Puppets, Acting Out Life.

Tanner Muhlestein, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Most people have probably seen their share of puppets in their day.  I personally have seen puppets of all kinds.  A quick search on any internet image search will show you thousands of results.  But what are these preforming extremities and where did they originate and why do they matter?

Many historians believe that the use of puppets, or puppetry, originated around 30000 BC.  Ancient peoples would use puppets to tell stories or act out certain ideas.  The ancient Egyptians started to use wood figures suspended by strings to show the act of making bread.  The ancient Chinese would use puppets to show parts of their history.   In Italy, puppets were used traditionally used to show plays and sometimes even operas.

 There are many different kinds of puppets.  The most common are simple socks pulled over hands.  From there, they branch off to more complicated and elaborate.  From small hand puppets they grew to large and intricate designs. Bright colors and lifelike faces became more popular as time went on along with making stages or arenas for the puppets to perform on.    

 From small finger puppets to large sting suspended puppets, this form of art is growing.  In 2002, “Avenue q” was released to raving reviews.  This new musical called for puppets instead of actors as their performers.  “Avenue q” swept the Toney awards and received a place on Broadway and is now doing an off Broadway national tour.  The musical shows both live hand puppets along with single road puppets.  Both are fairly recent inventions with this as their first Broadway star role. 

 Puppets come in all shapes and sizes.  They are all different in their own special way.  Some are like people with faces and bodies while others are more like socks pulled over hands.  In any form, puppetry is an art.  Taken directly from ancient times, and now used for more exceptional art forms.  From fingers to Broadway, puppets have revolutionized the arts industry and will continue to do so.    


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