Sleeping Beauty
Three Pigs
or It Takes a Womanthe_three_pigs.htmlthe_three_pigs.htmlthe_three_pigs.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0shapeimage_4_link_1
Little Red Riding Hood 
or the Tale of Jacques Lup, the French Wolflittle_red_riding_hood.htmllittle_red_riding_hood.htmllittle_red_riding_hood.htmllittle_red_riding_hood.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1shapeimage_5_link_2
The Crocodile, the Boy and the Good Deedthe_crocodile,_the_boy_and_the_good_deed.htmlthe_crocodile,_the_boy_and_the_good_deed.htmlshapeimage_6_link_0shapeimage_6_link_1

Click the picture for more information about the show

All performances by Judith O’Hare
Scenery designed and built by Agusta Agustusson

These plays are between 15 and thirty-five minutes.

When booking a performance, choose two or three!

     Toy Theater originated in Europe in early 19th Century as home entertainment. At that time the printing press was a new way to disseminate information and in this case pictures. People were able to purchase packets of pictures that depicted the scenery and characters for the most current plays that were being performed in the big proscenium theaters. They cut out the scenery and puppets, glued them onto stiff paper and acted out the dramas in their living rooms. Often the puppeteers were children and teens, hence it was also called Juvenile Theater.

     For me the format of a small theater is ideal to retell well know stories in my own way. The traditional Toy Theater puppets were made of paper and did not have moving parts; however, a puppet is any inanimate object that comes to life by a person, a puppeteer. That means, to me, that the puppet needs to move to become lifelike. This led me to use three dimensional puppets that could move either by rods ( sticks), strings or levers.  I also became intrigued by Pop Up Scenery and thought the small opening of a Toy Theater was perfect for pop up scenery and I began to develop stories with several scenes that could be also come to life as the scenery pop up when the scene changed.
    This style of puppet theater opens up many possibilities for students both as audience and as performers. Folk and Fairy tales are core literature for students because they contain basic elements that provide a foundation for children to grow to enjoy books. Madelineine L’Engle, quotes from Fromm’s “Forgotten Language” when stating, “the only language that transcends time, culture, people, and race is the language of fantasy, fairy tale, and dream… it stretches us, opens doors to new ideas, will not let us be content with easy answers” ( p. 131), Teachers and librarians can open doors to literacy connections, humor, intrigue, and wonder through experiencing and responding to folk literature. “ Terrell A. Young. Unraveling the Tapestry: An Overview of the Folk Literature Genre. Taken from his book, “From Happily Ever After: Sharing Folk Literature With Elementary and Middle School Students.” International Reading Association: 2004.
   My work provides students with an opportunity to see several stories modeled in a Toy Theater or Pop Up Book format. There are a variety of stories, puppets, and themes.

What is Toy Theater?

The Three Bears 
or A Bed and Breakfast in the Woodsthe_three_bears.html
  Hansel and Gretel
 Click to view a video
        on YouTube
Click to see videosmedia.htmlmedia.htmlshapeimage_11_link_0

Three Billy Goats Gruff
Click for printable Study GuidePetite_puppet_plays_and_toy_theater_files/Performance%20Guide.doc

Small shows that have a big impact. Three shows for the price of one. Small groups for intimate viewing and after performance discussion

Toy Theater-Petit Puppet Plays