A STUDY GUIDE FOR CLASSROOM TEACHERS
Table of Contents
About Pinocchio……. ……………………………………………………………….. 3
Carlo Collodi: Life and Art……………………….…………………………………... 3
Introduction to Theatre…………………………..…………………….................... 4
Introduction to Masks and Puppets………..………………………….. …………. 5
Introduction to Magic …....………………………………………........... …………... 5
Other Famous Tales with Similar Themes…………………………………………...6
Experiencing Live Theatre…………………………………................................... 7
Glossary of Terms……………………………………………….............................. 8
Before You See Pinocchio
Activity One: Prepare for the Play………………….................. ………… 9
Activity Two: Explore Puppets………….…………………………………. 9
Activity Three: Learn About Fairy Tales……………………… …………. 10
Activity Four: The Role of Music……………..…………………………… 11
Activity Five: The Importance of the Imagination ……………………….. 11
Activity Six: Find Out About Jobs in the Theatre…………………………. 12
After You See Pinocchio
Activity One: Respond to the Play…………………………….. ………… 12
Activity Two: Discover Theatre in the Classroom……………………. 13
Activity Three: Writing Our Own Stories……………….......................... 13
Activity Four: Magic Activities….…………………………… ………… 14
Activity Five: The Art in Theatre………………………………………… 14
Pinocchio – A Summary of the Story…………………………………. ………... 16
Mask Templates……………………………………………………………………. 22
Carlo Collodi’s “The Adventures of Pinocchio” first appeared as a magazine serial for
children in 1881. After fifteen installments Collodi ended the series, leaving his irascible
puppet hanging in a tree. But his young audience clamored for more and Collodi obliged,
expanding Pinocchio’s quest to the scale of an epic adventure. It was published as a
novel in 1883 and became an immediate success in Italy. It has been translated into over
one hundred languages and is considered to be one of the most influential works of
modern Italian literature.
Pinocchio’s universal appeal lies on many levels: He stands between the free-spirited,
self-centered world of childhood and the adult world of responsibility and community; He
is a puppet without strings yet he is pulled by his own uncontrollable urges; He dreams of
becoming a real boy, but his rebellious impulses keep getting in the way; He is naughty
and exasperating, yet good hearted and brave. His journey toward becoming fully human
is a journey we all share. Collodi masterfully writes a story that is able to speak to both
children and adults, writing with wit and affection about his errant hero. The opening lines
signal that this is not just an ordinary fairytale:
“Once upon a time there was…
‘A king!’ my little readers will immediately say.
No, children, you’re wrong. Once upon a time there was a
piece of wood. “
The marvelous interplay between the real and the fantastic, the folklore tradition of
storytelling and the literary fairytale, the harsh world of a poor child in nineteenth century
Italy mixed with a world populated by talking animals and helpful fairies, all combine to
make Pinocchio a rich and innovative tale. Ultimately this is a story of self-discovery,
transformation and redemption. Pinocchio realizes that his good deeds are not merely
self-sacrifice, rather they are self-expressive, the natural extension of being connected to
his father, his friends and the greater world.
The challenge of adapting a literary work to the stage is to be true to the spirit of the work
while allowing for its fresh expression through a different medium. We hope that we have
been successful in this endeavor and that you will delight in rediscovering Pinocchio as
Carlo Collodi’s Life
Carlo Collodi was born Carlo Lorenzini in Florence, Italy in 1826. He took the pen name
of Collodi from the town where his mother was born and where he lived as a child. His
parents were poor and his father worked as a cook for a noble family. His father’s
employer took an interest in the young Carlo, and sent him to seminary in the hope he
would become a priest. Collodi was too mischievous for the priesthood, but his education
led him to a love of literature and the classics. He worked for a publisher, became a
newspaperman and founded a humor magazine, IL Lampione. Collodi became
increasingly interested in politics and fought in two wars against Austria for Italian
freedom and reunification (1848 and 1859). In the 1850’s he founded a theatrical
magazine, wrote political commentary and worked as a civil servant. At this time he was
also writing novels, operas and plays. In 1875, Collodi translated the French fairy tales of
Charles Perrault, Mme. D’Aulnoy and Mme. Leprince de Beaumont and his book was a
great success. He was asked to rewrite a classic educational text and continued his
translations of fairy tales. In 1880 the magazine Giornale per i bambini asked Collodi to
create an original fairy tale in serial form and The Adventures of Pinocchio was born.
Carlo Collodi died in 1890 at the age of 64. His famous tale became a national treasure
and a world classic. Carlo Collodi grew up in poverty and knew the deprivation that
Pinocchio experienced. Like Pinocchio he was mischievous and an outsider – growing
up poor yet well-educated, he had to learn to fit into a different world than the one of his
childhood. All of his diverse experiences, interests and talents came together in
Pinocchio’s marvelous tale.
Introduction to Theatre
Theatre is an art that has existed as long as man has walked the planet. Primitive man
acted out his dreams and his rituals. As myth and religion developed, storytelling and
worship evolved into theatrical presentations. The ancient Greeks used choral hymns
and dance in their worship. Later, an actor was added along with the chorus, then a
second actor was added and drama as we know it was born.
What makes a theatrical experience? Actors on a “stage,” (which might be anything from
a huge amphitheatre to the front of a classroom) portray characters and tell stories
through their movement and speech. But even though there are actors playing
characters and telling stories, it is still not a theatrical experience until one more very
important element is added. It is the presence of an audience -- watching, participating,
imagining -- that makes it a true theatrical experience. Theatre enables us to collectively
experience that which we may know and feel within, but which may be unspoken and
unacknowledged in our outward lives. Theatre is the coming together of people -- the
audience and the actors -- to think about, speak of, and experience the big ideas that
connect us to our inner and outer worlds.
What does the audience bring to the theatre? They bring attention,
intelligence, energy and, above all, they bring imagination.
In film and television every bit of the screen is filled and editors tell the audience where
to look and what to see. The audience sits back and watches something that was filmed
or taped previously, which is always the same and upon which they have no effect.
Theatre, on the other hand, is a live experience -- the audience is right there as the play
happens. Their energy is part of the energy of the whole event. Their Imagination is free
to play and soar with the images and ideas presented to it. In that empty space that is
the stage, anything can happen. It is a magical place of possibility and transformation.
Introduction to Masks and Puppets
In this production of Pinocchio, all of the actors wear masks and some of the characters
in the play are puppets. Masks have been used since the very beginning of theatre. The
early Romans used enormous masks that exaggerated human characteristics and
enhanced the actor’s presence in the huge amphitheaters of their day. Greek Theatre
used masks that were human scale and more neutral. In Greek Theatre a few actors
were able to portray many characters through the use of masks. Masks have been used
in the early Christian church after the ninth century and were revived during the
Renaissance in Italy with the Commedia Dell’ Arte. Theatre throughout Asia has used
masks to create archetypal characters, human and divine. Balinese mask makers have
carved and refined masks for over a thousand years and they are a vital and essential
part of their theatre today. Masks have fascinated theatre makers with their ability to
transform the actor and the audience as well. The actor and the audience step into
another world when a mask is put on:
“A mask allows the actor to submerge his ego in the service of an archetypal role
whose significance dwarfs his own personality…The power of the mask is rooted in
paradox, in the fusion of opposites. It brings together the self and the other by enabling
us to look at the world through someone else’s face. It merges past and present by
reflecting faces that are the likenesses of both our ancestors and our neighbors. A mask
is a potent metaphor for the coalescence of the universal and the particular, immobility
and change, disguise and revelation.”
Ron Jenkins, “Two Way Mirrors” Parabola Magazine, Mask and Metaphor Issue
Puppets have a long and esteemed history. They have been used to represent gods,
noblemen and everyday people. In the history of every culture, puppets can be found,
from the tombs of the Pharaohs to the Italian marionette and the English Punch and
Judy. The Bunraku Puppet Theatre of Japan has been in existence continuously since
the seventeenth century. In the early days of Bunraku, the greatest playwrights preferred
writing for puppets rather than for live actors. Puppets are similar to the mask in their
fascination and power. We accept that this carved being is real and alive, and we invest
it with an intensified life of our own imagining. Because of this puppets can take an
audience further and deeper into what is true. Audiences bring more of themselves to
mask and puppet theater because they are required to imagine more. Masks and
puppets live in a world of heightened reality. Used with art and skill, they can free the
actor and the audience from what is ordinary and mundane, and help theatre do what it
does at its best: expand boundaries, free the imagination, inspire dreams, transform
possibilities and teach us about ourselves.
Introduction to Magic
To early humans, the world was filled with magic – stars glittered and constellations
moved, lightening flashed and fire appeared out of the sky, nature went through cycles of
death and rebirth. Ancient people wished to understand and control their world the same
as people do today. Shamans and priests used magic in their ceremonies to assuage the
gods, gain support of nature and to give their tribe a sense that they could control their
fate. Those who performed magic became both revered and feared. As humans evolved,
both holy men and con men were associated with the word ‘magic’: soothsayer and
sorcerer; wise man and wizard; mystic and fortune-teller; prophet and trickster. Over time
the practice of the magical arts transformed into the religion, art and science that we
In the eighteenth century magic grew into an art form, practiced to entertain and enchant.
Magicians performed sleight of hand and illusion to dazzle their audiences, using
misdirection, invention and skill. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries magic
flourished and elaborate magic productions toured the world. Today magic continues to
delight audiences with skillful performers who take on personas both mysterious and
comic. Enchantment Theatre uses magic in an innovative way to enhance the magical
aspects of the tales that it tells. When the Beast is transformed back into a Prince, in
Enchantment’s Beauty and the Beast, magic is used to create the effect; when Pinocchio
becomes a real boy, it is a magical illusion that creates the transformation. Magic is a
transformative art which takes an audience out of their ordinary reality and challenges
them to see new possibilities in the everyday.
Discovering and learning about the art of magic is possible for everyone. There are
books and magazines in libraries that explain and teach the principles and practices of
the art. But one aspect of magic that makes it quite special is that there is a secret to
how it’s done. The tradition of keeping magic a secret exists to preserve the foundation
of this extraordinary art form and to keep it surprising and marvelous for each new
Other Famous Tales That Share Themes with Pinocchio
• Odyssey: is an epic tale of adventure, quest, bravery and the value of
• Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: a humorous tale of quest and self-identity.
• The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: written in 1876, Mark Twain’s hero has
adventures, learns from his mistakes, and reconciles with his community.
• Harry Potter: stories of quest, coming of age, identity crisis, rule breaking,
bravery and community.
• The Velveteen Rabbit: A toy rabbit yearns to be real, just as Pinocchio wishes
to become a real boy.
Experiencing Live Theatre
Preparing Your Students to be Audience Members
A theatre is an energetically charged space. When the “house lights” (the lights that
illuminate the audience seating) go down, everyone feels a thrill of anticipation. By
discussing appropriate audience behavior as a class ahead of time, the students will be
much better equipped to handle their feelings and express their enthusiasm in
acceptable ways during the performance.
Audience members play an important role – it isn’t a theatre performance until the
audience shows up! When there is a “great house” (an outstanding audience) it makes
the show even better, because the artists feel a live connection with everyone who is
watching them. The most important quality of a good audience member is the ability to
respond appropriately to what’s happening on stage… sometimes it’s important to be
quiet, but other times, it’s acceptable to laugh, clap, or make noise!
Here Are Some Key Words to Keep in Mind:
Concentration: Performers use concentration to focus their energy on stage. If
the audience watches in a concentrated, quiet way, this supports the performers and
they can do their best work. They can feel that you are with them!
Quiet: The theatre is a very “live” space. This means that sound carries very well,
usually all over the auditorium. Theatres are designed in this way so that the voices of
the actors can be heard. It also means that any sounds in the audience- whispering,
rustling papers, or speaking - can be heard by other audience members and by the
performers. This can destroy everyone’s concentration and spoil a performance. Do not
make any unnecessary noise that would distract the people sitting around you. Be
Respect: The audience shows respect for the performers by being attentive.
The performers show respect for their art form and for the audience by doing their best
possible work. Professional actors always show up for work ready to entertain you. As
a good audience member, you have a responsibility to bring your best behavior to the
theatre as well. Doing so shows respect for the actors—who have rehearsed long
hours to prepare for this day—and the audience around you.
Appreciation: Applause is the best way for an audience in a theatre to share its
enthusiasm and to appreciate the performers. At the end of the program, it is
customary to continue clapping until the curtain drops or the lights on stage go dark.
During the curtain call, the performers bow to show their appreciation to the audience.
If you really enjoyed the performance, you might even thank the artists with a standing
Common Sense: The same rules of behavior that are appropriate in any formal
public place apply to the theatre. If audience members conduct themselves in orderly,
quiet ways, with each person respecting the space of those around him or her,
everyone will be able to fully enjoy the performance experience.
• Enter the building quietly.
• Food and drinks are not allowed in the theatre.
• Radios, tape recorders, video recorders and cameras are not allowed in the
theatre. Please turn off cell phones. You may not take pictures or use a video
recorder during the performance.
• Please use the restrooms before the performance. Do not get up to use the
restroom during the performance unless there is an emergency.
Glossary of Terms
• Theatre--Dramatic performances as a branch of art; also the audience at a
• Myth--A special kind of story that deals with natural phenomena (how the
leopard got spots/why the sky is blue), or with epic stories of human beings and
their relationship to the forces of creation and to one another.
• Fairy Tale--A story concerning fairies or a folk tale with marvelous events.
• Folk Tale--A story or legend that comes from a certain people (a Navajo folk
tale, a Chinese folk tale) and is usually handed down by word of mouth.
• Hero/Heroine--A person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for their
brave deeds and noble qualities. Greek in origin from a root that means “to
protect and to serve.”
• Mask--A covering of the face of an actor to symbolize the character he
represents. Prosopon is the ancient Greek word for mask, which means “face.”
Persona is Latin for mask.
• Puppet--An artificial figure representing a human being or an animal,
manipulated by the hand, rods or wires.
• Shadow Puppet--The shadow of a puppet or flat figure projected onto a lighted
• Mentor--A wise and trusted counselor.
• Magic--The art of creating an illusion where something that is thought
impossible appears to be possible.
• Illusion--Something that seems to exist but doesn’t, or looks to be one thing but
is actually another.
• Transformation--Change in form, appearance, nature or character.
Before You See Pinocchio
Activity One: Prepare for the Play
Read the introductory sections about Pinocchio and Carlo Collodi, and read the
summary of the story at the end of the study guide. (Or read the first four chapters of
Pinocchio - there are many excellent translations available ).
1. Ask the students what they think the “main idea” of this story is?
2. The original Pinocchio is different from the Disney version which the students
may be familiar with. Collodi’s Pinocchio is mischievous and makes bad choices
which he has to deal with, but which he eventually learns from. What other
differences did they notice between the two versions?
3. Even though Pinocchio made mistakes and was selfish, can the students think of
times when he was kind and brave?
4. Discuss with the students what Pinocchio and Carlo Collodi have in common.
5. Can the students think of times when they’ve felt or acted like Pinocchio?
Activity Two: Explore Puppets
In this production, Pinocchio is played by a masked actor, but the Talking Cricket is a
hand puppet and the Blue Fairy appears sometimes as a large rod puppet and
sometimes as a person. Puppets ask the audience to use their imagination to help bring
them to life. They also allow a small cast of actors to play many different roles. Puppets,
like masks, also help a character become bigger than life. They can represent different
exaggerated qualities of a person or an animal.
1. Make a list on the blackboard of all of the different kinds of puppets that can be
used: hand puppets, string puppets (marionettes), rod puppets, shadow puppets.
Check out http://www.copa-puppets.org/ to see different kinds of puppets from
around the world.
2. Have the students make a simple hand puppet from a sock. What kind of
expressions and characters can they portray?
3. Have the students find or bring objects to the class that they wouldn’t ordinarily
think of as a puppet -- a paper bag, a scarf, a folded piece of paper. Can the
students make their object come to life? What are the actions the puppet
performs that make it look real?
Activity Three: Learn About Fairy Tales
Every country in the world has fairy tales. Often similar stories and themes will be
shared by very different cultures. Cinderella first appeared as a Chinese fairy tale over a
thousand years ago. Pinocchio is a literary fairy-tale, which means that it was written as
a piece of literature and we know who the author is. Most of the fairy tales that exist
today have been passed down from story-teller to story-teller, from grandmother to
child, and don’t have an author associated with them. There are certain elements and
structures that are common to all fairy tales.
1. Share with the students the common elements they might find in fairy tales:
• It takes place a long time ago or in a fanciful land.
• It begins with the magical words: “Once upon a time…”
• Royalty is sometimes present (kings, queens, etc.)
• Common people can rise in status due to their own abilities or due to
magic or both.
• Fairies, witches, unusual and/or talking animals, giants, elves etc. may be
• There are good and evil characters.
• There is a problem to be solved.
• There is a happy ending.
2. Share with the students the common story structures found in most fairy tales.
• A hero-heroine has a mission or task to fulfill, may be banished from home,
or violates a rule.
• A villain is established.
• A magic spell or curse is cast.
• The hero meets 1-3 mysterious people, mentors or creatures and earns 1-3
magical gifts, or valuable knowledge.
• The hero challenges the villain and uses his new gifts or knowledge to
defeat the villain and/or break the spell.
• A happy ending follows including marriage, money, fulfillment of wishes
and/or wisdom along with the punishment of the villain.
Does Pinocchio have any of these elements or structures? Have the students look for
these as they watch the performance.
Activity Four: The Role of Music
The music in this production was composed by Andy Teirstein. It was specifically written
to underscore the action and to help the performers tell the story. It is wonderfully
evocative and theatrical, meaning that if you sit and listen to the music with your eyes
closed, you can feel and see with your inner eye what is happening in the story. Each
major character has their own theme – Pinocchio, Geppetto, the Cricket and the Blue
Fairy. The students may be familiar with another famous story, Peter and the Wolf,
where each character has its own theme.
1. If you were a composer, what kind of music would you write for Pinocchio? What
about Geppetto and the Blue Fairy? What instruments would you use?
2. Some music can make you feel happy; some music is mysterious or even a little
scary. Can the students think of examples of music that makes them experience
different feelings? How does music do this?
3. What kind of music do they imagine they will hear?
4. When you attend the performance, pay attention to the music. Try to remember
the different scenes and how the music created moods and helped the actors tell
Activity Five: The Importance of Imagination
The setting of this play is a stage with a beautiful, multi-colored surround curtain. In the
middle of the stage is a large platform with different levels, steps and ramps. The
platform is turned by the performers to become different locations for Pinocchio’s
adventure. Pinocchio’s story takes place with very little scenery, but with costumes,
puppets, masks, props and evocative lighting. The play invites the audience to use their
imagination to see Pinocchio’s home and the places he journeys to.
1. From reading Pinocchio’s story, what do the students imagine they will see on
2. Pinocchio and Geppetto get swallowed by a giant shark. How do the students
imagine this will happen on the stage?
3. Draw a scene from the story that you see in your imagination.
Activity Six: Find Out About Jobs in the Theatre
1. Students and teachers can visit Kids Work, a website that allows children to
explore a variety of different jobs in a typical community.
2. What kind of jobs do the students imagine people have at the theatre? Can they
name five different kinds of theatre jobs?
3. When your class comes to the theatre, look around to see what kinds of jobs
people are doing. You will see someone in the box office, ushers and actors.
There are also people doing jobs you don’t see, like the stage manager who will
call the cues for the show, and the lighting technician who will be running the
lights. There are also many others who you don’t see as well: the director who
directed the actors; the costume designer; the designers who created the masks,
puppets and magic equipment; the people who publicize the show, answer the
phones and sell the tickets.
After You See Pinocchio
Activity One: Respond to the Play
Review the performance and ask students to describe with as much detail what they
remember. What type of costumes did they see? How many characters were in the
story? How did the actors transform themselves to play different characters? What
happened in the story that was exciting? Scary? Funny? What kind of music was
used? Ask the students to help make a list of different things that happened in the
performance. Write these down the board. Questions to ask the students:
1. What character did they like the most? Why?
2. What do they think Pinocchio learned by the end of the story?
3. Look up the word “mentor” in the glossary. Was there a mentor in this story? Who
4. How did the music play an important role in the story? Can they describe the
5. Why do they think the actors wore masks?
6. What kinds of puppets did they notice in the play? Did they expect Pinocchio to be
7. Often the actors didn’t speak. What tools did the actors use to let the audience
know what the characters were feeling?
8. What surprised them most in the play?
9. Is there some kind of an experience we enjoy at a play and nowhere else? What is
Activity Two: Discover Theatre in the Classroom
In Pinocchio the actors were able to communicate ideas and feelings without using
words. Discuss with the students how the actors let the audience know what was going
on, even when they weren’t using their voices. Ask students to think of ways people can
tell someone something without speaking. Make a list of these on the board.
1. Ask students to think of actions or gestures they use to communicate. For
example, can they think of ways to act surprised using only their face? Have the
students make different faces while seated: fear, anger, happiness, etc. How can
they use their hands also?
2. Make a space in the classroom for the students to move freely. Explain to the
students that they will be using the space in the classroom to move about and
they should be aware of their space and careful not to bump into one another.
Students can be divided into smaller groups as well and each group can take
turns. Ask the students to walk around the classroom, filling up all of the empty
spaces. Coach the students to physically express different emotions on a scale
from one to ten. An example of coaching the students as they walk around the
room could go like this: “You are now feeling number three happy. How do you
feel that in your body? How are you walking? You’re just a bit little happy, how do
you feel -- in your shoulders, in your feet? Now you are feeling number six happy.
How are you moving now with your back and arms? Now you’re feeling number
ten happy,” etc. This exercise can be repeated with sadness, fear, anger,
curiosity to help the students understand how they can express different
emotions without saying a word.
3. Share with the students the following scenarios, asking them to act these out
without talking. Can students in other groups guess what they are doing?
• Walk across a pond using stepping stones. Be careful not to fall in.
• Carefully paint a door. After finishing, open the door and step through it
without getting any paint on your clothes.
• Build a snowman. The teacher should be able to tell how big the snow
man is by how the student uses the space.
4. Conclusion: Ask the students to think of three different ways they saw one
another communicate without using words: through facial expressions,
Activity Three: Writing Our Own Stories
1. Using the list of elements and structures for fairy tales discussed before attending
the play, list what elements and structures were present in this version of
2. Would the students have told Pinocchio the same way if they had created a play?
What would be the same? What would be different?
3. Students can work in pairs or small groups to discover the elements and
structures that exist in well-known fairy tales. They can find stories from the school
library or bring them from home. They should make a list of whatever elements
they find, knowing that not every story will have all of these elements.
4. Have the students write an original fairy tale using some of the elements and
structures they have studied.
5. Where do stories come from and what can they tell us about ourselves? Have the
students think about the first story they ever heard.
Activity Four: Magic and Illusion
Fairy tales, folk tales and myths often connect their readers with magical beings or
events. In this production of Pinocchio, magic is used in many different ways.
1. How is magic used in this production to tell Pinocchio’s story? Can the students
list the kinds of magic that they saw?
2. Look at some optical illusions. What is the illusion? What is real? (You may have
in your school library The Great Book of Optical Illusions by Gyles Brandreth,
Sterling Publishing Company, New York City, 1985 or visit
3. Have the students ever experienced something that they thought was scary but it
turned out to be very different than what they had imagined? (Such as thinking
that they heard a burglar in the house and it turned out to be a mouse). Have
them write down their experience or share it with the group.
4. Have the students ever had a dream that felt very real at the time they were
having it and then when they woke up they realized it was just a dream? How did
that make them feel when that happened? Did they wonder for a moment what
was real and what was a dream?
Activity Five: The Art in Theatre
1. Have the students draw a picture of their favorite character from Pinocchio.
2. Although the scenery was quite simple, the actors helped create the different
environments for the story using props and costumes. Have the students draw
their favorite scene from the play. Did they use their imagination to create more
than was actually on the stage?
3. Have the class make masks using paper plates, paper bags or templates from
the back of the study guide. (An excellent book on masks and mask construction
is Maskmaking by Carole Sivin, Davis Publications Inc., Worcester, MA, 1986.
This is a wonderful introduction to masks and has specific projects geared to
different age groups).
a. Have each student look at their mask before they put it on. What does it
b. When they put on a mask, what happens with their body? Do they begin to
use more of their body to communicate?
c. Can they act out what the mask represents?
d. Have the class divide up into smaller groups and experiment acting out
charades or simple stories with the masks.
Enchantment Theatre Company thanks Erica Green for her assistance in the creation of
this study guide.
Enchantment Theatre Company also wishes to thank Gail Grigg, teaching artist with
Enchantment, for sharing the acting exercise #2, from the Theatre in the Classroom.
We also thank The Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville, SC for
permission to use the section on Experiencing Live Theatre, for format suggestions, and
for suggested acting exercises.
~a summary of the tale~
1. The Birth of a Puppet
Once upon a time there lived an old woodcarver named Geppetto. One day Geppetto
found an odd piece of wood and he decided to carve it into a puppet. Right away the
wood started giving Geppetto trouble, kicking him as he carved the puppet’s legs, and
grabbing his wig as he finished carving his arms. When Geppetto finally completed the
puppet he named him Pinocchio. Geppetto stood back to admire his work when
suddenly Pinocchio stood up by himself and started to walk toward Geppetto crying,
“Papa.” Pinocchio was a walking, talking puppet that was almost real.
Pinocchio decided to take advantage of his ability to move and ran away from Geppetto
so he could go play outside. Geppetto tried to run after his new son, but ended up
colliding with a policeman and was led away.
After Geppetto was taken away, Pinocchio went back to his house, but found himself in
the presence of a talking Cricket. The Cricket told Pinocchio that children should
respect their parents and go to school, because if they don’t go to school they will grow
up to become great donkeys. But Pinocchio replied that all he wanted to do was to eat,
drink, and play, and that he never wanted to go to school. The Cricket said that this was
a bad idea and teased Pinocchio that he only had a wooden head, so Pinocchio got
angry and threw a hammer at the Cricket and squashed him.
Immediately Pinocchio began to regret his hasty actions. He was all alone and hungry
and did not know how to take care of himself. Luckily, his father was released and
passed a Fruitseller on the way home and bought a pear. Next he passed a Bookseller.
He wanted to buy Pinocchio a book, but he did not have enough money. Geppetto sold
his coat so he could afford the school book for his puppet son.
When Geppetto entered his house he was ready to scold Pinocchio for being a bad son,
but instead he felt sorry for Pinocchio, who was scared and hungry. He gave Pinocchio
his fruit and then the book. Pinocchio was happy about the food, but he was not at all
interested in the book once he realized that he couldn’t eat it. Soon Pinocchio realized
that Geppetto was shivering and that he had sold his only coat to buy the book.
Pinocchio embraced his father and made a promise to go to school and be a good boy.
2. Afternoon at the Theatre
The next day, Pinocchio headed off to his first day of school, but was stopped by a
ticket seller. The ticket seller persuaded Pinocchio to see a puppet show instead of
going to school. Pinocchio sold his schoolbook so he could get money for a ticket to
attend the Puppet show.
Pinocchio was enjoying the show when suddenly the two puppets on the stage,
Columbina and Harlequin, recognized Pinocchio as a fellow puppet. They decided to
invite Pinocchio to join them in their routine.
The three puppets were having fun dancing onstage, until the master of the puppet
show, named Fire Eater, found that Pinocchio had disturbed the show. Fire Eater was
furious and when he got mad at his puppets he liked to use their bodies for firewood.
Pinocchio began to beg for himself and his new friends so they wouldn’t have to be
subjected to this terrible fate. Fire Eater started to sneeze, which meant that he was
taking pity on Pinocchio. Once he stopped sneezing he declared that he would spare
Pinocchio and burn Harlequin instead! Pinocchio could not allow that to happen, so he
asked Fire Eater to be taken in Harlequin’s place. With Pinocchio’s kindness, Fire Eater
decided to spare all three puppets. He then rewarded Pinocchio with five gold coins
that Pinocchio should give to his father. Pinocchio took the money, said goodbye to his
new friends, and started on his journey back home.
3. Field of Miracles
On Pinocchio’s trip back home, he met two interesting looking animals, The Fox and
The Cat. They started talking to Pinocchio and found out that he had five gold coins.
Fox and Cat told Pinocchio that he should not give the money to his father, but instead
come with them to the Field of Miracles. There they could turn Pinocchio’s five coins
into a thousand coins or more. Pinocchio hesitated, thinking about going home to his
father, but then decided to go with Fox and Cat to the Field of Miracles.
They walked for a while, until they finally reached the field. Fox instructed Pinocchio to
dig a hole and put all of his gold coins inside it. Then, they told him to sprinkle salt on
the ground and turn around in a circle five times. They said that once he had completed
his task, a tree would grow where he put the coins and it would be full of thousands of
Pinocchio followed their instructions, and as he turned he heard the voice of the dead
cricket speak to him. He warned Pinocchio to stay out of trouble. Pinocchio protested
that he was not in trouble, but when he finished his fifth turn, he saw that all of his coins
were gone. Fox and Cat tricked him so they could steal the money. Pinocchio decided
to find Fox and Cat so he could get his money back.
4. The Assassins
Pinocchio began to search for Fox and Cat when he was ambushed by two assassins.
They threatened Pinocchio saying that either he give them money, or they would take
his life. Pinocchio pleaded with the assassins, saying that he had no money, but the
assassins grabbed Pinocchio and tied a rope around his neck and hanged him from a
5. The Blue Fairy’s House
While Pinocchio was dangling from a tree, a butterfly flew over to him and rescued him,
taking him to the Blue Fairy’s house. Then the butterfly flew away and the beautiful Blue
Fairy came to Pinocchio’s side. The Ghost of the Cricket appeared and the Blue Fairy
magically brought him back to life.
The Blue Fairy, looking down at the unconscious puppet, called two doctors over to see
if Pinocchio was alive. Two doctors came to her aid; one was an owl while the other
was a crow. The Owl believed that Pinocchio was dead, while the Crow thought the
Pinocchio was still alive. The Blue Fairy asked the Cricket for his opinion, and he said
that Pinocchio was a bad puppet and would make his father die of a broken heart. This
statement made Pinocchio cry, so everybody realized that he had to be alive.
The Blue Fairy decided that what Pinocchio really needed was some medicine, but
Pinocchio refused, so the Blue Fairy brought in a coffin carried by two rabbits. Seeing
this coffin scared Pinocchio so much that he said he would take his medicine.
Almost immediately, Pinocchio began to feel much better. Then the Blue Fairy asked
Pinocchio why he was hanging in the tree. He was too ashamed to tell her the truth
about selling his book and the lost gold coins, so he lied to her. With each lie,
Pinocchio’s nose grew longer and longer. It became so long that he had to hold his
nose up. Pinocchio began to panic, and the Blue Fairy started to laugh. She explained
that she was laughing at his lies. She said that she knew they were lies because there
are two types of lies, those with short legs and those with long noses. Pinocchio’s lies
obviously had long noses. When she finished with her explanation, she magically
restored his nose to its proper length.
After Pinocchio’s nose was restored, he told the Blue Fairy that what he wanted most in
the world was to become a real boy. She told him that he could become a real boy if he
really deserved to. The Blue Fairy told Pinocchio that the way to achieve his dream was
to always tell the truth and to keep his promises. Pinocchio decided right then and there
that he would keep his promise to his father and go to school.
Right after Pinocchio made up his mind, a pigeon flew to him saying that Pinocchio’s
father, Geppetto, was on a search for Pinocchio and had been lost at sea. The Blue
Fairy tried to comfort Pinocchio and said that he would see his father again, but first he
had to keep his promise and go to school. So, Pinocchio left the Blue Fairy, and
headed off to school.
When Pinocchio finally made it to school, he realized that he actually liked learning. His
only problem was that most of the students did not like him, except for a skinny boy
named Lampwick whom Pinocchio did not even know. Most of the boys bullied
Pinocchio, but Lampwick tried to defend for him. The teacher caught Lampwick sticking
up for Pinocchio but misunderstood what was going on and thought he was taunting the
other boys. So the teacher kicked Lampwick out of the school. Pinocchio, on the other
hand, excelled in class and became the top student.
7. After School
After school, Pinocchio found Lampwick outside. They introduced themselves.
Pinocchio discovered that the reason Lampwick had a peculiar name was because he
was as bright as a wick from a candle on a night lamp.
Lampwick and Pinocchio soon became fast friends, and Lampwick invited Pinocchio to
run away with him to a country that had no rules, no school, and all that kids did there
was play. Pinocchio was intrigued by this idea, but remembered his promise about
going to school. Soon, curiosity got the better of Pinocchio, and he decided that he
wanted to go to this country after all.
8. The Coach to Playland
Pinocchio followed Lampwick and they found the coach that was going to take them to
Playland. Lampwick climbed in the coach and Pinocchio sat behind the donkey that
was leading the coach. As Pinocchio adjusted himself in his seat, he heard the donkey
whisper something to him. It sounded like the donkey was saying that Pinocchio was a
fool to go on this trip, and that he would soon be sorry.
As Pinocchio and Lampwick entered Playland, they were amazed to see a big colorful
parade going on with magic boxes, lollypops, toys and candies all over the place. They
jumped out of the coach and began to play.
After a long day of playing and eating candy, they slept soundly. However, Pinocchio
and Lampwick awoke to discover that they had turned into donkeys! They were
horrified, and they did not know what to do. The man who drove the coach to Playland
found them and laughed at the two new donkeys. The driver knew this was going to
happen, because this was the fate of all bad children who do not go to school and work
hard. He took the donkeys so he could sell them. First Lampwick was sold, and then
Pinocchio was sold to a circus.
Oh, how ashamed Pinocchio felt. If he just listened to the Blue Fairy he would still be a
puppet going to school.
10. The Circus
On Pinocchio’s first day in the circus, the Ringmaster put him into the center ring. As the
amazing performing donkey, Pinocchio was supposed to do many tricks and end with a
grand finale of jumping through the ring of fire.
Pinocchio was able to gallop, run, and play dead very well. He was also able to jump
through the ring of fire…but his landing went horribly wrong. He landed painfully on his
legs and broke something.
Well, there was no room for a lame donkey in the circus, so the Ringmaster took
Pinocchio out of the show and tossed him into the sea.
11. The Sea
Scared and struggling to stay afloat in the sea, Pinocchio saw the Blue Fairy appear in
the distance. As he tried to swim to her, she changed Pinocchio back into his old self.
He still could not reach the Blue Fairy, so he kept swimming and swimming, and
suddenly out of nowhere, a gigantic shark appeared and swallowed Pinocchio up.
12. Inside the Shark
When Pinocchio entered the shark, he saw something that looked like a man near the
back of the shark’s throat. As he walked farther back, Pinocchio saw that the man was
Geppetto. As they embraced, Pinocchio apologized to his father declaring that he
finally learned his lessons and that he would always obey his father from now on. Then
Pinocchio told Geppetto all about his adventures and what he had learned.
After Pinocchio explained everything to Geppetto, they decided that they needed to get
out of the shark. Pinocchio said that they could escape through the mouth of the shark
and offered to let Geppetto ride on his back while he would swim to safety.
So, Pinocchio and Geppetto tickled the back of the shark’s throat and the shark let out a
big sneeze, letting the father and son escape and swim back to dry land.
When Pinocchio reached the shore, he realized that his father was ill. Pinocchio helped
bring his father home, and then decided to go out and earn money to get food for
Pinocchio started to work for a Farmer. For many days he worked until he received
enough money to help restore Geppetto fully.
Geppetto thanked Pinocchio, and asked him if he could give Pinocchio anything in
return. Pinocchio said that all he really wanted was to be a real boy. Geppetto assured
Pinocchio that some day he would become a real boy, but for now he should go out and
get something for himself.
Ecstatic, Pinocchio left Geppetto to find something for himself. Along the way Pinocchio
ran into an Old Beggar Woman. She asked Pinocchio for a little help, so instead of
buying something for himself, he gave the old woman all of his money. To his surprise,
the Old Beggar turned into the Blue Fairy. She told Pinocchio that he was forgiven for
all his misdeeds. He had changed and was finally able to be trusted.
The Blue Fairy gave Pinocchio a hug, and all of a sudden, Pinocchio turned into a real
boy. Pinocchio thanked the Blue Fairy and then ran home to his Father. Geppetto saw
Pinocchio, and they embraced. He finally had what he wanted; he was a real boy with a
father who loved him.
And they all lived happily ever after.