The inaugural Warendorf Paper Theater Festival, for which 16 performances were planned, was to take place in March 2020. The Cultural Advisor for West Prussia, Poznan Land and Central Poland will inform about an intended relaunch of the event in due course.
In the mid-19th century, paper theater developed as a bourgeois artform, occupying a space somewhere between a children’s plaything and a more sophisticated form of domestic entertainment. On miniature stages, performances could range from fairytales to opera to drama. After the world wars, paper theaters – complete with figurines and decorative paper backdrops featuring lithographic prints – lost popularity as a living artform, but increasingly became collectors’ items.
Just over thirty years ago, a small group of passionate paper theater players got together in Preetz, near Kiel, in Schleswig-Holstein, to share their love of this unique artform with live audiences. Over time, this became the international paper theater convention, a three-day event that takes place every year in September across a number of stages and attracts spectators from all over the world. Inspired by the great role model of Preetz, the idea for a paper theater festival in Warendorf was born. In 2019, the successful paper theater event featured as part of the self-organized "WarendorferWeihnachtsPlätzchen" and, supported by the Cultural Office, has helped to popularize and anchor the West Prussian State Museum as a valued cultural institution in Warendorf. In this way, the Cultural Office and the museum became official cooperation partners and sponsors of the first paper theater festival in Warendorf.