Puppets, Presence, and Memory: The Training Methods and Workshop Techniques of Compagnie Philippe Genty, Stuffed Puppet, and Inkfish’s Three Good Wives

Alissa Mello

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis interrogates memory made material in puppet performance, memory as a technique for performance practice and meaning making, and the puppet as a site of memory. I will focus on the work of the actor puppeteer; and ways in which memory is used, transferred to, and informs the readable performance score of puppets. This research is premised on, analyses, applies, and tests the efficacy of corporeal and object presence as demonstrated in the workshop practices of Compagnie Philippe Genty and Stuffed Puppet Theatre, and in the development of a new work, Three Good Wives. As the workshop practices of these two companies have not been previously documented or analysed, this thesis opens with two main questions: What theories and techniques have these two companies developed in order to create their work? And, what do their workshop training practices contribute to the broader field of puppetry?
Employing both observational and practice based research methodologies, I
document each company’s history, describe and analyse their respective aesthetics, and examine the circumstances in which they, and other contemporary European puppet theatre makers, work. I participated in their workshops with the aim of directly experiencing their theories and techniques in practice. Based on these workshop experiences, coupled with interviews with the company founders and collaborators, I document and analyse their respective theories and techniques, and develop a working test to determine if these can be unbound from their individual aesthetic productions. My practice-based research involved the creation a new production, Three Good Wives.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Cohen, Matthew, Supervisor
Award date1 Apr 2015
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015

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