Bradford Clark

Courses Taught:

  • International Puppetry
  • History of Film Animation
  • Scenic Design
  • Puppetry Design and Construction
  • Puppetry and Performance
  • Asian Theatre
  • Theatre History

Institutions/Professional Companies with which Mr. Clark has worked :

  • Center for Puppetry Arts
  • Shaw University
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Empire State Institute for the Performing Arts
  • The Western Stage
  • Stage One

Production or Film Credits:

Prof. Clark has designed over fifty scenic designs for professional and academic theatre productions (drama, dance, opera, puppetry) and costumes for several productions, as well. Companies include the Center for Puppetry Arts (Atlanta, GA), Stage One (Louisville, KY), Shakespeare Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA), Tandy Beal and Company (Santa Cruz, CA), Opera Company of Boston (Boston, MA), Cherry Creek Theatre (Mankato, MN), and the Russian Drama  Theatre (Chuboksary, Republic of Chuvashia, Russia).

Prof. Clark was the Assistant Designer for a scheduled production of Salome at the Shanghai Drama Institute in China in 1989. As part of an International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) artist exchange program, he researched contemporary theatre design (including puppetry), and then served as a design assistant at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia from 1989-1990. He has directed and designed several productions which involve extensive use of puppetry techniques, including shadow, rod, hand, Bunraku-type, large and small, including three productions of The Tempest first conceptualized in collaboration with Balinese maskmaker Ida Bagus Anom and musician Anak Agung Raka Cameng.

He serves as Curator of Collections for the Center for Puppetry Arts, the largest puppetry center in the United States, where he is currently helping to conceptualize new galleries for the museum's extensive collection. He is also planning the exhibits for a proposed Jim Henson Wing, which will draw from a 500 item collection of figures and other objects to be donated by the Henson family. He curated and designed three preview exhibitions, the third of which, Jim Henson: Wonders from his Workshop, opened in the fall of 2008.

Union or Professional Organizations:

  • UNIMA - USA (Union Internationale de la Marionette, American chapter), ex-officio Board of Directors

Research / Publications :

Prof. Clark has conducted both scholarly and practical research into the area of puppetry and masks. He studied puppetry performance and construction with Francois Martin of the Tantamount Theatre, shadow puppet construction with dalang I Wayan Wija, and mask carving with Ida Bagus Anom (both in Bali, Indonesia). In Japan, he studied performance techniques with teachers from the 300-year old Imada Ningyo company (who draw from the same traditions used a the Bunraku-za in Osaka), and has spent several summers learning traditional puppet carving from Makimoto Toshisuke.

With a strong emphasis in puppetry, he has visited collections, studied with or interviewed artists, and attended conferences, festivals and theatrical performances in India, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Japan, China, Taiwan, the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and France. In the summer of 2008, he joined three scholars in China over a seven week period, traveling roughly 7,000 miles in the southern provinces to visit and document performances by both traditional and contemporary companies and performers.

Prof. Clark has had articles and book reviews published in The Asian Theatre JournalPuppetry International, Theatre Design & Technology, Puppetry Yearbook, and The Puppetry Journal. He co-authored the chapter "Punch and Judy" in the Greenwood Press book Fools in Popular Culture.