Puppetry Theory

Someone please save Christian puppetry

By October 8, 2006 October 2nd, 2014 One Comment
Church pews

Photo credit: Joe Thorn

Over at his Puppetminister Blog last week, Ben talked about the problem with Christian puppetry. Here’s my favourite excerpt:

“…there is no excuse for sloppy manipulation. The concepts are simple and good execution takes practice. Am I the best in the world? No. Do I practice enough? No., but Jesus died for me, the least I can do is develop good puppetry skills…”

There’s a long and proud connection between puppetry and religion, but most Christian puppetry isn’t just bad, it’s painful (check out this if you don’t believe me). The talent and potential for artistic expression is out there…great puppeteers and builders like Dave Privett and Steve Axtell do a fantastic of combining puppet entertainment and Christian ministry and Ben himself wrote an ebook on the subject.

I think the real problem is an emphasis on ministry over artistry. Of course ministry is the first goal of Christian puppetry, but why can’t there be top-notch artistry too? I don’t mean to attack the well-intentioned, faithful people who simply put on puppet shows in Sunday School every week, but Christian puppeteers should challenge themselves to do better than the generic puppets and scripts that seem to dominate the genre.

At least that’s what I think anyway.

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