Basic Puppetry

Can Your Puppet Play a Kazoo?

A number of years ago, we bought a cassette tape with several puppet plays and one of them included two puppets that played kazoos during a song. We kind of ignored the play for quite a while, but then had a program where song fit perfectly, but did it without the kazoos. That didn’t look […]

Is Your Puppet Right or Left Handed?

While your puppets really aren’t right or left handed, your puppeteers are and tend to use their predominant arm every time they use a puppet. Most of the puppeteers on your team are likely right handed. Normally that’s fine but there are a couple of reasons why each puppeteer should develop their weak arm as […]

Back to the Basics and Then Some

In previous posts, I’ve talked about various fundamentals and how important it is to consistently work on them. When your fundamentals are solid, your puppets appear more lifelike and you have a greater potential of communicating your message. Today I’d like to touch on a new one. The mouths of most puppets are lined with […]

Puppets Are Tools, Not Toys

Whenever we add a new member to our puppet team, we always go over some basics before they start. One truth we emphasis is that puppets are tools and not toys. Most of the puppets we have cost over a hundred dollars each and when you multiply that by twenty or so puppets, you have […]

What Kind of Puppet Should We Look For?

So far we’ve looked at human arm, regular puppets and full bodied puppets. This post we’ll look at the full body with removable legs. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages. Advantages: • If you are performing in a regular theater, you can remove the legs and use it like a regular puppet.• If you want to […]

What Kind of Puppet Should We Look For?

So far we’ve talked about the human arm and the half body (regular) puppet. This post will center on the full body puppet, the type where you can’t detach the legs. We’ve used this type of puppet for close to a year now and have seen some advantages and disadvantages compared to the regular puppet.Advantages:• These […]

What Kind of Puppet Should We Look For?

Last post talked about one of the more difficult puppets on the market today the human arm puppet. This one will look at what is still my favorite, the half body puppet. This has been a standard in puppet ministries since I began working puppets. The half body or regular puppet has you insert your […]

What Kind of Puppet Should We Look For?

When we began our puppet experience, we only had two choices of hand puppets; regular (half-body) puppets and human arm puppets. A human arm puppet is a half-body puppet that has special sleeves that allow you to use your own arms and hands. Today there are full-body puppets with or without removable legs. Also, some […]

How Many Puppets Does a Beginning Puppet Team Need?

When we first started our puppet experience, we only had two puppets and a make-shift puppet theater. Upon finding out how effective they are, we decided to get some more. The two we had were animal puppets, but most scripts seemed to call for people puppets. We initially started with five puppets; a man, two […]

Are puppets still effective today?

Are puppets still effective today? That’s a good question to ask. After all, we live in a tech savvy culture where children are exposed to all kinds of technological images from video games to television to movies to the internet, etc. The special effects in the video games and TV and movies are getting better […]

PVC Theater Construction Tips

PVC pipe frame theaters are popular because they are easy to make, are relatively inexpensive, and are durable. The pipe frame we use was actually constructed about thirty years ago and we’ve only had to replace two pieces. It’s been assembled and taken down literally hundreds of times, transported to many churches and venues, stored […]

Attach Both Rods to Your Puppet Even if You Only Know How to Work One

Puppets arms are designed to hang naturally, so you can perform without using the arm rods and it will look fine. Using a few arm gestures does add to the presentation as long as you don’t overdo it. Beginning puppeteers can do some basic one arm movements (scratch head, rub chin, point, etc.) but it […]

How Can I Strengthen My Arm Muscles?

One of the complaints I hear most often during puppet practice is, “My arm is tired.” I remember making that same complaint when I began my puppet experience. That brings up the question, “How can I strengthen my arm muscles so they don’t get tired so quickly? The first and best answer is to maintain […]

How Can I Make My Puppet Look More Lifelike? Part 4

For several posts, I’ve talked about how to make your puppet look more lifelike. I’d like to suggest one more thing in this post. One problem puppeteers have is they can’t see what their puppet looks like while performing. You have to rely on others to tell how your puppet looks. The problem is that […]

How Can I Make My Puppet Look More Lifelike? Part 3

In the last two posts I’ve talked about the number one goal you should have when working a puppet: to make the puppet look as lifelike as possible. The first way we focused on was entrances and exits. The second way is to maintain proper positioning while on stage. When two puppets are talking to […]