Title:
Puppet theater
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable theater for puppets that can be folded into a compact shape for transport. The theater has a stage and a floor that can both be expanded by side panels. The stage has at least one hole that a puppet can be placed in as the actor on the stage. Props and other characters can be attached to the stage and the floor.



Inventors:
Leleu, Lisa Annette (Doylestown, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/702340
Publication Date:
08/09/2007
Filing Date:
02/05/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63J19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RICCI, JOHN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lisa Leleu (Doylestown, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A puppet theater comprising: a sheet of material; a first hinge in the sheet; a second hinge in the sheet that is parallel to the first hinge; at least one first hole between the first hinge and the nearest edge of the sheet that is parallel to the first hinge; at least one second hole in the sheet between the first hinge and the second hinge; so that at least one puppet can be placed through the second hole and the first hole; so that when the first hinge is folded the section of the sheet of material with the second hole forms a stage back and the section with the first hole forms a stage front and the section without a hole forms a stage floor.

2. The puppet theater of claim 1 where the stage floor folds forward.

3. The puppet theater of claim 1 where the first hinge folds the opposite direction from the second hinge.

4. The puppet theater of claim 1 where a portion of the sheet of material that comprises the stage floor has at least one area that is connected to the stage floor by at least one third fold that is perpendicular to the first hinge and the second hinge and that can be unfolded from the stage floor to create a stage floor with a larger area.

5. The puppet theater of claim 1 where a portion of the sheet of material that makes a stage front has at least one area that is connected to the stage front by at least one fourth fold that is perpendicular to the first and second hinge and that can be unfolded from the stage front to create a stage front with a larger area.

6. The puppet theater of claim 1 where there are two first holes and two second holes.

7. The puppet theater of claim 1 where objects are attached to the stage front.

8. The puppet theater of claim 1 where objects are attached to the floor.

9. The puppet theater of claim 7 where the objects represent characters.

10. The puppet theater of claim 7 where the objects represent props.

11. The puppet theater of claim 8 where the objects represent characters.

12. The puppet theater of claim 8 where the objects represent props.

13. The puppet theater of claim 1 where the stage front has a booklet attached.

19. A puppet theater comprising: a sheet of material; a first hinge in the sheet; a second hinge in the sheet that is parallel to the first hinge and the first hinge folds the opposite direction from the second hinge; at least one first hole between the first hinge and the nearest edge of the sheet that is parallel to the first hinge; at least one second hole in the sheet between the first hinge and the second hinge; so that at least one puppet can be placed through the second hole and the first hole; so that when the first hinge is folded the section of the sheet of material with the second hole forms a stage back and the section with the first hole forms a stage front and the section without a hole forms a stage floor and the stage floor folds forward; a portion of the sheet of material that comprises the stage floor has at least one area that is connected to the stage floor by at least one third fold that is perpendicular to the first hinge and the second hinge and that can be unfolded from the stage floor to create a stage floor with a larger area; a portion of the sheet of material that makes a stage front has at least one area that is connected to the stage front by at least one fourth fold that is perpendicular to the first and second hinge and that can be unfolded from the stage front to create a stage front with a larger area.

20. A puppet theater comprising: a sheet of material in a “T” shape with a plurality of central sections and two portions to the side of the central sections that are arms of the “T”; a first hinge in the sheet; a second hinge in the sheet that is parallel to the first hinge and the first hinge folds the opposite direction from the second hinge; at least one first hole between the first hinge and the nearest edge of the sheet that is parallel to the first hinge; at least one second hole in the sheet between the first hinge and the second hinge; a section of the sheet of material that does not have a hole in it; a portion of the sheet of material that comprises part of the arms of the “T” shape has at least one area that is connected to the section of the sheet of material without the first hole or the second hole by at least one third fold that is perpendicular to the first hinge and the second hinge and that can be unfolded to create a larger area; a portion of the sheet of material that comprises part of the arms of the “T” shape can from a stage front has at least one area that is connected to the section of the sheet of material with the second hole by at least one fourth fold that is perpendicular to the first and second hinge and that can be unfolded to a larger area; so that at least one puppet can be placed through the second hole and the first hole; so that when the first hinge is folded the section of the sheet of material with the second hole forms a stage back and the section with the first hole forms a stage front and the section without a hole forms a stage floor and the stage floor folds forward.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/765,698, filed Feb. 6, 2006 by the present inventor.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

None

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

None

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to theaters. More specifically it relates to portable stages for theaters. Even more specifically it relates to portable stages for puppet theaters.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

This invention is a portable puppet theater. The theater is made of a sheet of material that is divided by hinges. The sheet of material can be in a “T” shape. The theater is folded into a portfolio or box when being transported. When in use, the theater is folded out to create a stage with sides and a floor. The stage has at least one hole for a puppet to be inserted and permanently or reversibly attached to the theater. When in use, the puppet is inserted into the hole and operated by a user.

The stage can be decorated with a backdrop or can be decorated with a single color or a pattern. The stage can also have the bodies of the puppets attached to the stage underneath the holes for the puppets so that the illusion is created that the bodies and the puppet heads are part of the same figure. The bodies can be attached to the stage or drawn or printed onto the stage.

The stage can have stage accessories attached to the stage. The stage accessories can be additional characters or props. The stage accessories can be drawn or printed on the stage or attached by adhesive, a statistical fastener or magnets.

The floor can have floor accessories. Floor accessories can be attached to the floor or merely placed upon the floor. Floor accessories that are attached are attached by an accessory stand that also acts as a hinge. Thus when the theater is opened, these floor accessories will pop up. Other floor accessories are placed upon the floor. These floor accessories are supported by an accessory stand. The floor accessories can be two-dimensional figurines or cut outs, or alternatively the floor accessories can be three dimensional figurines and objects. The floor accessories could be blank or coloring book style or stencils so that they could be decorated or created by a user.

The theater can also come with script booklets or cards with play skits for children to read and act out with the puppets and accessories. It can also come with script starters booklets or cards that help children to write their own scripts for their puppet shows.

An alternative embodiment has multiple stages that can be folded or removed so that different stages can be used with the same theater. Other embodiments could have text for a play written on different stage fronts. Other embodiments could include a stage with a blank or coloring book style stage that could be decorated or created by a user. Alternatively, a book could be attached to the stage front. This book could contain a script or a partial script or blank pages.

In an alternative embodiment, the floor could have a board game printed or attached to the floor. The board game could include game pieces, dice, spinners and cards. The game could also include script cards that encourage the kids to act out the puppets and respond to questions using the puppets to win the game. The floor accessories can all become involved in the game.

The theater could be used with a hand puppet. Alternatively, the theater could be used with a finger puppet or full body puppet. The puppet could be plush, cloth or plastic. In some alternative embodiments, the theater could be used without a puppet. In other embodiments, a plush toy or a stuffed animal could be used in place of a puppet. The plush toy of stuffed animal could be permanently or reversibly attached to the theater.

In some embodiments, the theater could fold into a box. In further embodiments, the theater does not have a handle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and form part of the specification, illustrate the embodiments of the present invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a picture of the puppet theater from the front with the stage and the floor unfolded.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 illustrates the puppet theater from the front with the stage and the floor unfolded. The theater has two puppets 1. The puppets 1 are poking out of holes in the stage front 2. The theater also has a stage back 3 that is attached to stage front 2 by the top edge. On this edge is a handle 4. Printed or attached to the stage front 2 is a body 5 for the puppets 1. Also attached to the stage front 2 are two stage sides 6. Also attached to the stage front 2 is a floor 7. Attached to the floor 7 are two floor sides 8. Attached to the stage front 2 and the stage sides 6 are stage accessories 9. On the floor 7 and floor sides 8 are floor accessories 10 which are supported by accessory stands 11.

The stage sides 6 are attached to the stage front 2 by a hinge and can be folded. The floor sides 8 are attached to the floor 7 by a hinge and can be folded. The stage front 2 is attached to the stage back 3 by a hinge and can be folded. The stage front 2 is attached to the floor 7 by a hinge and can be folded. The hinge can be made using any design. Possible hinge designs, meant as examples but not as limitations, include metal hinges, folded cardboard hinges, cloth hinges and string hinges.

The theater can be folded in a number of ways. In the preferred embodiment, stage sides 6 are folded in front of stage front 2. Then floor sides 8 are folded on top of the floor 7. Then the floor 7 is folded in front of the stage front 2. In one embodiment, the stage sides 6 are folded in front of the stage front 2 and the floor sides 8 are folded underneath the floor 7. Then the floor 7 is folded over the folded stage sides 6. Then the stage back 3 is folded against the stage front 2. In another embodiment, the stage sides 6 are folded in front of the stage front 2 and the floor sides 8 are folded over the floor 7. Then the floor 7 is folded over the folded stage sides 6. Then the stage back 3 is folded against the stage front 2. In another embodiment, the stage sides 6 are folded in front of the stage front 2 and the stage front 2 is folded against the stage back 3. The floor 7 is then folded over the stage back 3 and the floor sides 8 are folded over the stage front 2 to hold the theater closed. In another embodiment, the floor sides 8 are folded underneath the floor 7. Then the floor 7 is folded over the folded stage front 2. Then the stage back 3 is folded against the stage front 2 and the stage sides 6 are folded against the stage back 3 to hold the theater closed. The theater can be held closed by a magnetic latch or statistical latch.

The stage accessories 9 and the bodies 5 can be either printed on the stage front 2 and stage sides 6 or attached to the stage front 2 and stage sides 6. In the embodiment where the stage accessories 9 and the bodies 5 are printed, the stage accessories 9 and the bodies 5 can be printed or drawn. In the embodiments where the stage accessories 9 and the bodies 5 are attached, the stage accessories 9 and the bodies 5 can be permanently or reversibly attached. In the embodiments were the stage accessories 9 and the bodies 5 are reversibly attached, any reversible fastener, such as adhesive, statistical fastener or magnets, can reversibly attach the stage accessories 9 and the bodies 5. Persons skilled in the art will see that any reversible fastener could be used. The stage front 2 and the stage sides 6 will need to be made of a material that the reversible fastener can be attached to. As an example, but not meant as a limitation, if the reversible fastener for the stage accessories 9 and the bodies 5 were magnets, the stage front 2 and the stage sides 6 would need to be made of a metallic material or a material that magnets can attach to.

The floor accessories 10 can be attached to the floor 7 or floor side 8 or placed upon the floor 7 or floor side 8. In the embodiments where the floor accessories 10 are attached to the floor 7 or floor side 8, the floor accessories 10 are attached by an accessory stand 11 that is a hinge. When the floor 7 or floor side 8 is unfolded, the accessory stand 11 pops up the floor accessory 10. In the embodiments where the floor accessories 10 are placed upon the floor 7 and the floor sides 8, the floor accessories 10 are supported by accessory stands 11.

The puppets 1 are placed within the holes in the stage front 2. The number of puppets 1 is two in the preferred embodiment, but other embodiments could use one puppet 1 or more than two puppets 1. The puppets 1 can be attached by any system that will hold the puppets 1 in place. The puppets 1 can be permanently attached or reversibly attached. Glue, stitching or staples can attach them. Alternatively, statistical fasteners, buttons, snaps, hook and loop fasteners or ties can attach them. Persons skilled in the art can sell that many other fasteners could be used. The fastener system used in the Puppet System patent by Lisa Annette Leleu, filed May 1, 2002, U.S. Pat. No. 6,672,929, is a preferred embodiment.

In some embodiments, the theater will not include bodies 5. In some embodiments, the theater will not include stage accessories 9. In some embodiments, the theater will not include floor accessories 10.

Although this invention has been illustrated by reference to specific embodiments, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modification may be made which clearly fall within the scope of the invention. The invention is intended to be protected broadly within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.