Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Puppeteer with hand puppets.

A puppeteer is a person who manipulates an inanimate object that might be shaped like a human, animal or mythical creature, or another object to create the illusion that the puppet is "alive". The puppeteer may be visible to or hidden from the audience. A puppeteer can operate a puppet indirectly by the use of strings, rods, wires, electronics or directly by his or her own hands placed inside the puppet or holding it externally or any other part of the body- such as the legs. Some puppet styles require two or more puppeteers to work together to create a single puppet character.

The puppeteer's role is to manipulate the physical object in such a manner that the audience believes the object is imbued with life. In some instances, the persona of the puppeteer is also an important feature, as with ventriloquist's dummy performers, in which the puppeteer and the human figure-styled puppet appear onstage together, and in theatre shows like Avenue Q.

The puppeteer might speak in the role of the puppet's character, synchronising the movements of the puppet's "mouth". However, there is much puppetry which does not use the moving mouth (which is a lip-sync innovation created originally for television where close-up "headshots" are popular). Often, in theatre, a moveable mouth is used only for gestural expression, or speech might be produced by a non-moving mouth. In traditional glove puppetry often one puppeteer will operate two puppets at a time out of a cast of several. Much work is produced without any speech at all with all the emphasis on movement

The relationship between the puppeteer and the puppet-maker is similar to that between an actor and a playwright, in cases where a puppet-maker designs a puppet for a puppeteer. Very often, though, the puppeteer assumes the joint roles of puppet-maker, director, designer, writer and performer. In this case a puppeteer is a more complete theatre practitioner than is the case with other theatre forms, in which one person writes a play, another person directs it, and then actors perform the lines and gestures.

Puppetry is a complex medium sometimes consisting of live performance, sometimes contributing to stop frame puppet animation, and film where performances might be technically processed as motion capture, CGI or as virtual puppetry.


List of individualsEdit

A puppeteer in old town Jakarta

Notable individuals associated with the genreEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Moser, Mag. Gerhard. "The Sculptors : Salzburger Marionettentheater". 
  2. ^ PASLES, CHRIS (14 March 2000). "Knowing How to Pull Some Strings" – via LA Times. 
  3. ^ Slotnik, Daniel E. (8 August 2013). "Cosmo Allegretti, 'Captain Kangaroo' Actor and Puppeteer, Dies at 86" – via 
  4. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (10 November 2008). "Keepers of 'The Magic Garden' Find Their Fans Have Long Memories" – via 
  5. ^ "Pam Arciero". World News. 
  6. ^ "London School of Puppetry - Caroline Astell-Burt". 
  7. ^ "Obituary: Audrey Atterbury". 16 April 1997. 
  8. ^ "Austen, Don". Nerf-Herders Anonymous. 
  9. ^ "9 Famous Puppeteers of the 20th Century". Mental Floss. Retrieved 7 May 2017. 
  10. ^ "Bob Baker Dies at 90, Puppeteer Ran Beloved Theatre". Los Angeles Times. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2017. 
  11. ^ "Homepage of Simon Buckley, puppeteer". Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  12. ^ "Homepage of Ronnie Le Drew, puppeteer". Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  13. ^ Andrew, Corey (8 August 2014). "Gonzo Puppeteer Attends SF Muppet Movie Screening". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved 7 May 2017. 
  14. ^ "Q&A With Heather Henson". 16 March 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2017. 
  15. ^ "Meet Rachel Herrick". Sideshow Sound Theatre. Retrieved 7 May 2017. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Pee Wee Herman's Return". Swazzle. Retrieved 7 May 2017. 
  18. ^ "What Do You Do After Puppet School?". LA Stage Times. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2017. 
  19. ^ "Shari Lewis Biography". Retrieved 7 May 2017. 
  20. ^ Barnes, Mike (2010-09-28). "Hollywood puppeteer Van Snowden dies". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2010-10-12. 
  21. ^ Nix, Crystal (8 December 1985). "Burr Tillstrom, Puppeteer, Dies". New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2017. 
  22. ^ "Kid party entertainment packages, balloon, puppet, magic and more..." Happy Bright Kids. 
  23. ^ Egan, ed. (2011). John Waters: Interviews (Conversations With Filmmakers). University Press of Mississippi. p. 249. ISBN 978-1617031816.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

External linksEdit