I'm a puppet maker with a degree in theatre. A former lighting techie, stage manager and producer. And I like to think that with puppetry, the only limit is your imagination. More...
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Puppet ministry refers to a section of a religious group or community, which uses puppetry to visualise themes, songs, stories or issues relevant to that community. Most puppet ministry groups appear to be Christian, however, that isn’t to say that puppetry hasn’t been used by other religions (the Japanese for example, used puppetry within a religious context), but that the term puppet ministry itself seems to apply mainly to this particular faction.
The reason why puppets are used in a religious context are many: mainly, it is because it can easily appeal to younger members of the groups, whether they be part of the performance, or part of the audience. Adults too can enjoy the show, while also encouraging the participation of the younger members. It makes for good family entertainment, and is also easily applicable to the stories and themes told by religious groups - and offers a new and memorable way to present content that has been seen before. (Does puppet ministry exist in Australia? Some thoughts on that here)
Puppet ministry includes the use of muppet-type puppets (or ‘people puppets’ as they seem to be called), glove puppets, and a particular fascination with blacklight puppetry. Here’s an example of how people use blacklight in puppet ministry performances (group unknown).
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Australians may want to buy locally. Where? I explain here.