How great is this? A toilet paper roll Crankie Cantastoria produced by Annie Katusra-Rollins for the recent online edition of the Great Small Works Toy Theatre Festival.
Traditional Cantastoria dates back to Italy in the 16th century, although “picture story” traditions like etoki (Japan) and yamapapaka (India) have been practiced for at least 1,500 years. “Crankies” – long illustrated scrolls hand-cranked inside a box with a viewscreen to accompany stories and songs – were a later innovation that became popular in the 1800s and revived by Peter Schumann and Bread and Puppet Theater in the 1960s. In recent decades there has been a resurgent interest in crankies, with more and more puppeteers and other theatre artists incorporating them in to their work and entire festivals like the Winnipeg Crankie Festival dedicated to the form.
If you’d like to see more performances like this, videos from all four days of the Great Small Works Toy Theatre Festival are available to watch on Facebook.