布袋戲已隨著臺灣演出環境的變異，各時期有著不同指標性的演出內容與形式，從所謂的「古冊戲」→「劍俠戲」→「金光戲」，以至於現今的「文化場」型態等各時期的之劃分，其實並不明顯，各有其重疊的部分。就演師個人的生長過程，多數劍俠戲的演師大多出身於源自傳統鑼鼓的古冊戲時期、而金光時期的演師亦多走過劍俠階段，其呈現是一脈相連、交疊發展且不可切斷的關係。本論文採集目標盡量能涵蓋老、中、青等各年齡層之演師；並分別就主演的對於關目的編排、場上五音與口白的運用、操偶的技藝，與後場音樂、布景特效等場上的配合，做分析與探討，以印證「主演」有其編、導之功能，是影響整齣戲的呈現，乃掌一劇成敗之舵者。;The puppet show is not only one of the largest troupes, the most audiences and the strongest vitality of the dramas but also the traditional performing art of the most representative cultural characteristics in contemporary Taiwan. It originated from the southern region of the Mainland China and came to Taiwan with the immigrants. The puppet show produced all the changes and new artistic point of view on performing themes, forms, pomp and occasions, puppet shapes/structures and the modes of operation, the fields of music shape, or even organizational structure, etc. by the local natural environment, the changing of the times, the close relationship of the lives of people and the conformity of the changing environment. The puppet show develops the uniqueness of the performing arts in Taiwan.
This paper was to investigate the issue of "people" performing and its scope was set to the “contemporary” puppet starring. It was so called “contemporary” meant to the time of the 1980s in Taiwan. In this time, because of the rise of local consciousness, the government and the folk started to lay stress on local traditional so that the folk troupes could not only performed the folk form, but also performed the form of the “ cultural field ". In order to win the showing opportunity and enhance the reputation of individuals or the schools, the puppet performers considering the artistic contents and the developing and innovative forms stormed their brains to bring out their own specialty to highlight their artistic skills for getting the favors and attention. To avoid the written records on historical data and to engage in over subjective judgments, the performers who were active in the stage were adopted as main exploring, interviews, objects in the study.
According to the environmental variation in Taiwan, the puppet show had the indicating differences of the contents and forms in each period. From the so-called "ancient book drama", "swordsman drama", "golden-light show" to "cultural field", the patterns and the divisions of performance were not obvious and had the overlapping parts. On the personal growth process of the puppet masters, most of the puppet masters of the "swordsman drama" were from the time of the "ancient book drama" and the puppet masters of the "golden-light show" would rise through the "swordsman" stage. All of the puppet masters present a kind of connected, overlapping and non-cutting relationships. In this paper, the studying objects were included the old, the middle and the young puppet masters. They are respectively analyzed and discussed as a starring with the arrangement of the story, five vocal types in the stage and the use of the oral, the puppetry, the field of music, the scenery effects, and so on. It is proved that "starring" of the puppet show owning the screenwriting and directing functions is the main handler to control the success or failure of the whole play.