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Past Event
Saturday, February 10, 2018, noon to 5 p.m.

Paper Theatre Festival

9500 Gilman Drive, San Diego, 92093
Cost: Free

It’s the smallest show on Earth! 16th annual event. This scale-model educational toy is being re-discovered and celebrated at a free festival and exhibition in the Seuss Room of Geisel Library UC San Diego.

Paper theatre, also called table-top theatre or toy theatre, dates back to the Victorian Era. Families constructed these theatres from poster kits with scripts, scenery sheets, and paper doll actors included. Festival dates: Saturday, February 10 from noon to 5 pm (impromptu performances throughout the day); Sunday, February 11 from noon to 5 pm (impromptu performances throughout the day); and Monday, February 12 from 9 am to 1:30 pm (formal performance at noon on Monday). This three-day exhibit at the UC San Diego Library features replicas of Victorian Era paper theatres as well as modern versions of the toy. Live performances are featured throughout each day.

In the Victorian Era, theatrical playhouses printed fine souvenir posters showing architectural elements of their theatre. Aspects of set design were shown on the posters along with representations of actual actors of the company (shown in costume from a specific production). Condensed scripts were included in these poster kits and paper doll players were soon seen in lively productions on a table top at home, with many aspects of theatre arts being introduced to producers and performers of all ages. From these posters, families and hobbyists would cut out the proscenium, the curtain, etc., to create a scale model of that specific theatre. These paper-theatre hobbyists ended up learning much about scenic design, lighting effects, sound effects, music cues, acting, directing — all through this paper-theatre toy.

Theatre-goers often bought these paper theatre posters as souvenirs promoting an actual production they saw. Those living far from the theatre district ordered paper theatres from a catalog and had them delivered to their town as an educational toy for the household. A lot of cutting and pasting was involved but hours of educational fun and artistic exploration would follow. The many two-dimensional layers of a paper theatre add up to something with surprising depth and charm. Open to the public. Info: 858-822-5758 or [email protected]


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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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