“Fantasy Puppet Theater” was founded by Marshall Katzman, who received his M.A. in Television and Radio production from the University of Michigan and was a Fellow at Princeton University. “Fantasy Puppet Theater” is a member of Union Internationale De La Marionette, Puppeteers of America, The Puppetry Guild of Greater New York, The Garden State Puppetry Guild and is listed in the 2nd edition of Who’s Who in Entertainment. Katzman is an Emeritus Professor of Communications at Bergen Community College, in Paramus, New Jersey.
In 1956, at the age of eight, Marshall Katzman and his puppets first appeared in Zurich, Switzerland with a backyard performance of “Sleeping Beauty”. In the early sixties, while living in Closter, New Jersey, he was influenced by Russian puppeteer Sergei Obratsov as well as Frank Paris, creator of the original Howdy Doody and Larry Berthelson, creator of the Pickwick Puppet Theater. Katzman was mentored by Marcel Jovine, the award-winning toy designer, sculptor and designer of coins. Richard Hunt, the Muppeteer on Sesame Street, started his career in puppetry after purchasing a collection of puppets from Katzman. The New York World’s Fair of 1965, saw Katzman perform a puppet production written by the world renown Sergei Obratsov. In the summer of 1973 “Fantasy Puppet Theater” made its debut with Rock-A-Day Johnny, a Rock and Roll puppet, at The Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The one man troupe then began a tour of the United States, which included performances for museums, nightclubs, libraries, camps, major armed forces installations like Fort Knox as well as recreation departments in Charleston, Columbus, Miami, Nashville, and San Francisco. Fantasy Puppet Theater has also conducted puppet workshops and performances at Appel Farm Arts & Music Center. In 1986 Marshall Katzman produced a
television documentary, “Stars on Strings”: a tribute to Frank Paris the creator of the first Howdy Doody. “Stars On Strings” is available for rental from the Puppeteers of America A.V. Library.
On September 29th and 30th, 2017 Fantasy Puppet Theater presented “Humpty Trumpty” as part of the 2017 La MaMa Puppet Slam curated by Puppeteer and theatre artist Jane Catherine Shaw.
2017 La MaMa Puppet Slam
September 29, 2017 – September 30, 2017
Fantasy Puppet Theater presented “Humpty Trumpty”
as part of the 2017 La MaMa Puppet Slam.
This slam was SOLD OUT because the caliber of the work has been consistently high, and so a following is growing for these short form works being presented at La MaMa.
Puppeteer and theatre artist Jane Catherine Shaw
curates a two-night puppet slam featuring contemporary
short-form puppet and object theatre from both emerging and veteran puppet artists.
This puppet cabaret, challenges artists to make their best short-form work and to bring a variety of puppet forms to audiences. Shaw is co-founder of the Voice 4 Vision Puppet Festival.
Humpty Trumpty at the 2017 La MaMa Puppet Slam. (Photo Credit: Adam Katzman)