German amateur puppet theatre. Die Spieldose was founded in 1955 by Manfred Drum, Erich Winzinger, Walter Tränkler and Arno Reichenberger, architecture students at the Technischen Universität München (Technical University of Munich). Until the mid-1970s, the productions of this company evolved over time developing the artistic and technical potential of the mechanical puppet. This development went through several stages: the imitative string puppet play, the abstraction of the figures, then the shadow play incorporating the medium of film, and finally the mechanical theatre with input from the computer, Mechanisches Theater München (The Music Box Toybox, Mechanical Theatre Munich).

Since 1979, different ensembles of puppeteers have participated with alternating styles expressing their artistic interests through a variety of theatre figures. This idea of aesthetic diversity still governs the theatrical expression of Die Spieldose.

(See Germany.)


  • Theater der Mechanik [Mechanical Theatre]. Ravensburg: Otto Meier, 1972.