Tabletop Theater: Puppetry for Small Places (2003)

Theatre on a Tabletop teaches you how to do a number of things—put on a performance using a salt and pepper shaker and a banana, make a theater out of a cardboard box, disassemble a broken umbrella into dozens of parts for puppet building, play with shadows on the overhead projector, and put on a series of workshops that go from planning sessions to performance. There are chapters on toy theatre (once beloved as a family entertainment and now making a comeback), object theatre, overhead projection theatre, workshops, and professional theatre, accompanied by diagrams, supply lists, “The Laws of Puppetry,” and abundant illustrations. But this text on theatre for very small spaces is far more than a how-to book on these puppet genres. It encompasses a philosophy of theatre and education and a look at the origins and history of this specialized art form and its connections to art and society. It shares the personal journeys of two extraordinary artist/teachers and some of their award-winning professional puppet scripts for the company they founded and continue to lead: Chinese Theatre Works. It serves as an inspiration and example of the ways theatre—especially very small theatre—can add to your arsenal of teaching skills and make a difference in the lives of the people for whom and with whom you perform. 6×9—122 pages.

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