German glove puppet performer, designer, author and director. In the second half of the 20th century, Frieder Simon was one of the most important Kasper players in German-speaking areas. Simon studied at the Hochschule für Industrielle Formgestaltung Burg Giebichenstein (College of Industrial Design Burg Giebichenstein) in Halle. By the 1960s, he performed in puppet theatres together with his father. As some of his artistic role models, the following can be mentioned: Carl Schröder, Hans Frannek, Walter Büttner and the Hungarian Henryk (Henrik) Kemény (1925-2011; see Vitéz László).

With his puppet design, Simon tried to achieve a symbiosis between the formal principles of contemporary and traditional forms. In his writings and especially during his performances, which were marked by improvisation, the character of Kasper did not deny his common, plebeian origins while yet retaining a certain “decorum”. The audience understood very well that the carefully measured nonconformity of the character and his puppet master was a way to criticize the times. Part of his repertoire gathered in the Original Kunstfiguren- & Casper-Theater LARI FARI (Original Theatre of Art Figures and Kasper Lari Fari) were adaptations of classics such as Genoveva, Don Juan, Undine, Faust and Gevatter Tod (Godfather Death, a story by the Brothers Grimm). Frieder Simon managed to successfully present the comic character of Kasper at a time when it was either frowned upon or downgraded to a simple educational entertainment for children.

(See Germany.)


  • Bähtz, Dieter, ed. Frieder Simon. Puppenspieler. Kunst in lausigen Zeiten [Frieder Simon. Puppeteer. Art in Lousy Times]. Frankfurt, 1996.