Puppetry as an art form has deeply rooted traditions within humanity across a multitude of cultures. With it’s vast and far-reaching history, the art of puppetry can be a hard subject to define, which is exactly what this study aims not to do. Rather than try putting puppetry in a box and telling you what I think it should be, this study acts as an investigation to further the discussion about puppetry’s place in contemporary theatre that just scrapes at the surface of what the world of puppetry has to offer, how it has progressed in Western theatre, and how theatre artists have drawn influence from various forms of puppetry. This study outlines a brief puppet history from Cro-Magnon figurines to traditional Japanese puppet theatre,and beyond, before delving into the world of puppetry in popular Western theatre via The Lion King, War Horse, and Avenue Q. The culmination of which highlights The College of Wooster’s production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which featured five puppets/performing objects born from the influences brought forth by my investigation into puppetry’s past.


Huston-Finley, Shirley


Theatre and Dance


Other Theatre and Performance Studies


puppets, puppetry, ubu roi, bunraku, the tempest, the lion king, war horse, avenue q

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2019 Hannah M. Smith