Turning Points Toy Theater


“Turning Points, Toy Theater” was presented by 12th grade students in the collaborative classrooms of Media Arts (instructor Margaret Noble) and English (instructor Rachel Nichols). This project was hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art of San Diego and Funded by The San Diego Foundation. On December 20th 2012, ten student groups, of five students each, presented miniature toy theater performances with hand crafted originally designed paper puppets. Students learned to manipulate their puppets in relationship to custom animations, sound, and video works (all produced by the students). Throughout the creative process, groups received mentoring from the professional puppeteer company, Animal Cracker Conspiracy. In the end, the goal was to recreate and interpret critical historical turning points from the last 150 years in the hopes that these creative stories would stimulate new dialogue about old stories. In order to tell the story with puppets, each student group picked their own topic to investigate, and each member of the group wrote a research paper investigating a unique aspect/angle of their turning point topic. Building on each group members’ knowledge, students were able to create interpretive and comprehensive toy theatre shows. Below are stills from their performances as well as video with clips from their rehearsals. At the very bottom of this page you can also click to view extended image galleries of their performances, mixed media design process and download the playbill with student writings.


The Manhattan Project

Presented by Vander Thomas, Tyler Murphy, Zac Gill and Morgan Beltz

Harvey Milk

Presented by Spencer Williams, Emily Fine, Luna Rey and Noah Breslauer

Cristeros War

Presented by Daniela Ortiz, Karina Felix, Marcos Ramirez, Giovana Munoz and Adriana Navarro

Bob Moog

Presented by Eric Simpson, Lianna Wehrung, Vincent Skalka and Rachel Taylor

The Moon Landing

Presented by David Espe, Lindsay Miedema, Taylor Wilkinson, Samantha Valenzula and Danielle Weiss

The Los Angeles Rebellions

Presented by Raynesha Harris, Vincent Culliver, Lara Seghdat and Karen Arroyo

Pearl Harbor

Presented by Jeanette Rodriguez, Patrick Castro, Jocelyn Salcedo, Jocelyn Acevedo and Kevin Aceves


Presented by Jack Marshke, Chelsea Glickman, Luke Rosenberg and Oliver Reyes

The Wright Brothers

Presented by Luis Aguirre, Adriana Bustillos,Cesar Casteneda, Jocelyn Leon and Halan Castrejon

Tiananmen Square

Presented by Jovan Millet, Haley Holmes, Jennifer Seinbold, Illiana Guriant and Ben Martinez

Video Rehearsals



–>Click here for images of the student design process

–> Click here for more live performance photos

–> Download the performance playbill here



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