Donald Vestal's 1930s puppet theatre production of a Gertrude Stein play, Identity, or I Am I Because My Little Dog Knows Me, marked a confluence of Midwest modernism, the resources of the Federal Theatre Project, the development of American puppet theatre as a modernist art form, and the coincidental presence of Stein, Vestal, Thornton Wilder, Bil Baird, and other artists of 1930s Chicago.

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Author notes


He is the author of Strings, Hands, Shadows: A Modern Puppet History (Detroit Institute of Arts, 2000), and editor of Puppets, Masks, and Performing Objects (MIT Press, 2001). He is a Contributing Editor of TDR and Puppetry International.