A puppeteer is a person who manipulates an inanimate object, such as a puppet, in real time to create the illusion of life. The puppeteer may be visible to or hidden from the audience. A puppeteer can operate a puppet indirectly by the use of strings, rods, wires, electronics or directly by his or her own hands placed inside the puppet or holding it externally. Some puppet styles require puppeteers to work together as a team to create a single puppet character.

There are a wide range of styles of puppetry but whatever the style, the puppeteer's role is to manipulate the physical object in such a manner that the audience believes the object is imbued with life. In some instances the persona of the puppeteer is also an important feature.

The relationship between the puppeteer and the puppet-maker is often assumed to be similar to that between an actor and a playwright. This may be so, but one of the characteristics of puppetry is that very often the puppeteer assumes the joint roles of puppet-maker, director, designer, writer and performer. In this case a puppeteer is a more complete theatre practitioner than is the case within other theatre forms.

Puppetry is a live medium and this distinguishes it from animation in which animators make a puppet appear to move by using a stop motion film technique in which the puppet is moved tiny fractions between each frame.

Read more about PuppeteerList of Notable Professional Puppeteers, Gallery, Famous People Who Worked in Puppetry

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