Celebrating 30 years of puppetry performances
We're proud to present our repertoire of performances! Our productions are each 45 minutes long and are suitable for family audiences. We travel to you with our own staging, sound system and lighting. Teachers Study Guides are available for all performances. Each performance is followed by a demonstration of the puppets.
"Thank you so much for your incredible artistry and collaborative leadership on our STONE SOUP Lollipops concert! The creative and dynamic way you brought the script to life, combined with your compassionate inclusion of rescue animals at the performance transformed our family experience into a completely inclusive one. Thank you for everything you did to enable this, and for your kind collegiality along the way. I want you to know how genuinely I enjoy working together. I hope we'll have another opportunity along the journey. Until then, I hope the many people for whom you perform appreciate the true brilliance of your work. I know all of us at the CSO do."
Christopher James Lees, Assistant Conductor, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Music Director, UNC School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra
Winner of the UNIMA-USA Citation of Excellence!
Some of the best times in a child's life are spent playing in the bathtub. Surrounded by toys and a sea of bubbles, the imagination runs wild with adventure stories. No different here! Follow the antics of Blackbeard and his crew as they commandeer a bathtub to carry out their daring plan. It's good clean fun for the whole family!
"Bathtub Pirates, a little bit of history set in an adventuresome kid’s imagination (and his tub), is more than squeaky-clean fun. It’s nearly genius."
Tony Brown, The Charlotte Observer
The Emperor's New Clothes
What's big and pink and loves to dress up in fancy clothes? Give up? It's the Emperor himself in Grey Seal Puppet's clever adaptation of The Emperor's New Clothes. Not only is this Emperor big and pink, he just happens to be a pig. The Hans Christian Andersen story takes on a whole new dimension as this classic tale is transformed into a fable. The crafty tailors are foxes; the prime minister is a near-sighted camel; and the councilor is a befuddled old walrus. Even the audience takes part - as animals, of course.
“Best of all, The Emperor’s New Clothes is entertaining. Not only is the story appealing, but you’ll find yourself absorbed in the clever mechanics of one person juggling seven puppet creatures. Allison’s been working on his art for more than a quarter-century and practice is definitely making Grey Seal really close to perfect.”
JoAnn Grose, The Charlotte Observer
Receiving gifts everyday of the year sounds like a dream come true. But for the mighty Emperor, who can have anything at the snap of his finger, the dream turns into a nightmare. Bored with the constant barrage of “fru fru,” “doo daas,” and “gobbledy gook,” the Emperor seeks something else... the beautiful song of a simple gray bird, the nightingale. The bird's song enchants everyone in the palace, until the arrival of a curious box with a picture of the nightingale inside.
The box sings as beautifully as the real nightingale. And unlike the real nightingale, this bird in a box sings whenever the Emperor desires. Mesmerized, the Emperor and his faithful court jester watch the box all the time. One day the singing box fails to work. Devastated, the Emperor grows ill and can only be rescued from death by the song of the real nightingale, who returns to the palace to save him.
Salsa Cinderella uses Grey Seal's trademark approach of whimsical storytelling and exquisite puppet design to tell this classic tale of love and footwear with a spicy twist! Come with us as we take a cilantro-fresh look at the story of Cinderella; re-imagined with south of the border flavors. With an original Latin score, dazzling puppets and fiesta-style staging, this show is sure to delight the salsa fan in everyone! Pass the tortilla chips, please!
"I've gotten great feedback from other teachers and my own students loved it!!! You make it so easy for us to not only be entertained, but to use your performance as a springboard for further learning. The many nuances of your stories make for a rich, multi-content area study. You are a complete delight. Thank you for being one of the highlights of our academic year!"
Lecia Shockley, Third Grade Teacher, Selwyn Elementary
"We are both pleased and honored to present first-quality family arts events throughout the year at our Gaston county Public Library, and we appreciate the opportunity to present such an outstanding performer as Grey Seal Puppets to our local audiences. Your original puppet production, Salsa Cinderella, now attracts enthusiastic audiences – they also delight all ages.”
Carol Reinhardt, Program Coordinator, Gaston County Public Library
A Show of Virtues
Winner of the UNIMA-USA Citation of Excellence!
It’s never too early to begin showing children character traits that are most admired by society. Inspired by The Children’s Book of Virtues, Grey Seal has produced an entertaining and enlightening program of stories from around the world including “The Little Hero of Holland,” “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “Please,” and “Why Frog and Snake Never Play Together.”
A traveling salesman trundles on stage with his large battered sample case and exhibits various containers, filled with virtues. You’ll be delighted as he transforms his sample case into a puppet stage and brings each story to life. Using his wares, he demonstrates courage, perseverance, politeness and tolerance. But in the end, the salesman realizes that virtues can’t be bought; they are priceless but they have to be practiced to be earned.
"I am sure you have probably already heard this from other teachers but I wanted to let you know how absolutely outstanding Drew Allison was today!! That program he presented to the children was phenomenal!! He totally captivated the children and they were so intent on what he was presenting to them. It is so obvious that he has a passion for what he does...you can see it on his face and in his eyes. I so wish you could have seen it... as it has to be one of the very best experiences we have had in quite some time!!"
Marcia Parnell, Teacher
"Just wanted to let you know that Drew's show today was WONDERFUL and really there aren't words to describe how we all felt about it. The children were mesmerized the whole time!!! What a special person he is!"
Martha Mallory, Resource Teacher
A Tangle of Tales
Three favorite folks tales from around the world come to life with a touch of the familiar and a taste of the new. Using a variety of puppet styles, "The Frog Prince" from Germany, "Three Billy Goats Gruff" from Scandinavia and "The Three Little Pigs" from England are each told with refreshing wit and wisdom. In between each of the tales there’s a whole menagerie of zany characters to see and enjoy. A skinny ant dances a lively jig; "block heads" learn how to get along; and the zaniest creatures of all, the "Wobblies", open the forty-five minute perfomance with an extraordinary ballet choreographed to Kablevsky's "The Comedian's Suite". Tangle of Tales is fun for everyone!
Click here to download our bookmark with a short summary of our performances: