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Story-telling on Wheels

Mobile Puppet Theatre teaches crafts and storytelling while highlighting social issues.

Photo of Meena Kadri
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A proposed puppet van which circulates schools and collaborates with local teachers to provide classes on puppet-making, discussion of social issues, story-telling based on those issues and performance of resulting stories. Given our topic is focused on learning English, the performances would follow suit – perhaps with translation if shown to the wider community.

The van exterior could be brightly painted, with some sections in blackboard paint so that kids can advertise their own shows. Materials to be stored inside the van while in transit. Students could be encouraged to draw out story boards and character summaries as part of planning their show, alongside making the puppets.

Inspired by various mobile enterprises in India: Perhaps for more dispersed locations a motorised version could be devised – based on an Indian jugaad:

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Who would implement this?

  • A local entrepreneur or small organization
  • NGOs and Foundations


Supply cheap materials rather than finished products. Puppet-making materials are not costly. Could utilise locally provided used-paper for paper-mâché puppets. Relatively low-cost distribution. Open to ideas on a finance model. Possibly could be linked to Puppet Centers in larger cities which hold paid workshops + performances for children from more affluent families. The centers could also act as a training ground for prospective van operators.

Distribution & Delivery

On wheels. Easy to access dense locations.


Expected that the theatrical nature of a puppet stage on wheels would effectively engage youth. A sample show would be staged as an introduction – preceding children's participation. Sample story boards and character summaries could help local teachers to collaborate with the van operator + children.

Evaluation results

2 evaluations so far

1. What sort of potential do you think this concept has to be a sustainable business?

Very high potential - 66.7%

it's good but it needs a lot of work before going much further - 0%

it's got too many open questions right now to say either way - 33.3%

2. How well do you feel it meets the local needs enterprising schools has identified? (English language, Math, Libraries, Technology, Professional Development)

It fulfills really well on the need its chosen to serve - 50%

It will help, but other solutions might serve the needs better - 50%

It doesn’t really address any of the needs that Enterprising Schools identified. - 0%


Join the conversation:

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I like how this could be the primary mechanism by which so many of the other great concepts can be delivered! Quite literally, a vehicle for change!

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