Canadian puppet master Ronnie Burkett is helping to revive the lost art form of puppeteering through his emotionally charged one-man shows. Alex Hutchinson profiles the skilled string-master in a recent issue of The Walrus, unraveling how a handful of mentors shaped Burkett’s career and how he’s now found his own protégé to mentor.
Hutchinson writes, “In the pantheon of Canadian pride, the fact that one of the world’s greatest puppeteers hails from a small city in southern Alberta is somewhat akin to our propensity for winning Olympic medals in trampoline: our satisfaction is tempered by doubts about whether anyone else participates past the age of eight. But Burkett’s lack of peers demonstrates that he has essentially invented, or at least reinvented, the genre of serious puppetry.”
Although Burkett’s work really begs to be seen live, The Gazette has a great clip of Burkett performing a scene from his recent show: Billy Twinkle, Requiem for a Golden Boy.
Image by Trudie Lee, courtesy of John Lambert & Assoc. Inc.