The analyses are placed in the context of the experimental theatre movement of the 1960s and the women's movement of the 1970s in the United States and in Minneapolis, where At the Foot of the Mountain is located. The scripts are analyzed for recurrent patterns in the use of the stage space, the development of the characters, the organization of the dramatic structure and form, and the manipulation of the language and music. Throughout the analyses, particular attention is given to the ways in which Boesing's feminist thinking informs her work so that feminist theatre may be distinguished from other forms of experimental theatre. In addition to the analyses of the written texts, a video of a performance and the film of a play are analyzed. Finally, feminist dramatic theory as represented by Boesing is compared to relevant feminist theories of literature and film. Thus, this dissertation is a case study of a radical feminist playwright in the United States, who consciously rejected the commercial theatre to work regionally, and who, in a feminist theatre, produced a significant body of work as a feminist in a feminist context. Boesing's strategies of writing can therefore be seen as representative of a successful feminist playwright.
- ItemTo Inherit the Wind: Margo Jones as Director(1991) Housley, Helen Marie; Gillespie, Patti P.; Theatre; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)Margo Jones was an important force in the American theatre. Noted as theatrical producer, nurturer of new playwrights, initiator of professional arena staging, and founder of the regional theatre movement, Jones directed over a hundred plays in Houston, Dallas, and on Broadway. Yet no study has examined her directing methods and their implications. Margo Jones' directorial relationship to the script, actors, designers, stage, and critics was examined and evaluated using correspondence, promptbooks, interviews, reviews, and published works. Directing provided Margo Jones with the link to accomplish two essential goals she set for herself: to decentralize the American theatre and to promote new plays and playwrights. The playwright was central in Margo Jones’ theatre. She directed only "originals'' and "classics," espousing the playwright 's cause by directing over fifty new scripts during her eight-year tenure in Dallas. For Jones, the actor was the primary communicator of the playwright's text and the focus of the staged play. Jones preferred simple scenic design, using light and sound to stimulate the audience's imagination and relying on the actors and text to do the rest. For Jones, the production was a collaboration between director and actors, exploring characters creatively and developing blocking organically from the words and ideas the playwright provided. Margo Jones' reputation as director was forged with her innovative development of a language and method for directing in-the-round. Her work on Broadway's proscenium stages, however, was beset by difficulties with playwrights, actors, and critics. Jones decried the commercial theatre and its reliance on critics and long runs for success. The Broadway model was anathema to this director who enjoyed the theatrical process so much so that she directed a play every two weeks during her seasons in Dallas. Margo's work as director offers two fertile areas for further research: First, her directorial methods appear similar to recently identified female-specific strategies of communication and the directing techniques of contemporary female directors. Secondly, her innovative methods pointed directions to be taken during the theatrical renaissance of the 1960s and 1970s.
- ItemOut of the Forrest and Into the Booth: Performance of Masculinity on the American Stage, 1828-1865(2003-12-02) Kippola, Karl M.; Nathans, Heather S; TheatreMy dissertation seeks to understand how and why the performance of American masculinity changed so dramatically from 1828 to 1865 and the gradual process of transition from Edwin Forrest's rugged masculinity to Edwin Booth's almost effete intellectualism. Within the scope of my dissertation, I seek not merely to construct an isolated theatrical history but rather a history of cultural formations inextricably linked to the dynamic political, cultural, and social changes of this period. In Chapter One, I examine evolutions in manly rhetoric and oratory, and a brief survey of nineteenth-century advice literature, to better understand the performance of masculinity in the public sphere. In the second chapter, I investigate the masculine performance of Edwin Forrest (America's first great actor) on- and off-stage and examine his adaptation of Robert T. Conrad's Jack Cade as an example of his consciously constructed manly identity. In Chapter Three, I explore the wide range and variety of actors between Forrest and Booth (artistically and chronologically), as well as performances and representations of immigrant, Indian, Black, and working-class males as alternate visions of masculinity. In Chapter Four, I look at the Astor Place Riot (May 19, 1849) as a theatrical and political spectacle that suggests the incompatability of working-class individualism and the gentility of the emerging middle class and elite. In the final chapter, I explore Booth's restrained image of masculinity and passive acceptance of personal tragedies as a reflection of the "invisible," middle-class performance of ideal manhood. In the forty-year period that marked the complex evolution from Forrest's debut to Booth's triumph as Hamlet, the American definition of masculinity fragmented along lines of class, race, and politics. I suggest that the national stage not only mirrored but magnified this process through the creation of physical characters upon which contemporary ideals of masculinity could be inscribed. Each splintered group demanded the reflection of their own values and models of behavior unique to their respective situations, and each searched for a sense of masculine, communal belonging.
- ItemLIGHTING DESIGN OF TOM JONES'S AND HARVEY SCHMIDT'S THE FANTASTICKS, KOGOD THEATRE, CLARICE SMITH PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND AT COLLEGE PARK.(2003-12-11) Cooper, Alexander Sprague; Wagner, Daniel M; TheatreA lighting design is the result of an artistic process, one that requires hundreds of choices that precede the design's complete realization. The purpose of this thesis is to document, analyze and interpret this lighting design process as it was applied to the University of Maryland Department of Theatre's production of Tom Jones's and Harvey Schmidt's The Fantasticks. In Chapter I it was shown how analyzing the text for thematic ideas and contextualizing its authorship and initial production helped to develop the design's aesthetic approach. Chapter II documents the meetings with the director and production team that helped me to create a specific lighting design concept. In Chapter III the steps necessary to realize the lighting design are described. Chapter IV is an analysis of the design using the conceptual ideas identified in Chapters I and II, as a basis for its evaluation.
- ItemA Set Design For the Production of Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies as Presented by the Department of Theatre at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park(2003-12-12) Marshall-Amundsen, Peggy Christina; Conway, Daniel; TheatreThis thesis documents my set design process for a production of the musical revue Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies as it was produced by the Department of Theatre at the University of Maryland, College Park. The production was performed in the Ina and Jack Kay Theatre at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, from October 17 to October 25, 2003. The thesis includes an analysis of the musical revue and outlines in detail my design process and the execution of the design itself. Analysis of my design process and conclusions about the set design are provided.
- ItemA Theatrical Lighting Design for Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies(2003-12-16) Lee, Yi-Hui; Wagner, Daniel M; TheatreThe purpose of this thesis is to provide a record of the lighting design process and a critical analysis for the production of Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies, produced by the Department of Theatre. Lighting design begins with an analysis of the text, followed by a meeting when the director conveys his particular approach to this production. The designers then do visual research to stimulate ideas. For a lighting designer, provocative images that evoke certain emotions are especially useful. The research will be translated into design in terms of direction, color, and texture. The designer plots the lighting units and turns the plot over to the master electrician, who will realize it with other electricians. The designer will write cues to support the action, shape the scenery, and illuminate the costumes. Through technical and dress rehearsals, actors, sound, scenery, costume, and lighting all join together, and the show is realized.
- ItemC. Voltaire(2004) Nagy, Zoltan; Bradley, Karen; Dance; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.); Digital Repository at the University of Maryland“DADA speaks with you, it is everything, it envelops everything, and it belongs to every religion can be neither victory not defeat, it lives in space, and not in time…” Francis Picabia. C. Voltaire is a Dance-Theater piece inspirited by DADA.. The piece incorporates the ideas of DADA artists and C.G. Jung: Anima and Animus. Music: Japanese folk music and collage Performed at the Kogod Theater 2004 February 27&28
- ItemBIRTHMARK(2004) Gongora, Anthony; Bradley, Karen; Dance; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.); Digital Repository at the University of MarylandBIRTHMARK is a choreographic journey, inspired by a personal confrontation with kaposi's sarcoma and the moment of realizing ultimate recovery. The dance is divided into six sections, beginning with my depression and fears at diagnosis of the extreme form of the herpes virus. The next sections travel through pondering "Why Me;" expanding my spiritualization and embracing my friends; finding respect for my body and the world around me; realizing the profound changes for and in me; and, finally, experiencing hope, euphoria, that I was now given a second chance. The fifty-minute dance production is successful not only because of my vision and choreography. The outstanding performance danced by my talented cast, the ideas for costume patterns and construction offered by my luminous costume designer, the concepts for lighting and props suggested by my eminent technical director, and the continuous encouragement of my advisor, contributed to the production's triumph.
- ItemLIGHTING DESIGN OF ROMEO AND JULIET, INA AND JACK KAY THEATRE, CLARICE SMITH PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK(2004-01-21) Burgess, Harold Franklin; Wagner, Daniel M; TheatreThe intent of this thesis is to provide a written account, from an academic and artistic perspective, on the process of the lighting design for the University of Maryland, Department of Theatre's 2003 production of Romeo and Juliet. The development of the lighting design is discussed through four chapters from its conception to the opening of the production. The first chapter discusses the origins of the play, the historical context of the era in which the play was written, and presents a broad analytical perspective on the dramatic elements of the text. The second chapter details the conceptual approach to the production and explains the research and preliminary ideas of the lighting design. The third chapter focuses on the execution of the lighting design, emphasizing the development of the design through the technical and dress rehearsals. The final chapter is an analysis of the production and self-evaluation of the lighting design.
- ItemMaking Dance That Matters: Dancer, Choreographer, Community Organizer, Public Intellectual Liz Lerman(2004-04-27) Traiger, Lisa; Bradley, Karen; DanceWashington, D.C.-based choreographer and dancer Liz Lerman, a MacArthur Award recipient, has been making dances of consequence for 30 years. Her choreography, her writing and her public speaking tackle "big ideas" for the dance field and society at large. Lerman articulates those ideas as questions: "Who gets to dance? Where is the dance happening? What is it about? Why does it matter?" This thesis investigates how Lerman has used her expertise as a choreographer, dancer and spokesperson to propel herself and her ideas beyond the tightly knit field into the larger community as a public intellectual. A brief history and overview defines public intellectual, followed by an examination of Lerman's early life and influences. Finally, three thematic areas in Lerman's work -- personal narrative, Jewish content and community-based art -- are explored through the lens of three choreographic works: "New York City Winter" (1974), "The Good Jew?" (1991) and "Still Crossing" (1986).
- ItemNothing Ladylike About It: The Theatrical Career of Anna Elizabeth Dickinson(2004-04-30) Stewart, Stacey A.; Schuler, Catherine A; TheatreIn 1864, at the height of the Civil War, twenty-one year old Anna Elizabeth Dickinson (1842-1932) stood in the House of Representatives, before Congress, the Cabinet, and the Supreme Court, and lambasted President Lincoln for his compassion toward the South. She was the first woman ever to speak before Congress. Her performance earned her the title "America's Joan of Arc," and she went on to become one of the nation's most famous, most popular, and most highly-paid orators. Abolitionists, suffragists, and powerful political parties sought to make her the spokesperson for their causes. When the lecture circuit dried up in the wake of the war, Dickinsonflying in the face of her Philadelphia Quaker upbringingrealized a lifelong ambition to go on the stage. Lacking both theatrical training and experience, Dickinson nevertheless wrote a play, Anne Boleyn, or, A Crown of Thorns, and attempted its title role. Although many newspapers were generous, the powerful New York critics were merciless in their condemnation of both play and player. But Dickinson continued to pursue a career in the theatre, writing a half-dozen plays and acting in severalmost notably, a controversial performance as Hamlet in 1882. Having risen to fame as a public speaker while protected by her Quaker heritage and her youth, Dickinson became a troubling figure once she appeared on a theatrical stage. I argue that Dickinson's attempt to establish herself in the theatrical world can be seen as a manifestation of a larger quest for citizenshipfor full participation in American culture and society. Through her playwriting, Dickinson both consciously re-visioned patriarchal history and challenged conventional notions of appropriate feminine behavior. As an actress, she sought to communicate original ideas about character through carefully considered interpretations. As a woman working in the theatre, she demanded satisfactory compensation and working conditions without regard to the norms of the professionnorms that did not accommodate a woman with her goals and expectations (however unrealistic). In a period when "True Women" were expected to be passive and private, Dickinson was aggressive and obstinately public. And there was nothing ladylike about it.
- ItemTHE WOMEN OF THE ABBEY THEATRE, 1897 1925(2004-05-05) Boisseau, Robin Jackson; Gillespie, P.; TheatreABSTRACT Title of dissertation: THE WOMEN OF THE ABBEY THEATRE, 1897 1925 Robin Jackson Boisseau, Doctor of Philosophy, 2004 Dissertation directed by: Professor Emeritus Patti P. Gillespie Department of Theatre The Abbey Theatre was established in Dublin in 1904 as part of the Irish cultural Renaissance of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century through the efforts of men and women who sought to create a theatre that would produce indigenous Irish drama using native Irish actors and actresses. Although substantial evidence exists suggesting that the contributions of the women involved with the establishment of the Abbey Theatre, such as Lady Augusta Gregory, Annie Horniman, Sara Allgood, and Sarah Purser, were significant, historians of this period have tended to focus instead on the contributions of the men connected with the theatre. This study highlights the contributions of these and other women to the establishment and perpetuation of the Abbey Theatre from its inception in 1897 until the granting of a governmental subsidy in 1925. Women's contributions are explored in areas of theatrical practice, such as design, management, acting, and playwriting, and are grounded within the multiple social, political, historical, religious, and cultural contexts of the period. In addition, several tensions or conflicts existed at the Abbey Theatre in which women played major roles. These conflicts included a clash between the nationalists, who desired to use the Abbey as a political forum, and the artists, who insisted on creating an art theatre; discord between the English and Irish cultures present at the Abbey; and, at the most basic level, tensions between the women and men who worked to create the theatre. The study concludes that women actively participated in all areas of theatrical practice at the Abbey Theatre initially; that the Abbey utilized women more than any other theatre in Dublin at the time; but that women did not flourish at the Abbey because their roles in the theatre were consistently diminished as the theatre itself became a more commercial enterprise.
- ItemCarnival Tempests and Strange Showers Indeed: The Politics of Spatial Praxis in the De La Guarda Flying Machine(2004-05-06) Jacoby, Jeffrey; Burbank, Carol; TheatrePeríodo Villa Villa, the genre-bending, multi-layered spectacle-aerobatic-festival-dance-music-circus-rave-ceremony-environmental theatre hybrid created by the Argentinean performance troupe De La Guarda, made its off-Broadway debut on Tuesday, 9 June 1998. Flying through the stratosphere attached to ropes and harnesses, falling from the sky in order to engage the spectatorial body in effusive e/motional explosions, bringing a modicum of the streets indoors to generate another world, the company resists, subverts or even transcends passive codes of audience behavior and reception ensconced in conventional theatre spaces. In doing so, Villa Villa potentially transforms the sense of place engendered by the architectonics of discipline and the semiotics of corporatism which dominate its theatrical and cultural milieu. Combining participant-observation, semio-phenomenological analysis and a polyphony of interdisciplinary perspectives, this thesis investigates the possibility of a radical, carnivalesque spatial praxis in the center of the late capitalist theatre estate. Perhaps, as I argue, this is a different marketplace altogether.
- ItemA COSTUME DESIGN FOR DUKE ELLINGTON'S SOPHISTICATED LADIES(2004-05-12) Chavez, Angela M; Huang, Helen; TheatreThe goal of this thesis is to document the design process and execution of the costume design for Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies, produced at the University of Maryland, College Park. The role of the costume designer is to support the vision of the director through collaboration with the production team. Background information leading to the original production of Sophisticated Ladies is presented. Based on this background, research was conducted to develop a costume design in conjunction with scene, lighting, and sound designs. Various aspects of the costume design execution are discussed leading to the successful realization of this production. An analysis of the design and execution was conducted and is presented along with concluding remarks specific to the costume design. Visual documentation is used to illustrate the various phases of this project and is contained in the appendices.
- ItemA Costume Design for Bill Irwin's "Scapin"(2004-08-12) Sivigny, Debra Kim; Huang, Helen Q; Theatre; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)The purpose of this thesis is to document and analyze the process of the costume design for Bill Irwin's SCAPIN as it was produced at the University of Maryland's Department of Theatre in November of 2003. The role of the costume designer is to support the conceptual vision of a director alongside a design and production team. Presented in Chapter 1 of the thesis contains information regarding the three creators: Moliere, Bill Irwin, and Mark O'Donnell, pertaining to the text and production of SCAPIN. Chapter 2 discusses the visual research for the production, in conjunction with scenic and lighting designers. Chapter 3 covers the execution of the design through each step of its realization. Chapter 4 completes the thesis with an analysis of the process and production in regards to the costume design. The appendices document the major visual sources used and illustrate the phases of the design.
- ItemViolent Delights: Towards a Cultural History of Media Violence Debates(2004-12-06) Kaleba, Casey; Hildy, Franklin J; Theatre; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Efforts to censor or restrict violent images are actions by which a culture imagines itself through its relationship to aggression and violence. Throughout the twentieth century critics and audiences of violent content in film, television, theatre, and video games have renegotiated their relationship to the images and the degree to which those images affect a national identity. Through an examination of five moments in North American history when controls were publicly discussed or imposed, an analysis of the scientific rhetoric used to support these discussions, and an examination of the possible hegemonic benefits of censorship, this thesis examines attempts to proscribe visual content using Allen Freedman's "scopic regime" as a theoretical framework.
- ItemSearch For My Familiar(2005) Graciani, Ruben; Rosen, Meriam; DanceTo gain a greater understanding of my aesthetic and voice, I am challenging myself to see Rub& in a different light, from a different perspective. The goal is to discover a different story to tell and to tell that story in a new way, my way. One way to describe myself is by illuminating the voices and spirits of those closest to my heart. Their stories and our interactions make up who I am. If you know those close to me, you know me. I choose to be known. My departure point for each of the pieces of choreography in my concert is that each dance has been inspired by a significant emotional experience or interaction. I am not telling specific stories of those interactions; instead, I am insinuating that by seeing the arc of emotions, you are seeing the arc of my life. This thesis concert is my autobiography.
- ItemSOMEWHERE THERE’S MUSIC: NANCY HAMILTON, THE OLD GIRLS’ NETWORK, AND THE AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATRE OF THE 1930S AND 1940S(2005-04-15) Rothman, Korey R.; Nathans, Heather S; Theatre; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Nancy Hamilton, a Broadway lyricist, playwright, actress, screenwriter, and Academy Award-winning filmmaker, is an important unsung figure of the twentieth century musical theatre. Although she is now remembered chiefly as the lyricist of the song "How High the Moon" and, in the recent drive to recover gay and lesbian history, the life-long romantic partner of "first lady of the American stage," Katharine Cornell, Hamilton was a successful lyricist of the intimate revue, a genre of musical theatre that flourished during the 1930s. Her intimate revues One for the Money (1939) and Two for the Show (1940) launched the careers of luminaries of stage and screen, including Alfred Drake, Gene Kelly, and Betty Hutton, and Three to Make Ready (1946), which featured Ray Bolger, ran for an impressive 323 performances. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Hamilton maintained a constant presence as employer or employee on Broadway, and it appeared that she thrived by surrounding herself with an Old Girls' Network of women with whom she maintained overlapping professional and romantic relationships. This previously unchronicled Old Girls' Network, which included women such as Katharine Hepburn, Beatrice Lillie, and Mary Martin, countered the established Old Boys' Network of popular entertainment and launched the careers of many well-known women performers, producers, directors, composers, and lyricists. Yet, even with the support of this network, Hamilton could barely sustain her career after the 1940s. This dissertation considers the successes and failures of Hamilton's career and suggests that Hamilton offers a fascinating case study that allows the historian to map a larger network of women on Broadway. The dissertation further considers how the story of Nancy Hamilton and her circle offers historians an opportunity to expand their analysis of American musical theatre to explore how a woman could use the "bottom-most" aspects of her identity -- her gender and (at times) sexuality -- to create a subaltern network and establish a career on Broadway. It further encourages musical theatre scholars to re-think the ways in which they document and tell the history of women in the musical theatre.
- ItemThe Phenomenology of Racialism: Blackface Puppetry in American Theatre, 1872-1939(2005-04-20) Fisler, Benjamin Daniel; Hildy, Franklin J; Theatre; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)In 1872, a company headed by English theatrical entrepreneur William John Bullock introduced the first full marionette minstrel show to the American stage. Throughout the following sixty-seven years, puppeteers presented a variety of productions featuring ostensibly African or African American characters, including: traditional blackface minstrel shows, adaptations of Helen Bannerman's Little Black Sambo, numerous "Punch and Judy" plays, and productions of such ostensibly "authentic" portraits of black persons as Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones and Joel Chandler Harris's "Uncle Remus" stories. This investigation employs phenomenology to explore the "essence" of specific blackface puppets, maintaining that none of the objects or plays discussed here are necessarily examples of authentic black representation. Rather, this investigation adopts the shifting perspective of phenomenology to show that what some past puppeteers thought were authentic African or African American characters, were, with but a single exception, consistently racialized exaggerations derived from the heritage of minstrelsy. Phenomenology, in its emphasis on the essence of "things," permits the scholar to investigate both the physical existence of empirically verifiable objects, such as the puppets that are still in existence long after the deaths of their creators, and the meanings their observers embed them with, such as the character the puppets were imagined to be during their manipulators' careers. Phenomenology helps explain the interaction between the puppet's corporeal form and its perceived dramatic meaning, which is often a result of apportioned, or as some critics call it, atomized components, including: object, manipulation, and voice. Thus, while phenomenology is useful in explaining how an early twentieth-century puppeteer might see Topsy as an authentic representation of a young African American woman, even if an early twenty-first century scholar would see it as a minstrel stereotype, it is equally useful in explaining how different components of a single puppet performance could contribute to a contradictory essence for a single blackface character. This investigation details the careers of a number of puppeteers and puppet companies, using the phenomenological method to explain the diverse essences of their work. Included are companies spanning a history from the Royal Marionettes to the Federal Theatre Project.