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This article is about the person who controls a puppet. For puppet master, see Puppet Master. For other uses, see Puppeteer (disambiguation).
Puppeteer with hand puppets.

A puppeteer is a person who manipulates an inanimate object that is typically shaped like a human, animal or mythical creature, such as a puppet, in real time 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. Some puppet styles require two or more puppeteers to work together to create a single puppet character.

There are a wide range of styles of puppetry but whatever the style, 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. Typically, the puppeteer speaks in the role of the puppet's character, and then synchronizes the movements of the puppet's "mouth" with her spoken part.

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 live medium and this distinguishes it from the use of puppets in animation, in which animators make a puppet appear to move by using a stop motion film technique in which the puppet is moved tiny fractions between each filmed frame.

List of individuals[edit]

A puppeteer in old town Jakarta

Notable individuals associated with the genre[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Homepage of Simon Buckley, puppeteer". Simonbuckley.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  2. ^ "Homepage of Ronnie Le Drew, puppeteer". Ronnieledrew.com. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  3. ^ http://ech.case.edu/cgi/article.pl?id=JHH
  4. ^ Barnes, Mike (2010-09-28). "Hollywood puppeteer Van Snowden dies". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2010-10-12. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ 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 links[edit]