Ms. Mary Gene Panes
can range from the
formal plays, pageants to
less formal tableau,
and role playing.
Plays depict life, character, or culture
or a combination of all three. They
offer excellent opportunities to portray
vividly important ideas about life.
Pageants are usually community
dramas that are based on local
history, presented by local actors. An
example is a historical pageant that
traces the growth of a school.
Pantomime and tableaux, when
compared to a play and a pageant, are
less demanding in terms of labor, time
and preparation. These are purely
visual experiences. A pantomime is the
“art of conveying a story through
bodily movements only”. (Webster’s
New Collegiate Dictionary). It’s effect
on the audience depends on the
movements of the actors.
A tableau (a French word
which means pictures) is a
picture like scene composed of
people against a background. A
tableau is often used to
Day, Christmas, and United
Types of Puppet
Shadow Puppets – flat black silhouette
made from lightweight cardboard and
shown behind a screen.
Rod Puppets – flat cut out figures
tacked to a stick, with one or more
movable parts, and operated from
below the stage level by the wire rods
or lender sticks.
Hand Puppets – the puppet’s head is
operated by the forefinger of the
puppeteer, the little finger and thumb being
used to animate the puppet hands.
Glove-and-finger puppets – make use of
old gloves to which small costumed figure
Marionettes – flexible, jointed puppets
operated by strings or wires attached to a
cross bar and maneuvered from directly
above the stage.
What principles must be observed in choosing
a puppet play for teaching? Dale, (1996)
quoting from the Puppeteers of America
offers many suggestions, among which are the
Do not use puppets for plays that
can be done just as well or better
by other dramatic means.
Puppets plays must be based on
action rather than on words.
Keep the plays short.
Do not omit the possibilities of
music and dancing as part of the
Adapt the puppet show to the
age, background, and tastes of