Shadow Theatre Saturday

May 19, 2016 at 11:39 AM

As part of our DIY Theatre series, we’d like to present Shadow Theatre Saturdays. Shadow theatre has been around for thousands of years. It uses light and puppets to create a story, which often parallels the silent films of early Hollywood. You and your child can easily create a shadow theatre at home by following these steps.

You’ll need: black construction paper, scissors, tape, string, small brads, kabob sticks, a white sheet or white construction paper, black markers, flashlight or lamp

Step 1: Make your puppets. Use black construction paper to create people, animals, ships, bicycles, buildings… you name it! You can hang them using thin string and tape, or you can make moving parts using brads. The most interesting shadow plays typically have intricate moving parts. It’s easy to make a bicycle wheel spin or a fox’s legs run by attaching multiple pieces of paper with brads and using kabob sticks.

Step 2: Make your stage. Use black markers to decorate a plain white sheet or a large section of white construction paper taped together. This should look like the outside of the stage, and again, the more detail, the better your theatre will look! Check out Etsy for inspiration.

Step 3: Make your story. Hang up your stage on a bare wall, turn out the lights, and aim a flashlight or lamp. Place the puppets between the light and the wall to cast your story onto the stage. You can narrate a story or act out a silent show. Use instrumental music to make your telling more dramatic! As always, invite friends and family to view and use your imagination!