Recently, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) began a display of some of the best examples of American “Royal Marionettes,” from its Paul McPharlin Puppetry Collection. The display opened on June 29 and runs until January 1, 2012. Marionette theatre was first introduced to America in the 1870’s. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the puppets were part of large performing troupes that delighted audiences in music halls and vaudeville shows. Showcased artists and puppeteers Walter Deaves and Daniel Meader, among others, follow the tradition of the original marionette theatre as they introduce these unique and strange characters. The marionettes are well preserved and will be featured with elaborate costumes, stage sets and dramatic lighting.
The “cast of characters” that will be on view include: Skeleton; Clown on Stilts; Pat and Biddy: A Pair of Irish Dancers; Diver; Octopus; Scaramouche; Harlequin; and Pair of Devils.
Please visit www.dia.org for hours of operation and show information.