Diese Seite erscheint ausschließlich in Englisch
Sollten Sie Informationen in Deutsch wünschen, bitte ich Sie, sich
direkt an mich zu wenden. Barbara Scheel.
This side will be in English only!
puppeteer, puppet therapist, stage director, puppet maker
After finishing school Barbara Scheel studied Mathematics, Chemistry,
German, Fine Arts and Psychology.
She was teacher at school and lecturer for mathematics and psychology
at the University of Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
- is member of UNIMA Germany since 1.1.1976, her puppetry
teacher was the late Friedrich Arndt.
- began to perform with puppets in 1976, working together
with Dieter Brunner,
- was editing the UNIMA-Almanach in 1979,
- established "BABUSCHKA-Theater" in 1983,
- wrote about 20 puppet plays for adults and children,
- put about 45 different puppet plays on stage,
- began to combine different types of puppets in one play
in the early 80th,
- did performances, stage directions and lectures in over
20 different countries and in 7 different languages,
- created a special puppet-technique for table-puppets in
- did the first theatre play with table puppets for adults
- was one of the founders of the "German Association of Puppets
in Therapy" in 1984,
- wrote many articles about puppetry and puppet therapy (mostly
- opened a stationary theatre in Eppingen/Germany in 1990,
since than with more than 100 performances each year for children
- did workshops in puppetry and puppet therapy worldwide with
children, students, elderly people, disabled people, professional
puppeteers, therapists, social workers,
- was elected as "best actor of the region" in 1999,
- helped puppeteers in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami in 2004,
- was elected UNIMA councillor in Perth in 2008,
- is member of the UNIMA commission "Puppets in School, Development
and Therapy" since 2008,
Puppets in Therapy
In 1984 the „German Association Puppets in Therapy“ was founded
by psychologists, puppeteers and teachers. The aims were to exchange
information, to document, to research and to support those people
who work with puppets, shadow puppets or masks, in situations of
healing in psychological, physiological and pedagogical surroundings.
Therapists and teachers were asking what puppetry does to children
and adults and why puppets are a very successful way to communicate
between therapists and clients, children or adults in depressing
or other problematic situations as traumata and shock are and where
they are not able to communicate in a normal way.
Puppeteers were asking how puppets work when they are on stage.
They wanted to know what is up with the audience when they look
to a puppet performance.
We developed an explanation why puppets help to communicate in situations
where other mediums fail. The reactions of people on puppets deal
with the so called “interims object” well known in psychology. It
says that in childhood we all have things/dolls/puppets/pillows
etc. what we take a substitute for persons which we need to survive
emotionally. It deals with the process of personal independence.
- Puppets can heal if they are in the hand of trained
- Puppets do manipulate if they are in the hand of
people who want to do this. Soldiers during the Second World
War were indoctrinated with puppets as well in Germany and Russia.
(We have documents about this.)
- Puppets in the hand of puppeteers deal with the emotions
of the audience. Puppeteers should know what they do and should
know why children/adults react to a “thing” like a puppet.
- In difficult situations in psychotherapy and also physiotherapy
puppets, at hospitals and homes can clear situations and
help to communicate to open bridges for the process of healing.
- There are rules that therapists, teachers and puppeteers
should learn when they deal with puppets. That does not only
mean correct manipulation of puppets but also to know for instance
which kind of puppets should be chosen in a special situation;
handicapped people need special puppets that can be developed
specially for them; how to begin with a communication through
- It is possible to work with puppets in groups of
disabled, mentally retarded, physically handicapped or other
handicapped people, people in hospitals, under cancer or near
death, seniors and small children. Puppets not only can reduce
the level of medicine given to them. Clients will also be less
aggressive, can deal better with their emotions, have a better
understanding to stories and a better communication to the therapists/social
workers/doctors and build out a better group understanding and
The “German Association Puppets in Therapy” was founded in 1984.
Since then we have a yearly meeting where we exchange techniques,
theses and thinking and show other members what we do and discuss
difficulties. People from all over the world were guests at these
meetings and reported about activities they know in their countries.
There is also a yearly journal. (See:
www.dgtp.de – sorry in German
Sorry , most of the articles are in German. There is only one in
English which will be published at the book “Magic Puppetry” by
UNIMA Commission “Puppets in School, Development ad Therapy” in
2012. The article was a lecture at Ljubljana University, Slovenia,
June 2011. Here it is: