5 Most Common Types of Puppetry Entertainment

There have been countless different puppets designed over the centuries, and theatre productions have been using them to great effect.

A lot of effort and planning goes into the design and manufacturing of these puppets, and it can require a high level of skill to accomplish the task if the design requires attention to detail.

Every puppet has its unique place in the entertainment industry, and some puppeteers spend their entire lives perfecting their skills on stage. Here are some of the most popular puppets that have graced audiences with their appearance on stage.

Post Image 5 Most Common Types of Puppetry Entertainment Marionette - 5 Most Common Types of Puppetry Entertainment


A marionette is normally a small puppet that can be controlled by using strings. The person controlling the puppet remains unseen, and they can be hidden from the audience using a vertical or horizontal control bar in a theatre.


Body Puppets

Body puppets or carnival puppets are huge. They are often seen in parades or during festivals. Large theatres have also been known to incorporate these puppets as part of an act. The live production of “The Lion King” has been known to use these large-scale puppets.

Human-Arm Puppets

Human-arm puppets, also called hand puppets, are mostly used by ventriloquists. The human-arm puppets come in a variety of characters, often matching the personality that the voice artist has created for them. The puppets are normally given a name and a complete backstory to make them more interesting for an audience.

Bunraku Puppetry

Bunraku puppetry can be performed by a life-sized wooden puppet. Various lights can be used to illuminate the puppet on the stage. The puppeteers dress in dark colours to hide from the people in the audience. These productions are popular in eastern cultures.

Shadow Puppetry

In this form of puppetry, the artist is completely hidden from the audience. There is only a silhouetted figure in the background. The shadow is illuminated with a light source, and the audience can follow a story by watching the shadow.

The life-like actions of a puppet directed by a puppeteer have enticed audiences for many decades. Throughout history, cultural variations of puppetry developed independently in many parts of the world. Puppetry will likely inspire and excite audiences for many more generations to come.