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Victorian Stage

The traditional children's theatre belongs to Victorian days. In the nineteenth century, prints of characters and scenery from the popular dramas of the time were sold "penny plain and twopence coloured." These prints were cut out and mounted on card.  Each actor was then moved on and off the stage by means of a wire from the side of the toy theatre. The Victorian children's theatre has now become the property of the antique dealer. However, modern adaptation of the early children's theatre can give a great deal of amusement as a children's game as well as serve as an introduction to puppetry.  Pictures of people, animals, cars,ships and scenery can be cut from magazines and pasted to card stock.  A child's imagination can soon fit these pictures into the story being developed.

Because it is small and intimate and requires small scenery, props and puppets, it is wonderful to use with youngsters in the classroom.  Below are plans to construce a simple toy theatre,  but since it is basically a box, a Toy Theater can also be made out of any size box.  Give Toy Theater a try.  Here are plans for 2 different Toy Theaters.  Use one of them or create your own. 
Victorian Stage oblique view.
Materials you will need:

  1. X-acto knife
  2. Pencil
  3. Ruler
  4. One piece of fomncote (30' x 40n)
  5. Bristle paint brush
  6. Duct tape
  7. Paint (tempera, acrylic, watercolor).

Steps for the construction of the stage

Take one piece of foamcore and make a pencil pattern following the diagram.  Copy the letters carefully.  The letters will tell you how to connect the pieces of your stage.
Pattern to cut Foamcore pieces.
Cut all the pieces.  Set aside the pieces that have an "X" on them.  They are leftover pieces.

Front and two sides of Victorian Theatre.
Connect A - A and E - E  with hinges of duct tape.

Back side of Victorian Theatre
Connect C - C and turn over so that duct tape hinge will be inside the theatre.

Assembly of Victorian Theatre.
Connect B - B and D - D, using duct tape outside the stage.

Stage fold 1Stage fold 2
To fold push D to front, then C becomes left edge of folded stage.
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