Network of Toy Theatre Enthusiasts

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 * * * New content in most recent update * * *
Inspiration for offering space for exchanging ideas on the www came from a letter received from Bill O'Neil (not on the Web yet but his address is 78 Oak Knoll Loop, Walnut Creek, CA 94596).  Bill is retired and tells in his letter of his off-&-on lifetime interest in Toy Theatres. An exhibit at the San Francisco Performing Arts Museum (1996) rekindled this interest and  he ordered a few items from the Toy Theatre Company.  Here is a quote from one of his early letters:  "I have always been shy about sharing my interest in Toy Theatres.  One is supposed to leave these sorts of activities behind when one becomes an adult.  I am also shy about initiating meetings with others who collect.  But I do enjoy my hobby and the challenges of creating beautiful stages and settings."  It is easy to relate to his feeling of isolation and reluctance to speak of a hobby that others are prone to dismiss as childish.
The happy lady on the left is Gigi Sandberg at the 1994 Puppeteers of America National Festival at the U. of Minn. attending a workshop given by another great friend, Judy Pankratz Cole.  (shown right at the same event) 
Also surprising was the many other prominent puppeteers who attended this event.  We were all surprised and delighted to learn of the others' interest.  The Toy Theatre Company was started in 1996 as a Resource Center to make some of these materials available in the U.S. . . and in 1997 we went On-Line. 
Recalling Bill O'Neill's letter we opened this Page to conversation and companionship, hoping in time he will join.  It might be appropriate for any of you reading this:  Drop him a note and encourage him to participate.
Glen Sandberg
Scroll down to see our new page layout!  We have such a wealth of offerings from our correspondents everywhere that we can only give each one a short introductory paragraph and a thumbnail image in this list, but . . . 

The thumbnail image is a BUTTON that links to another page!

Thus each of you can send pictures and published materials, provided that this dissemination does not violate copyright rights.  The viewer only waits for what s/he asked for to download, and the rest is available at any time.

Also see our Alphabetic List
with correspondents' e-mail addresses and home pages when available. We offer to host your display but of course the best way is to do it yourself and have complete control!

Send suggestions or content to Glen at <> or Gigi at  <> 

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OPEN FORUM:   Send messages, designs, scripts etc. that you would like to share with others in this group and it will be entered below (as up-dates occur).  Feel free to "click" on any participants already listed . . . they welcome your communications.  This is our "T.T. Community"- Enjoy it!!!

Bill O'Neil, again the inspiration for the creation of this interactive section of the Page, writes that he has a theatre or play under construction most of the time and quotes a friend as saying "there are no unfinished works; they are all works in progress".  He enclosed a few of his collection of "jumping jacks" which he is happy to share and visitors are invited to "down-load", enlarge as desired, and assemble.  You can contact him c/o his son, []

Bob Burns from Seattle, a prominent member of Puppeteers of America, was named PofA Consultant for Toy Theatre and he started a Newsletter.   After three issues, however, little or no news came in to print, so Bob continues to represent Toy Theatre within [Puppeteers of America] and will be assisting at the National P of A [Festival] in Seattle Aug. 1-7, 1999.  He invites all interested TT enthusiasts to attend the Festival and to join Puppeteers of America as well.  The Newsletters are available at a [click] and they do contain several worthwhile tips.  e-mail:  [ ]
Carl Jacobsen

LOOK WHO'S HERE!!!  Carl Wilhelm Jacobsen!!! and with a name like that he just has to be a friend of Toy/Model Theatre!!!  Biographical info and interests and photos of his collection are inside and he welcomes e-mail conversation at

The Web-site became even more exciting when the first overseas communication arrived in 1997 from Harry Oudekerk, a teacher at the Dutch National Film Academy.  He has constructed  a WebSite of his own [ ] that offers EVERYTHING. . . including a COMPLETE TOY THEATRE with building instructions just for the downloading...and it is beautiful!  Also on this site, a visitor will find a great course on painting sets etc. using computer techniques and a SWAP SHOP for exchanging stuff.  Click on his site and you may never want to leave! 

Ab Vissers: November, 1998, Glen & Gigi met and visited with Ab at Harry Oedekerk's home in the Netherlands....Ab is an incredibly charming man.with a zest for life that few can equal.  He showed photos of his young wife Sigita, their 3 year old son, and the centuries old home they had bought and remodeled in Utrecht.  They have, indeed, restored it to its original splendor AND IT WILL INCLUDE A PERMANENT TOY THEATRE where he will perform.  He gives the address of this place as: Phoenix Papieren Theatre, Ab Vissers, Frederik van Eedenstraat 20, 3532CL, Utrecht, The Netherlands.  e-mail:

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Robert Poulter can be reached by e-mail at []; by post at:  7 St. Augustine Road, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 9PQ UK. . . phone 44-01843 850002. He is recognized as a "Titan of Toy Theatre" along with George Speaight and Peter Baldwin. He was a guest at the [Puppeteers of America]  [National Festival] in August 1999 and at the July 2000 [Regional Festival]  ; then in New York, November 2000; next at the PofA Festival,  Miami 8-14 July 2001.

The toy theatre parade has found a sparkling new leader in Lynn Zetzman!!  Already prominent in the design and construction of parade puppets, Lynn completely reversed her concept of puppetry when she encountered Toy Theatre for the first time in Madison WI summer 2000.  To use her terminology, she became "infected" in Robert Poulters Model Theatre Workshop.   How quickly Lynn transferred her artistic talents -- and she has lots--to these tiniest of figures and scenes is an amazing story.  She will be at the PofA Festival in Tampa this summer. . . or you can meet her by [e-mail] or on her new [website].

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Ann & George Neff 
" . . . we are now performers, not just collectors.  Yes, Gigi, you may add us to the list of enthusiasts, now that we have the first performance, Poulter's The Cure, at the Midwest Puppetfest,  July 05, Trenton MO under our belt. . . . ."  [e-mail]

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Tom and Marianne Tucker . . . 
What a delight to welcome the Tuckers to the Toy Theatre Community!!! These great froemds are Past Presidents of Puppeteers of America and have contributed more to the art of puppetry than just about anyone!!.  Marianne just retires as President of UNIMA-USA amd, by choice, will be devoting more of her time and attention to Toy Theatre.  Click on the thumbnail to learn more about the Tuckers and check out their website.

Peter and Sylvia Peasgood.
Surprise!  Our web site has just received a lovely gift from Peter Peasgood, a wonderful play called "Fierce Feathers"taken from American history, with script and four colored sheets of figures for us to download and perform.  Many thanks to a generous Englishman. Peterand his wife Sylvia are absolute "mainstays" of the British Puppetry and Model Theatre Guild. Sylvia is their Secretary and Edits their Newsletter.  They welcome any communication by  [e-mail] through their friend,  [Diana East] .
Diana East thumbnail

Diana East debuted in the summer of 2000 at the Preetz Festival.  Her rendition of her own original piece entitled "Swim, Sam, Swim" was a clever presentation and enjoyed immensly by all who viewed it...including Glen and Gigi Sandberg.  She is close friends with Peter and Syliva Peasgood and the three of them share an [e-mail] address and a page on her [web-site] .
Fritz Kannik
Fritz KannikWith the greatest of pleasure we welcome Fritz & Kathleen Kannik whose Home Page is [].  e-mail: []  They live in Springfield, Ohio and are specialists in historic costuming. Fritz grew up in Copenhagen and his family had (& he now has) quite a collection of Alfred Jacobsen theatres & plays from Denmark and  he also builds collapsible stages with lights, trap doors etc. AND he can/will do script translations so we can do many more of the Danish plays. . . with their glorious sets and figures! 
Alexis Xenakis

Alexis Xenakis is a relative newcomer to our community and has an intriguing challenge for us all.  A chat group or bulletin board was tried in France last year and didn't work out but Alexis wants to try again so anyone interested in helping us get better acquainted on our www.toytheatre send your suggestions to Alexis or to the Sandbergs.. He has a web site: with interesting downloads as well.

Gale Wollenberg thumbnail Gale Wollenberg -- Gale joins our community from Topeka, Kansas and brings a wealth of information about both Magic Lanterns and papier/miniature theatre!  He welcomes questions and topical discussions and answers his emails almost immediately!!!  He has become a delightful new get acquainted with Gale [].
Mike Bartley

Mike Bartley, from Plymouth, UK []  has a fabulous collection of toy theatres but is/was actually prominent in most all puppetry circles.  Almost 20 years ago he suffered a severe heart attack which left him housebound. . . but hardly inactive. His wife, Janet, a professional "art restorer" for the Museum in Plymouth has thoroughly involved Mike for the past several years in a fascinating projection puppetry project.....Magic Lantern Shows....and phantasmagoria!!!

Brian Marshall [] says his main interest in toy theatres is not in performance but in the construction of them and especially in writing the plays.  He wishes he could have written Harry Potter!  Click on his great new website  [] and download a good working theatre and several complete plays - a real bonanza for teachers!

Darius Halpern [] is a member of the British Puppet & Model Theatre Guild (which puts out fantastic reading & learning material.).  Dariusis a news editor for BBC and lives in Reading. He sends our TT group his best and would love to hear from some of you about your projects. Click on this site to learn more about Darius Halpern's current production of Jaws.

Stephen Langdale is back from a sojourn in Australia, to a new address in Spain: 
Calle Callejon de Martinez 7, 18127 Jatar, Granada, España.
"We are back on line with a new address for Email. <>. . the new phone number is 00 34 95 835 3988."     All our best wishes, Stephen Langdale
Lorraine Aressy
See [new message] from Lorraine Aressy [] of Toulouse, France.   Her interest in Toy Theatre is recent but says she has access to Epinal sheets for those wishing to purchase them.  With husband and friends, she performs [Magic Lantern] shows and builds optical theatres similar to those of XVIIIth century. 

We met Torgeir Stueng, Oslo, at the Preetzer Papiertheatertreffen, Sep. 2000. 
He would like to exchange from his collection, especially from the Scandinavian 
Allers Familiejournal, 1914 - 31. E-mail: [];phone+47 22 57 12 22 priv.; +47 928 85 112 mob.
Hello from Dr Larry Mackie!  "I discovered by accident your web site and was amazed by its content.  I am been an avid model theatre builder since I was a child but usually kept this to myself.  I find immense therapeutic pleasure in designing and building minature sets, etc.  I live in Lanzarote one of the 7 Canary Islands that are off of the coast of North Africa."            e-mail address:  [
Jon Bankert thumbnail
Br. Jon Bankert is an Anglican Priest (Society of St. Francis) residing at a small Friary on Long Island where he has recently reported setting up a permanent theatre for small performances seating 10-12 people.   He has enlarged the Peter Jackson Elizabethan Toy Theatre to doll house dimensions (1"=1') complete with lights and sound.  Hope Shakespeare, wherever he might be, is ready for Jon!!   
Don Abramson [] from a Chicago suburb tells an incredible but true story of having purchased 100 Schreiber sheets at Pollocks many, many, many years ago for £5!!. He promises to send a TRANSLATED inventory list of Numbers 1 thru 143 of "Format 43x54" of Schreiber Sheets from an old museum catalogue . . . hoping to share something of value to the TT NET GROUP as he was particularly impressed with Bill O'Neill's jumping jacks and Harry Oudekerks' lovely proscenium. Don participated in the Toy Theatre Salon in Seattle. 

Pat Breithaupt thumbnail
The first original work has come in from Pat Breithaupt from the Salt 'N' Patter Puppets in St. Clair, Missouri, who has prepared a fantastic version of Nathaniel Hawthorne's story The Threefold  Destiny  to preserve some of our culture in Toy Theatre form. . . instead of only presenting European drama. She has converted some of Eugene Field's work to T.T. as well. 

Judith O'hare gave one WOW of a performance/workshop on Toy Theatre and its use in education at the Puppeteers of America 2003 Naational Festival (She is their Consultant on Puppetry in Eduication)  She describes Toy Theatre as "an escape from TV; it's another type of home entertainment center." 

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PopUp thumbnail

Agusta Agustsson  []
is the remarkable pop-up designer that does all of Judith O'Hare's sets for her amazing pop-up theatre performances.  She gave a great workshop at the Puppets in Education event in Boston, July 2005.  She generously offered drawings for theatres and scripts for four charming folk stories for our website!!

The gentleman seated before this unique theatre is Joe Musil who has been building model (miniature scale theatres) since age 4 and is now a prominent theatre designer & architect with some major structures to his credit. He has graciously extended an invitation to the public to visit his Salon of the Theatres on Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. at the Santora Building, 207 N. Broadway, Santa Ana.  He's a real expert.  Click and read on. 

Theatre Serenissima happens in the music room of the studio/office of Rick Shelley, whose works of architectural design and mosaic art grace many churches and public buildings, at: 
2000 Mt. Royal Terrace, Baltimore MD 21217  Phone: (410) 225-32

Paper Puppet thumbnail
 Kell Black [ BLACKK@APSU0l.APSU.EDU ] , a welcome addition to the TT Group, is already quite prominent in paper-modeling circles on the NET.  A theatre professor in Tennessee, he is pleased to announce that he is teaching a new course called Paper Engineering: Pop-Ups, Punch Outs and Practical Packages, in addition to the standards he usually teaches, Drawing Basics and Figure Drawing. Kell sends along a very workable shadow theatre project suitable for most children and/or other beginners to be down-loaded and enjoyed.

T.T.History thumbnail
John Bell and Trudi Cohen (Mrs. John Bell) are the "impressarios" of Toy Theatre as it exists in New York and have "master minded" five highly successful Toy Theatre Festivals in that city, more-or-less in conjunction with the Hensen Foundation International Gala.  The last event, [2-19 Nov. 2000] had 24 different shows in six programs and ended with a discussion featuring Robert Poulter, Dirk Reimers and Alain LeCucq.  For more information on Great Small Works and how to participate, click on []

LinLog thumbnaiol

A fascinating bit of Newsprint arrived (via snail-mail) from Phil Funkenbusch, curator of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency in Springfield, Illinois.  It reviews a play entitled Lincoln's Log by Barry Kornhauser, which explores the life of Tad Lincoln from age 8 to 12 when he lived at the White House...and it utilizes staging techniques interesting to the Toy Theatre community.  e-mail: [ ]

Robert Burgess, who has the Little Paper Theatre Company, graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK in 1993, moved toAmsterdam in '94, and back to UK (Brighton) in 1998. He has an amazing list of "accomplishments and credentials" but the biggest news is his contract with the Guild of Master Craftsman Publications Ltd, to produce a book entitled Theatre Models in Paper and Card to be published and available by April 1, 1999!!! e-mail:  [ ]

From Andreas Kahre :
"I am writing from Vancouver, BC. to let you know about our efforts here. . ."

From Will Stackman [ ]  and also at [ ] :
Hi Gigi,
Just ran across Stevenson's essay [ Penny Plain and Twopence Coloured ] on  [ Project Gutenberg ]
Also found a site I hadn't seen before while searching AOL;  [ ]
(( Making Toy Theatres by Brian Marshall - He has theatres, figures, and scripts to Download!! ))
Puppet Showplace in Brookline MA has a new web site [ ].
Watch for Toy Theatre events hosted there! 

Clay Martin  [ ]  writes,"Great to find the Toy Theater website.  My work with Toy Theatres includes giant productions of Pollock's Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and Jack the Giantkiller.  (The characters are enlarged to about 18 inches tall and given moving mouths and arms).  I've also done my own productions of  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  and Hans Christian Andersen's  The Fir Tree.  I spent five years as a Washington State and Idaho Artist-in-residence and taught thousands of school kids how to make shoe-box toy theaters. 
 QUESTION AND ANSWER LIST:  Send us yours and we'll add it to everyone else's - and hopefully it will be answered!

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Last Updated 31 August 2003 by Gigi and Glen Sandberg