A national treasure: Storybook Puppet Theater
All shows that grace the stage of Fairyland’s Storybook Puppet Theater are original productions, featuring scripts, costumes, music, and sets designed by our talented puppeteers. Don’t miss a chance to watch a production at the oldest continuously operating puppet theater in the U.S.
Since we first parted the curtains in 1956, some of the country’s most gifted puppeteers have worked at our theater. The list includes Luman Coad, Frank and Dorothy Hayward, Tony Urbano, and husband-and-wife team Mike and Frances Oznowicz.
One of our most famous alumni is Mike and Frances’ son Frank Oznowicz, later known as Frank Oz. As a teenager, he worked after school and on weekends to create puppet shows at Fairyland. He later applied that experience in his work on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.
Puppet shows are presented year-round, three times a day (11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.) at the Storybook Puppet Theater. We can’t wait to see you there.
The Elves & The Shoemaker, May 22–July 11
The shoemaker has a problem. Every time he leaves leather on his workbench to make shoes the next morning, someone beats him to it during the night. Who can be making these wonderful shoes? Join the Shoemaker, Cinderella, The Prince, Puss in Boots and the Witch of the North from Oz as they try to find ou. Based on the popular Grimms’ tale. Puppets and scenery by Lewis Mahlmann & Patricia Platt. Script by David C. Jones.
The Magic Blossom, July 12–Aug. 29
William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” comes to life for children. Join King Oberon and Puck and the other fairies as they try to trick Queen Fairy Titania. One drop of dew in the eye from the magic flower will cause the infected to fall in love with the first person they see. But what happens when that person is a poor soul who has had his head turned into a donkey’s! Puppets, script & scenery by Lewis Mahlmann.
Tashi, A Boy From Tibet, Aug. 30–Oct.27
This is a tale about helping each other and caring for animals. Tashi doesn’t want to be a hunter, beacause it hurts his animal friends. In order to learn the lessons of life, his father sends him out into the world. On the way he meets a magical monk, and saves a village from a wicked demon, all through the help of friends. Puppets and script by Lewis Mahlmann. Production designed by Marie Ayers.
The Shepherdess & The Chimney Sweep, Nov. 1–2014
Hans Christian Andersen’s delightful tale about love and adventure as experienced by china dolls. The chimney sweep who lives on the mantelpiece loves the delicate porcelain shepherdess who stands beside him. Her grandfather, the Chinese head nodder, does not approve. He wants her to marry General Billy Goat Legs, the carved figure on the cabinet. The two sweethearts run away and have a grand adventure on the rooftops. Original songs and script by Foreman Brown. Production designed by Sheliah Beckett. Puppets by Lewis Mahlmann.
The puppeteers of Storybook Puppet Theater use different kinds of puppets to tell their stories. Check the calendar to see what’s on stage during your visit.
Bunraku—In this Japanese form, puppeteers share the stage with their puppets, manipulating them using handles. Complicated puppets require up to three puppeteers.
Hand Puppets—Many classic puppet shows, including Punch and Judy, use hand puppets. The puppeteer manipulates the puppet’s movements with his or her hand.
Marionettes—This very old style of puppetry originated in medieval France and involves puppets moved by strings. Our Hansel and Gretel production features marionettes.
Shadow Puppets—This form originated in Indonesia in ancient times and is sometimes known by the Balinese name “wayang.” Figures are attached to sticks, with the heads left free to swivel.