Scene 8 from Jack
|How to Use Storycard Theater®
Storycard Theater dramas
are easy to read and fun to watch. Each card has large, clear text
on the back and colorful artwork on the front, which lets you read
to an audience while showing it the pictures. (No more twisting
your neck to read a picture book!) Here are four simple tips for performing
Storycard Theater effectively.
Make sure the cards are in numerical order. (Each card
is numbered on the front.)
Hold the stack of cards so that the text faces you
and the pictures face the audience. You can rest the cards on
your lap or a desktop.
With the cards stacked properly, the text on the card
facing you will correspond to the picture on the card facing
the audience. Read the text.
When you finish reading a card, slide the card facing
the audience to the side with a dramatic flourish and move it
to the back of the deck.
Storycard Theater dramas are designed to be read to children
ages 3–8, and to be performed by ages 8 and up. They are ideal
for groups of up to 25.
Like the traditional kamishibai storytellers, we begin our performances by clapping two sticks together,
faster and faster. (Kids in the audience like to try this, too.) For
their portability and clear sound, we use a pair of hardwood
Another popular sound effect comes from our Thunder
Tube, which we whip out during the storm scenes in Momotaro and Moon Princess and the grumbling-stomach scene in Jack
& the Beanstalk. Audience members always come
up afterwards asking to try it themselves.
and end Momotaro by playing the Momotaro
song on an alto recorder. During the scene where Momotaro meets
the animals, we often sing the song in either English or Japanese.
Using the Presentation Frame frees our hands to make dramatic gestures. For example, in Momotaro, we hold the claves on our heads to simulate the ogre’s horns.
In Jack, we lurch forward and pretend to grab the head of an
audience member when the text says, “With a terrible roar, the
giant stretched out his huge, hairy hand to grab the boy.” When
Jack starts chopping down the beanstalk, we stand up and swing one
clave like an ax to pantomime that.
Free! Download kamishibai performance and construction tips (PDF).
Have tips of your own? Please let