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Paper Bale Theater aims to offer actors a sustainable stage


June 20, 2013

The Paper Bale Theater is a 135-seat circular theater concept that can be employed for temporary performances (Image: Studio Andrew Todd)

The Paper Bale Theater is a 135-seat circular theater concept that can be employed for temporary performances (Image: Studio Andrew Todd)

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Paris-based architectural and scenography firm Studio Andrew Todd has produced a proposal for a novel theater made primarily of recycled paper. Paper Bale Theater can be constructed and dismantled relatively easily and cheaply, and will feature everything necessary to stage a play or show.

Paper Bale Theater is a 135-seat circular theater concept constructed from mostly renewable sources, which can be employed for temporary performances. The proposal calls for four entrances (two for the audience, two for the performers), and a floor made from rental scaffolding boards nailed together, which could be placed atop tennis balls to provide a sprung floor. The audience seating is made from either paper or hay bales.

Studio Andrew Todd estimates that specialist contractors will require around three or four days to erect the Paper Bale Theater, and this will be carried out at a projected cost of £10,000 (roughly US$15,000).

The primary building materials are a one-piece steel frame, bamboo struts, and bales of recycled paper. The walls are constructed from compressed card and paper, while the roof material is derived from a double-membrane of recycled circus tent fabric. Studio Andrew Todd explains that this design will offer a significant degree of sound insulation.

The company further reports that once the theater is dismantled, the paper bales could resold for the same price at which they were originally purchased.

Questions abound concerning the Paper Bale Theater's practicality and even safety (one imagines it could easily become a fire hazard, for example), but providing Studio Andrew Todd tackles these issues, it's sure to be a unique venue to enjoy a play.

Studio Andrew Todd will further explain its concept at the World Stage Design Exhibition this September, in Cardiff, UK.

Source: Studio Andrew Todd via Inhabitat

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

The health and safety authorities are going to have a field day with this one... I wouldn't want to sit in a theater where all it will take is for someone to light a match and the whole thing could go up in flames!


How is this superior to using a reusable marquee ('big top') which can be erected in hours rather than days? Also, will straw or paper bales offer the same comfort as properly designed and almost endlessly reusable plastic or wooden seating?

I'm not against using recyclables for non-reusable items, such as stage props, but the rest appears to be a concept that has not really been thought through.


That paper theater is amazing!!! I never thought that there can be a theater made of paper. However, I know the hazard of fire with this material but, I believe that the architects knows of it and the management should make sure that no hazardous materials that can cause fire should be brought inside the theater room. Rule and regulations should be impose and should be strictly complied.

Nancy Crutcher
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