Toy theaters date back to the early 1800s in Europe, and had a surge of popularity during the late 1800s to early 1900s. They were often mass produced and sold as kits at the concession stand of an opera house, playhouse or vaudeville theater. Toy theaters were assembled at home and used in performances for family members and guests. Today, PiP is bringing this classic art form to students in an unassuming, compact and portable cardboard box. PiP artists work with students in groups to design, color, collage and create their own unique puppet stages and puppets using a variety of pop-up mechanisms, collage techniques, and shadow screens.
A great STEM project that supports any aspect of any curriculum, PiP’s Toy Theater residencies blend the visual and performing arts with an emphasis on group project dynamics. Whether writing the story, creating the set, or puppeteering and performing, the many aspects of this project allow all students, regardless of their skill set or learning abilities, to find a way to flourish within the group. Toy theater performances aid in the development of vocabulary and conversational skills through interaction between students in the planning and preparation stages. Live performances create a more playful environment in which English Language Learners can express themselves using the freedom of puppetry and performance.
This project is great for student, teacher, parent or family programs. It can be combined with many of our other programs including, Flip's Fantastic Journal, Bridging Brooklyn, and Stop-Motion Animation.