MacArthur Fellows Program

Bruce Schwartz

Figurative Sculptor and Puppeteer | Class of 1988

Figurative Sculptor and Puppeteer
Los Angeles, California
33 at time of award
Area of Focus
Theatrical Arts
Published August 1, 1988

About Bruce's Work

Bruce Schwartz is a figurative sculptor and puppeteer who creates every element of his performances, from the puppets and costumes to the scripts and the music.

Drawing from both European and Japanese traditions, Schwartz has been a significant force in developing a new audience for puppet theater.  Relying on traditional tools and devices – his hand, his voice and his sensitive imagination – rather than sophisticated media, Schwartz gained international reputation as a master puppeteer.  He has toured throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan.  He was among the featured performers at the World Puppetry Festival (1980), footage from which was used to create the PBS-TV program, Here Come the Puppets.

One of his creations, Marie Antoinette Tonight!, is a self-study incorporating himself as the central character and utilizing several forms of puppetry, film, slides, music, and a word processor.  Schwartz was commissioned to create a set of puppets for director Krzysztof Kieslowski’s film, The Double Life of Veronique (1991) and a pair of puppets resembling antique Japanese dolls for The Ballad ofYachiyo (1995) by Philip Gotanda at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. 


Schwartz studied at the University of California, Los Angeles, leaving in 1974 to pursue professional puppetry. 

Last updated January 1, 2005.

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