Stage craft

Pasatiempo - - NEWS -

Thanks to the pop­u­lar­ity of pa­per theaters, 19th-cen­tury chil­dren were able to mount plays at home. Th­ese minia­ture ver­sions of work­ing theaters, of­ten based on real venues, came re­plete with props, prosce­ni­ums, and char­ac­ters to cut out from printed sheets and as­sem­ble, of­fer­ing imag­i­na­tive worlds in which to dis­ap­pear. Sev­eral pa­per theaters that were do­nated to the Mu­seum of In­ter­na­tional Folk Art by collector Alexan­der Gi­rard in the 1980s are on view just out­side the en­trance to the mu­seum’s Gi­rard Wing. In this is­sue, Pasatiempo ex­plores the his­tory of such toy theaters and our en­dur­ing fas­ci­na­tion with them. On the cover is an im­age of a Ger­man pa­per theater pub­lished circa 1900 by Joseph Scholz; cour­tesy MoIFA.

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