6. May the Farce Be With You: Reflections on “Extreme Puppet Theater” as a Vehicle toward “Something Else”

Investigative Creative Writing - Teaching and Practice - Mark Spitzer

Mark Spitzer [+-]
University of Central Arkansas
Mark Spitzer is Associate Professor of Creative Writing in the Department of Film, Theatre, and Creative Writing at the University of Central Arkansas. He is the author of 18 books, ranging from memoirs to novels to literary translations and collections of poetry. He is the editor of the award-winning Toad Suck Review (toadsuckreview.org), a professor of creative writing, an authority on the notorious gar fish (See River Monsters, alligator gar episode), and the world expert on the poetry of Jean Genet. Other recent titles include the poetry collection, Inflammatosis: Polemic Poetry, Incendiary Prose, and Other Extremes of Love and War (Six Gallery Press, 2018); the young adult and children’s literature title, The Crabby Old Gar (Subversive Muse Press, 2018); the novel, Viva Arletty! Our Lady of the Egrets (Six Gallery Press, 2017); the nonfiction work, Beautifully Grotesque Fish of the American West (University of Nebraska Press, 2017); the literary translation The Genet Translations: Poetry and Posthumous Plays (Polemic Press, 2015), and the memoir, After the Octopus (Black Mountain Press, 2014).


Following years of implementing Extreme Puppet Theater as a visionary learning tool in which intensive dialogue and hands-on experience promote cooperation and creative problem-solving, I recount how articulating this pedagogy led to involvement in the Summer Institute on Creativity and Discovery in Teaching University Writing, hosted by the English Department at the City University of Hong Kong in 2013. I reflect on teaching workshops to a cadre of international educators and the challenges of creating puppets on the fly for crash a course in professional development. Ultimately, course evaluations are evaluated, and the chapter concludes with an argument that favors process over product. This chapter includes one image.

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Spitzer, Mark. 6. May the Farce Be With You: Reflections on “Extreme Puppet Theater” as a Vehicle toward “Something Else”. Investigative Creative Writing - Teaching and Practice. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Jan 2020. ISBN 9781781797181. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=34895. Date accessed: 24 Oct 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34895. Jan 2020

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