Emily LeQuesne

Personal statement

Emily is a puppet theatre maker, script-writer, workshop facilitator, stage manager and dramaturge.

She is puppeteer, devisor and dramaturge with Croon productions, a puppet theatre company making rod marionette and object shows, that she founded with her partner. They make shows for grown ups that are suitable for everyone.

Vaguely ashamed that she is from England, she is not sorry to be from Europe. She is mildly embarrassed by the word trowel and kind of scared by men’s very pointy shoes.

Academic qualifications

  • MA (distinction), Script-writing, Bath Spa University

Professional qualifications

  • Co-founder of Croon productions, puppet theatre company

Thesis title

Practice as research: script writing for puppet theatre, towards a literary dramaturgy for Western contemporary puppet theatre.

Research supervisors

Professor Bambo Soyinka, and Sharon Clarke.

Research overview

Emily's research focuses on exploring the poetics of script writing through the practice-led project of creating a full length adult puppet theatre script and contextualising critical research on literary dramaturgy specifically for puppet theatre scripts.

Set in a large Victorian building, the script is an immersive site-specific puppet theatre stage script for adults, that is a narrative exploration of Victorian ghost stories. A multi-media script complete with levitating tables, disembodied voices and supernatural visitations. As an audience member, one would enter the Victorian house and witness elements of the story in promenade. Characters and episodes would be presented in different rooms, so as to create the immersive experience of inhabiting a Victorian ghost story.

The critical research considers how a puppet theatre script is written. With limited research into the literary techniques of script writing, can poetics in other forms of literature inform the writing of a puppet theatre script?

Where scripts for puppet theatre do exist, they are written down after a devising process has taken place and therefore are not usually written from scratch by one person.The canon is limited in terms of published scripts within puppet theatre. Penny Francis suggests this to be because the spoken text is only the ‘skeleton’ of the script and not a record of the performance created by the puppeteers and the other members of the creative team. It must be possible to write a script for this very specific art form from scratch with no pre-existing puppets or designs and with no devising potentially refuting the claim that a puppetry script can only ever be the ‘skeleton’.

How might a puppetry script be written, from scratch with no pre-existing puppets or designs and with no devising? As a visceral and ultimately visual medium, is ‘writing the visual’ particularly for puppets, closer to screen writing than traditional processes and methods of stage writing? What does a director or puppeteer need to see on the page when reading a puppet theatre script for the first time?

Research interests

Puppetry, script writing, theatre, gothic ghost literature, dramaturgy, history of fashion and costume.

Research outputs

Conference or workshop item

  • LeQuesne, E (2017) 'Writing for puppetry.' In: Puppetry research conference at 'Moving parts: Newcastle puppetry festival' 01 April 2017, Newcastle, UK.
  • LeQuesne, E. (2017) 'The possibility and practicality of script writing for puppetry without existing puppets or devising.' In: The Critical Exchange conference at Puppeteers of America festival. 18-22 July 2017, Concordia University, St.Paul, Minnesota, USA.


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