Puppets work in an ironic way. They are not living and breathing and the
audience knows that, yet they give the illusion of life and bring an
alternate reality to the stage. They can do things actors can only speak
about or imagine. They can communicate, physically, an emotional truth/state
which is difficult, if not impossible, for actors to communicate. They make
us suspend our disbelief and believe in what we see on stage.
Marionettes and hand puppets are the classic forms - marionettes being used
for more formal, theatrical settings and hand puppets being used most often
by street performers in festivals. However, over time, the term 'puppet' has
spread to include many objects. Anything can be a puppet: a piece of rope, a
chair, a handkerchief, a sock, a stick, etc... Anything can be used to
represent life and emotion.