Join the Ballard Institute for our ninth Summer 2020 Online Puppet Forum Series event on Facebook Live! These forums, hosted by Ballard Institute director and puppet historian John Bell, will consist of discussions with notable scholars and practitioners around the world about the past, present, and future of puppetry and puppetry studies.
On July 30 at 4 p.m. ET, in a forum entitled “The Aesthetics of the Puppet,” Steve Tillis, author of the ground-breaking book Toward an Aesthetics of the Puppet , will speak with John Bell about the ways we understand puppetry’s relationships with actors theater, mass media, and other contemporary cultural phenomena; and how we have developed our understanding of puppetry as a theater art.
Steve Tillis began his career in puppet theatre with Dr. Edison’s Travelling Medicine Show, the “sole purveyors of Dr. Edison’s Electric Elixir, the great melancholia remedy.” Over the years he has worked with numerous puppet companies and found himself singing opera in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and dancing ballet in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges. He received his Ph.D. in Dramatic Arts from the University of California, Berkeley, and, in addition to Toward an Aesthetics of the Puppet, is the author of Rethinking Folk Drama and the forthcoming The Challenge of World Theatre History. Professor Tillis teaches at Saint Mary’s College of California.