Toy Theater of Terror
Created and Performed
by John Bell, Trudi Cohen, Jenny Romaine and Mark Sussman
B.B. in L.A.
by John Bell, Trudi Cohen, Stephen Kaplin, Jenny Romaine, Michael Romanyshyn,
Roberto Rossi and Mark Sussman
GREAT SMALL WORKS was founded in 1995 by a collective of theater artists who had collaborated for many years as members of Bread and Puppet Theater and Ninth Street Theater. They draw on folk, avant-garde and popular theater forms to address contemporary issues. Based in New Yorkıs East Village, Great Small Works produces theater on a variety of scales, from gigantic outdoor spectacles to miniature productions.
TOY THEATER Using flat, cardboard cut-out figures and small-scale scenery to stage extravagant dances, battle scenes and high drama, toy theater was popular in 18th and 19th century Europe. The original toy theaters were complete dramas in miniature, directly modeled on European stage hits. Now, Great Small Works reinvents the form with episodes of Terror As Usual, designed as a response to daily news events, and adaptations of classics, including Faust and Olivierıs Hamlet. Sparking what has become a full-scale revival movement, the members of Great Small Works curated and produced the first Toy Theater Festival, which included new works for miniature proscenium stages and an exhibit of toy theaters created by the company and guest artists. Festivals took place at Theater for the New City in 1993 and 1994, and as the inaugural event of Los Kabayitos Puppet Theater in the fall of 1996. Travelling versions of the festival have been presented at the Fecamp Scene Nationale in Normandy, France, the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College, in a tent at the International Festival of arts and Ideas in New Haven, and in community centers and libraries throughout New York City. Great Small Works has also conducted toy theater workshops, most recently at the Crossroads Middle School in upper Manhattan, the Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares in Mexico City, and at NYUıs Performance Studies Department.