The element of empathy

Puppetry has a unique ability to serve as a vessel for the audience to pour themselves into. An object on stage is far easier to empathize with due the object’s “emptiness” or “lifelessness”. We fill that emptiness with ourselves which puts the viewer in a far more vulnerable and teachable place. The transference of ourselves into the object (puppet) strips us of many of our defenses and impediments that make it easier for us to not experience theater fully. In this fully experiential state we become “super empathetic” and connect with the puppet characters in ways that are wholly different from one would if they were viewing actors.

Towards creating safe spaces for increased vulnerability

An incredible phenomena happens during an object-based performance. The audience has dropped its defenses and is imbuing the puppet with all the qualities necessary to understand, connect and empathize with what the character is grappling with. We see ourselves experiencing the struggles and use our own humanity to internalize the struggle. In this “altered state” one can come to understand with far greater clarity such enigmatic subject matter such as mental illness, climate change and the innerverse of plant life with all of its mysteries.

Employment of puppetry in training workshops

Puppetry is often used in psychological and educational settings because of the qualities outlined above. Puppetry makes complex ideas more accessible as well as removing mental filters which can trigger denial and other defenses that make it difficult to assimilate knowledge and understanding. Climate science can seem inaccessible, even bewildering. In a workshop setting that utilizes puppetry one can embrace knowledge that is frightening, difficult to understand and elusive. A broader consciousness can be attained and one can become receptive to different frequencies of thought where evidence can be felt as well as learned. Ideas and truth become more palatable through the emissary that is puppetry. Our minds and bodies become more receptive to the seemingly esoteric scientific truths.