Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Paper Theatre

A paper theatre features a paper stage with characters and scenes made of paper. The stage is no bigger than a TV.

Illustration Immaterielles Kulturerbe

Facts & Figures

  • Crucial date: Throughout the year
  • Inscription: 2021
  • Domain: Performing arts
  • Where to find: Nationwide (and abroad)

Contact

Sieglinde Haase
E-Mail
Homepage

Rüdiger Koch
E-Mail
Homepage

Forum Papiertheater e.V.
Homepage

 

Paper theatre is characterised through its variety and every piece is unique. The players are combining historical and modern scenes that they accompany live or with recordings. After the show most players invite their audience to see the back of the stage.

In Germany, paper theatre has a tradition that spans over 200 years. Many decorations, character sheets and text booklets from the 19th century have been preserved to this day However, paper theatre does not exist only in archives and showcases, as it has experienced a renaissance since the 1980s. Today, there is a lively scene in Germany and Europe that meets at festivals such as the "Papiertheatertreffen" in Preetz. This is also where cross-border European cooperation takes place, with jointly organized symposia, exhibitions and festivals.

Paper theatre in schools and seminars

Paper theatre requires creativity, precision and craftsmanship. Workshops are offered for children in order to introduce younger people to paper theatre. Schools also invite paper theatre actors to stage literary classics, for example, in German classes. The Academy of Cultural Education of the Federal Government and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia offers seminars for adults. Paper theatre inspires people of every age, especially the physically ill or dementia patients who can follow the calm images and slow movements.

Publication

Wissen. Können. Weitergeben..
Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission, 2019

Additional article

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Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage

The Traditions of Schwörtage in the Former Free Cities

The Schwörtag (oath-day) traditions are based on medieval models. The municipalities constituted themselves by a joint public oath of the head of the city, the council and the entire citizenry to the respective city constitution.
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Bookbinding

Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Bookbinding

In bookbinding, a book block is made by binding paper, which can be finished with a gold or coloured edge. The craft contributes, in particular, to the preservation of old books and archival materials.
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