Paul McPharlin and The Puppet Theatre
Paul McPharlin and The Puppet Theatre by Ryan Howard is a fine biography of this pioneer puppeteer. His technical, theoretical and historical works contributed significantly to a puppetry revival. His book The Puppet Theatre in America is considered the definitive history . Shy and aloof, but energetic, he used a knack for bringing people together to found the organisation Puppeteers of America. Seven chapters take the reader through McPharlin's childhood as a loner in Detroit, his maturation in New York, his early and erratic attempts at making a living, his puppeteering years from 1929-1937, and his later years that included being drafted into the army to serve in World War II at age 38. He continued making important contributions to the puppet theatre until a brain tumour took his life at age 45 in 1948. In addition to chapter notes, an excellent bibliography and index there are appendices presenting two of McPharlin's plays, The Barn at Bethlehem, A Christmas Play and Punch's Circus. Another appendix details his contributions to puppetry imprints while another lists members of the Marionette Fellowship of Detroit. McFarland & Company Inc Publishers; Jefferson North Carolina and London, 2006.pp.250.