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Breaking the Fourth Wall? What is that?

The “Fourth Wall” is a term that theater people use to refer to an invisible barrier between the action on stage and the audience. It is as if the stage is a room, and one of the walls has been removed so that audiences can see the action on stage. The characters do not actively acknowledge the audience, to reinforce the existence of the Fourth Wall. The audience is an unseen and unacknowledged observer.

During this play, however, Beezus talks directly to the audience as the narrator. Sometimes, Ramona fights for her opportunity to talk to the audience, too. So, they broke the Fourth Wall by directly addressing the audience as their new friends. This creates a very warm and welcoming environ- ment for the audience.

Most plays do not break the Fourth Wall, which makes it a special feature that you could discuss with your students. (If you happened to have seen First Stage’s 2004-2005 productions of: A Christmas Story or Click Clack Moo: Cows that Type, you may have noticed that they also share this feature with Ramona Quimby.)

Ramona and her class made various Halloween masks for their Halloween parade. Following these instructions, you and your students can make owl hand puppets out of paper plates. The puppets are great for storytelling or decorating your classroom.

Materials needed: One and one half paper plates (for each student), colored markers, construction paper, scissors and glue.


  • 1.

    Staple the half-plate along the edges onto the back of the whole plate.

  • 2.

    Add facial features to the whole plate. (Use colored markers, construction

paper, or both.)

To Operate: Slip one hand or fingers behind half-plate to hold and move puppet about.

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