John Bell

Associate Professor, Puppetry

Director, Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry


Dr. John Bell is a puppeteer and theater historian who began working in puppetry with Bread and Puppet Theater in the 1970s, and continued as a company member for over a decade. He studied theater history at Columbia University, and has since taught at New York University, Rhode Island School of Design, Emerson College and other institutions. He is a founding member of the Brooklyn-based theater company Great Small Works, and the author of many books and articles about puppetry, including “Puppets, Masks, and Performing Objects,” “Strings, Hands, Shadows: A Modern Puppet History,” and “ American Puppet Modernism.” His wife Trudi Cohen is also a puppeteer and member of Great Small Works. Their son Isaac is studying at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

John Bell
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