Material Required to Make a Theater or Punch Show: a deep, square letter-paper box and its cover, and some postal cards with colored views.
Would you like to make a toy theater or Punch Show to play with? Shall I tell you how to make one out of some deep, square box about eight inches square and eight inches high?
First, take the cover off your box and lay it aside.
Next, turn your box over so that it rests upon its four rims and the bottom of the box is made the top.
Upon the upper part of the box, near the top, outline an oblong about two inches from each corner of the box. Measure it with your ruler. Its top should be two inches from the top rim of the box. The whole should be about five inches wide and three inches tall. (To guide you in drawing this, refer to Diagram Nine, A, page 183.)
Cut this oblong you have drawn at both sides and along its top line. Bend the cardboard inward toward the center of the box. This will make the "stage." (See Diagram Nine, A, page 183.)
Just over the stage, in the upper rim of the box, cut a two-inch wide opening the same length as you cut for the length of the stage below. Cut this out entirely, so that the little dolls you intend to use for actors may be dropped on black strings through the opening and made to walk and dance on the stage. (See Diagram Nine, B, page 183.)
Behind the opening over the stage, cut a slit in the rim of the box long enough to slip through a fancy postal card. Slip some pretty colored view through it, and there will be the scenery for your stage. You may have pictures of interiors as well as views of out-of-doors and houses. (See Diagram Nine, C, page 183.)
Now, cut a piece of cardboard the right size for a sign for your theater, and print its name on the card-board. Glue the sign over the stage as you see it in the picture. It will serve to hide the little dolls' entrance to the stage on their strings.
Last of all, place the cover of your letter-paper box, face down, on its rim on the table or floor, and put the theater or Punch Show well back upon it so that there is place for an audience of little dolls in front. (See Diagram Nine, D, page 183.)
Benches for the audience of little dolls may be cut from covers of boxes two and three inches long. (For cutting benches, see Diagram Six, A, page 175.)
Your actors may be penny dolls, or any jointed wooden dolls such as you will find in toy row-boats at the ten-cent store.
I used to collect fancy postal card views of all kinds of interesting places and give lectures on them at my theater. It was most fun of all, I think. I had performing Noah's Ark animals in vaudeville there, too. There is no end to the games you can play with the theater.
I made a lovely theater for little dolls to-day. If you would like, I'll tell you how. You make it in this way: Right on the bottom of a box - a pasteboard box, you know - You draw a square with space each side; that's where the stage should go. Now cut the square right at the top, and cut it down each side. Upon the base, you bend it in. It cannot be denied This makes a "really truly" stage! For scenery you use Some pretty colored postal cards of houses, and some views. To put these in, you cut a slit upon the box's top, And through a wider one, in front, the dolls on threads you drop.
The Punch and Judy or Little Dolls' Theater is made from a deep letter-paper box and its cover. The scenery is a fancy postal card and the actor is a doll.
This must be just above the stage, and wide and long, you see,
The actor dolls, held in the wings, can enter easily.
You move the thread and walk them round. Mine act all kinds of things: The fairy stories that I know; my sailor doll, here, sings. And you can use the theater for fun in lots of ways: Give lectures on the postal views as well as acting plays.