Although many shadow puppet shows are created solely using the hands, acts by the Manual Cinema are a full-body experience.
Manual Cinema shows involve a single screen, live actors and music to mimic the experience of watching a handmade movie. As one of the artistic directors of the company, Sarah Fornace describes that "People didn’t always know it was live. They thought it was some kind of strange, slow-motion video or a film project."
In contrast to many movie theaters that are becoming more elaborate in terms of projection technology, this simple setup presents a story told in shadowy silhouettes. Although live music is a big part of the experience, the performance unfolds without any dialogue.