Shadow Theatre

Artist: Jorge Rubio
Technique: theatre, scenography, and writing.
School: CP Labastida
Years: 5th and 6th
Related areas and subjects:  Basque Language and Literature


to improve oral and written comprehension and production in Basque by means of narrative games.


felt pens, wood, translucent fabric, black pasteboard, scissors, long skewers, bulbs, wire, and 4.5 V batteries.


  1. The pupils are asked to make up short stories revolving around characters born from their imagination or taken from traditional stories.
  2. The resulting characters will be grouped into stereotypes: the lead character, the baddie, the goodie, the mysterious person, the alter-ego, the conscience and the friend.
  3. Drawings are made with scenes from these stories as are simplified portraits of the characters.
  4. To transfer the characters to the shadow theatre, pupils must remember the aesthetic simplicity and formal radicalness of the genre.
  5. The characters are cut out in silhouette-form from black pasteboard. They are glued to a wooden skewer so that they can be moved around.
  6. A piece of translucent cloth is fixed to a wooden frame to create the stage.
  7. For the light, the group can be asked to make simple electric circuits by connecting a 4.5 V battery to a switch and a bulb.
  8. Playing with the distance between light, the screen and the silhouette, pupils explore the aesthetic and dramatic possibilities of the light.