Stir-Up Shakespeare, by Brownsea Open Air Theatre

Peepshow Theatre

Made from a shoebox: design a scene from ‘Romeo and Juliet'

Which is your favourite scene from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ ?

Look at the pictures of the Peepshow and think about how your favourite scene would look inside the box.

Now make your own scene in a Peepshow box.


  1. A shoebox with a lid.
  2. Card or thick paper to make characters and scenery. You can use the card from cereal boxes.
  3. White paper or card for the background (scenery)
  4. Scissors
  5. Glue
  6. Paints or crayons and a pencil
  7. Old wrapping paper or wallpaper (optional)
  8. Translucent paper eg: tracing paper, baking paper or tissue paper – for the skylight.


  1. Decorate the outside of your shoebox with paper, paints or glue on things you’ve cut out.
  1. Cut white paper to fit the two long sides and one end of the inside of the box. To help you do this:
    • Place the long side of your box on the paper, draw round it and then cut it out.
    • Cut out a second long side.
    • Repeat with the end of the box.
    You should now have 3 pieces of white paper: one for each long side and one for the end. Do not glue them in until later, after you have decorated them.
  2. Cut a rectangle out of one end of the box (see diagram) about 2.5cm up from the bottom of your box. Make the hole 2.5cm high and 8 cm wide. This forms the peephole.
  1. Cut a large rectangle out of the box lid about 2.5cm from the edge (see diagram). Cut all the way round and remove the rectangle you have cut out. You can use this card for your characters.
  1. Cut the translucent paper, so that it fits under the lid and covers the hole. (Place the lid on the tracing paper and draw round it, then cut out.)
  2. Glue the translucent paper to the inside of the lid. Now you have a skylight.
  3. Think about your scene. Which characters are going into the box? What scenery do they need? Look at the pictures to give you an idea of what you can do.
  1. Draw your scenery onto the 3 pieces of white paper you cut out in Step 2. Colour them with paint or crayons, or find pictures in magazines, colouring books, old greetings cards, or from the internet and stick them on. When finished, glue the background to the inside of the box.
  2. Draw your characters. Now draw an extra box at the bottom of their feet or clothes (see diagram). Colour them in. Cut out the character and the extra box as one piece. Now fold the extra box to the back, so that it makes a flap for the character to stand on. (See drawings)
  3. Looking through the peephole, check how your scene will look.
  4. Glue the characters to the floor of the box, using the tags as stands.
  1. Leave to dry.
  2. Put the lid onto your box. Shine a light through the tracing paper and look through the peephole. You will see what a wonderful scene you have created.
  3. Most important - have FUN and ENJOY being creative.

A Theatre Designer makes a model of the stage, to show how the play will look. The Peepshow is a good way to begin designing.

Try changing the scenery, characters and costumes for any play or story – or make another Peepshow!

Other Design activities:

A4 Theatre

A4 Theatre

Build your own model theatre from A4 card.

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Cardboard theatre

Cardboard Theatre

Make a stage out of a cereal box

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Juliet Dress

Juliet Dress

A dress made from one piece of fabric, using simple running stitches.

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Tudor Knot Garden

Tudor Knot Garden

Make a miniature garden using free materials found outdoors at any time of year.

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These activities will be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages. The activities are rated according to difficulty and level of parental involvement: these descriptions are intended as a rough guide only. We have rated them to help parents of children aged 8-13, on the assumption that above this age supervision is rarely required, and that below it, supervision is generally required.

Easy : Set it up and off they go.
Intermediate : Some help needed.
Hard : Challenge yourself.