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formerly The Conservatory of Puppetry Arts (COPA)
1062 N. Fair Oaks Avenue - Pasadena, CA 91103- telephone & fax: 626-296-1536

VIRTUAL EXHIBIT #12 - The Legends Exhibit
Visit the IPM Library of Past Exhibits

This exhibit of about 120 puppets featuring the puppets of well known
American puppeteers and one from Mexico,
is currently at the Great Arizona Puppet Theater in Phoenix.
TAFFY'S PUPPY - Phillip Huber b1951-present Worked for Tony Urbano and Jim Henson In 1980, he joined with David Alexander to form the Huber Marionettes. They performed at the Lido in Paris, on the Cunard and Crystal cruise lines and on the Tonight Show. Huber’s variety show is presented with beautifully crafted puppets with glamorous costumes. He has worked in many films and commercials. His manipulation is superb! He has received many awards including the UNIMA Citation of Excellence.
LADY IN TURQUOISE - Lettie Schubert  b1929-d2006 - worked on TV productions with Ralph Chessé. She had many TV credits. Schubert is the author of  A Handbook of Hand Puppet Manipulation. With husband Gage, she established a store called Happy Things in San Francisco, where Lettie performed a hand puppet dog mime in the store window Mentor and advisor to countless puppeteers. RUSSIAN PRINCESS - Mabel b1905-d2001 & Les Beaton – The couple formed Peningo Puppeteers, with a core of talented friends. They performed for about 15 years in their basement theater. Their book, “Marionettes A Hobby for Everyone” describes their puppet theater experience. The Beatons explored many new techniques, experimented with new materials and perfected many old styles. GIRL IN FISHNET SKIRT - Blanding Sloan b1896-8-1975 Puppet theater in San Francisco performed scenes from Emperor Jones and Hamlet with Ralph Chessé. Also involved in other artistic activities.

BULLFIGHTER - Bil Baird 1904- 1982 –With Cora Baird, perhaps the most prolific producers of marionettes in New York City. He designed big and bold puppets and had a unique and distinctive style of design and motion. Baird’s career included Broadway shows and films. He wrote The “Art of the Puppet”. A permanent theater in N.Y. from 1966-1978 was a New York landmark. The Charles H. MacNider Museum in Mason City Iowa houses a  large collection of Baird puppets.

DEER DANCER - Teatro Nahual (Roberto Lago 1903-d199-? director  (puppets made by Lola Cueto) The theater operated under the direction of the Ministry of Education in Mexico. The hand and rod puppets are used to teach and entertain his audiences. Themes were inspired by folk dances and folk tales partly depicted by mime to native music.

MAN IN STRIPED SUIT - René Zendejas 1927-present Began as a teenager as an apprentice to Bob Baker. One of his first bookings was at La Golindrina, a restaurant on historic Olvera Street in Los Angeles. His company was called René and his Continental Artists, eventually dropping the “Continental” and becoming René and his Artists. His musical variety numbers are lively and colorful. Besides live performances, he has done many commercials. From 1971-78 the company performed in a bilingual television show, “Domingo”.

IAGO - Ralph Chessé b1900- d1991? Teamed with Blanding Sloan.  He was known for productions of classic adult drama such as Hamlet, Macbeth and Emperor Jones. Taught puppetry in the San Francisco area. He produced a TV series, Brother Buzz  for which he won a Peabody Award. Chessé made several films.

DUNCAN - Martin Stevens b1904-d1983 & Olga Stevens b1899-d1983  Martin was a writer- designer and puppeteer. Olga made puppets and performed with them. They had a studio and theater in their home in Indiana. Because of their expertise, they were a positive influence on the next generation of puppeteers. Their puppet shows were directed towards serious adult drama. Later in their career, they focused on productions for school assemblies.

SULTAN - Tony Sarg 1880-1942 –was an inspiration and training ground for many puppeteers who went on to form distinguished companies. He designed Macy’s day giant balloons (upside down puppets). He collaborated with Ellen Van Vokenberg. He was noted for well written plays, excellent dramatic values, good staging and well designed lighting.

CHERUB - Marjorie Batchelder McPharlin 1903-1997 – Wife of author Paul McPharlin (1903-1948) author of The Puppet Theatre in America. Marjorie added a supplement when it was re-published in 1969 including information since 1948. It is a standard work on American puppetry. She authored other books on puppetry as well. She believed that puppets are capable of significant expression in movement, drama and interpretation of ideas impossible for human actors.

SHAKESPEARE - Bruce D. Schwartz b1955-present – is well known for his exquisitely lyrical rod puppets, his bawdy Renaissance one-man show, and an all too brief career in puppetry.
He was a brilliant puppeteer. His puppets were beautifully crafted and his manipulation was outstanding. He was a recipient of the MacArthur Grant.

PRINCE - Bob Brown b1939-present - Judy Brown 1941-present – The couple have one of the most successful and enduring companies on the east coast. He was a member of the Bil Baird Company and  traveled with them on a government sponsored tour of India, Nepal and Afghanistan. With his wife, Judy, he developed the Bob Brown Puppets for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., operating until 1970. Since then, they have done theater shows and tours, including commercials, short films, industrial shows, and amusement parks..



RED HEADED MAN - by John Gilkerson, Lewis Mahlmann 1928–present – Director of the permanent puppet theater in Oakland, CA, Children’s Fairlyland which opened in 1950. He became director in 1967 Co-authored 4 books of puppet plays with partner, David Jones. He has trained and inspired many young puppeteers. His approach to puppetry is with an experimental attitude, trying many kinds of “theater for puppets”. He has used all types of puppets, with various methods of staging, always well thought out and delightful. 


To continue the important job of conserving this world class puppet collection, IPM needs more storage space! We are looking for a unit or units to install on Alan Cook’s back lot. If you have or know of a source for clean and secure units that are free or reasonable, please contact : IPM (626) 296-1535 mail@PuppetryMuseum.org.


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