Paper Theatre, Origins to Present Day

Paper Theatre

Born presumably in 1811 in England, paper theatre spread all over Europe and was considered a family show until the beginning of the 20th century.

About thirty years ago, after being neglected for a while, paper theatre found new life through artists around the world who addressed both children and adults.


The first part of the exhibition is related to the history, presenting documents of the technique's development at the beginning of the 19th century, the first paper theatre sheets and a full English theatre.

The second part presents documents on productions and the development of the contemporary paper theatre through workshops and events. It includes videos of shows for children and adults, as well as examples of school workshops. Presented materials belong to either Papierthéâtre's collection or the exhibited companies. If the exhibition room is equipped with closed display cases, it is possible to add more objects and books to the documents.

Form and Space

The exhibition is made of six rectangular prisms of 1m L x 1m W x 2m H. All presented documents and supports, including the video screens are installed inside these boxes.

The exhibition needs a 200m2 space, however it is possible to have this surface in more than one room.

Production: Papierthéâtre & Smurfit Kappa

Coproduction: Pays d'Epernay - Terres de Champagne, Municipality of Epernay, RITP, World Puppetry Festival of Charleville - Mézières

Supported by: Ministry of Culture, Champagne Ardenne Region, Marne Department

Gadagne Museum - Lyon

Papierthéâtre has created the showcase of the museum's reception hall using the history of Lyon.