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“My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.” - Jim Henson.

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Presentation on theme: "“My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.” - Jim Henson."— Presentation transcript:

1 “My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.” - Jim Henson

2 Puppet – almost anything brought to life by a human in front of an audience. Animation – bringing something to life through movement and action. Manipulation – the way a puppeteer moves or works a puppet. Rod puppet - a puppet constructed without shoulders, arms, or legs and manipulated by one or more rods. Shadow puppet – a flat, two-dimensional puppet designed to cast a shadow or form a silhouette on a white screen.

3 Hand puppet – a puppet that fits over the puppeteer’s hand, much like a mitten, and is manipulated by the puppeteer’s fingers inside the puppet’s head and hands. Movable-mouth puppet – a hand puppet with a movable mouth. Marionette – a puppet manipulated by strings connecting a control rod or paddle to the moving body parts. Full-body puppet – a puppet worn over the puppeteer’s head and body like a costume.

4 Lip sync – synchronizing movement of the puppet’s mouth with the spoken words. Flipping the lid – improperly manipulating a movable- mouth hand puppet, causing flapping of the upper jaw or head. Mounting the show – adding the finishing touches—such as scenery, props, and costumes—to a theatrical production. Shadow play – projecting shadow images on a screen.

5 Recognize and identify the five basic puppet types. Use imagination to design and make an original puppet. Use other art forms to enhance theatre. Explore puppet manipulations. Animate a puppet character. Experiment with puppet voices. Write an original script or recreate a scene using puppets for the characters. Work with a group to produce a puppet show. Use technical elements to enhance a puppet production. Experiment with shadow play. Create a shadow play character. Use movement to project characterization.


7 Even though the word puppet comes from the Latin pupa, meaning “doll,” a puppet is not a doll, nor is it limited to being doll-like. A puppet is brought to life with a puppeteer. The puppeteer communicates with the audience through the puppet. In many different cultures, puppets were used in religious rituals. Today, puppets are being used to teach religion, in advertising, art, celebrations, crime prevention programs, education, entertainment, and therapy.

8 Puppets are categorized by the way they are manipulated, rather than by the fabric from which they are made. A sock puppet with a hinged mouth, for example, is considered a hand puppet with a movable mouth. A puppet that is made from a cereal box, empty paper towel tubes, and paper cups and is manipulated by strings is considered a marionette.

9 Five major types of puppets are used in performance today: rod puppets, shadow puppets, hand puppets, marionettes, and full-body puppets. From the five basic puppet types come other variations or combinations, such as hand-and-rod puppets, nonpuppet or object puppets, finger puppets, and even puppets for the feet.

10 One of the oldest and simplest of puppet types. The rod puppet is a puppet manipulated by one or more rods. In its basic form, it is constructed without shoulders, arms, or legs. Traditionally, the puppeteer manipulates the puppet from below the stage.

11 A flat, two- dimensional figure controlled by a wire or rod against a screen. Projecting light from behind the puppet projects the shadow onto a white cloth screen stretched and stapled to a wooden frame. The puppeteer moves the puppet to bring it to life.

12 Also called a glove puppet, fits over the puppeteer’s hand much like a mitten or glove. The puppeteer manipulates the puppet by placing the second and third fingers along with the thumb as the puppet’s hands. The entire puppet is moved to signify talking.

13 Marionettes are controlled and manipulated with strings. Built with jointed parts, the marionette moves much like a human or animal. The puppet’s moving parts are connected by strings to a control rod or paddle. The puppeteer stands above the puppet stage.

14 A puppet worn over the puppeteer’s head and body much like a costume. Most full-body puppets are animated by one puppeteer inside the puppet. Extremely large full- body puppets may be controlled by more than one puppeteer or even remote control.

15 A variation of the hand puppet, and is constructed with a hinged jaw and movable mouth. The puppet’s head is manipulated by the puppeteer's four fingers, while the thumb is used to control the lower jaw.


17 For a detailed view on puppet construction, or at least to give you ideas on how to start, please refer to Figure 18-1 on page 350 in the Theatre Textbook. First and foremost, be creative. Think about what kind of character you want to create. From what play or movie will your scene be from? What would that character look like in puppet form? Be sure to use household items such as cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, construction paper, paper plates, wire hangers, etc.

18 Once you’ve formed a body think about the details of your puppet? Are you making a marionette or a rod puppet? What kind of clothing / costume is your puppet going to have? Are you performing a shadow play? What does the silhouette or outlining of the puppet look like? Continue to research examples online for ideas, but also use your imagination to create a puppet that conveys specific character.

19 While constructing your puppet, consider what type of manipulation your puppet is going to need. When a hand puppet talks, the entire body moves. However, when a movable-mouth puppet speaks, more detailed movements can be incorporated such as hand gestures while the puppet is speaking. Be aware of not flipping the lid. Try not to lean on your elbows or shoulders while on the puppet stage. Successful entrances and exits are also important in a puppet show. A puppet should enter as if walking up a short flight of stairs.

20 Proper exits include turning the puppet around backward and descending the steps. Special entrances and exits might include a puppet popping up, flying off, or rolling off the stage. These special movements should be included as part of a well-planned script rather than improper puppet manipulation. Regardless of puppet type, the way to discover exactly what your puppet can do is to experiment in front of a mirror.


22 One of your puppet’s most important features is the way it talks, or its voice. The puppet’s voice helps define and communicate the puppet’s character and personality. Give your puppet a voice of its own—a voice different from yours. Experimenting with voices may seem silly at first, but it is the only way to find just the right tone and quality. Be sure to use a voice that you can maintain for the entire show. And be consistent. Think about your favorite puppet characters such as Elmo, Cookie Monster, etc. What do they sound like? Does their voice match their appearance?

23 Factors to keep in mind for your show are the stage, scenery, props, and technical elements such as lighting and sound. Think of simple ways to depict setting, such as using a decorated sheet for a background. What sounds such as music can be used? How does lighting affect your show, especially for a shadow play?

24 Be sure to be consistent and work on the details of your performance in rehearsal. Rehearse in front of a large mirror. If you’re going to be kneeling for a long period of time, bring a pillow to protect your knees. Bring a puppet first aid kid: such as extra tape, safety pins, etc. in case your puppet starts to fall apart. Overall, commit 100% to your puppet and the character that you have created.

25 Describe the five basic types of puppets? How can the puppeteer avoid flipping the lid? What should a puppeteer consider before giving a puppet a voice? What technical elements might be used in a puppet show? What are two ways to perform shadow plays?

26 In a group of 3–5 people, you will each design and construct an original puppet and puppet theatre. You will then need to perform a 3-4 minute scene for your puppet show. You have the option of writing an original scene, or reproducing a scene from another play or appropriate television show / movie. Your script does not necessarily have to be memorized, however, you should be extremely familiar with the lines so that your show runs as smooth as possible. You will be graded individually on the design/construction of your puppets and your performance in the show.

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