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Dream Tale Puppets

About Us

WHAT WE DO

Dream Tale Puppets offers quality original puppetry performances for children and families, alongside theatrical and educational programs for all ages. Our theatre is dedicated to the study of both traditional and innovative styles of  puppetry, and to sharing the richness of theatrical and literary cultures of the world. We examine, research, and experiment to develop the language of theatrical art with a special interest in the relationship between the art of the actor, the puppeteer, and the visual artist. We are devoted to practicing and developing ways of working creatively with children and youth.

WHERE WE COME FROM

Dream Tale Puppets is an ensemble of artists; each member brings their own original and unique experience and skills to our productions. Jacek Zuzanski, the founder and artistic director has broad experience in various theatrical styles, and has practiced theatre as an artist and teacher in both his native Poland and in the U.S. All ensemble members are also involved in projects aside from those of Dream Tale Puppets: Some work as solo artists or as members or leaders of other theatres, while others serve as freelance performers and directors. Most of the ensemble members, in addition to being artists, creators, and performers, are also experienced trainers and teachers. Many of us are also skilled theatre managers, experienced in developing theatrical projects in a variety of settings, communities and environments.

WHERE WE GO

Every project is a new creative endeavor and venture into unknown territory. We define who we are every time we work together and every time we meet our audiences or project participants. We believe in the value of asking questions, as children do, and in the inquisitive creativity found in children’s play. By emulating the creative improvisations of children’s play, we learn traditional theatrical languages and create new languages. We cross boundaries between styles, cultures, mediums, and poetics; we venture beyond the boundaries of what we know. We examine the world around us, its laws, orders, harmonies and their lack. We practically reflect on the challenges and entanglements of the characters and voices we meet in stories, pictures and our practices. We enjoy marveling over doubt and a lack of words to express wonderment at what we see and feel. We share the adventure of wandering through lands of enchantment and mystery, humor and whimsy, joy and amazement. We follow fairy tales and children’s rhymes toward the beginning of every question, and we question each character we meet. We discover ourselves anew everyday, and we share our experiences with our audiences.

HISTORY

The spark that brought Dream Tale Puppets to life was a series of short improvisational puppet shows at the Cape Cod Children’s Museum. Mary Almeida narrated and gave voice to the characters, while Jacek Zuzanski, using puppets

from the Museum and his original creations, animated the stories. In the 2003-04 season, we produced nine “Story and Puppet Time” shows to the delight of Museum visitors. We next cultivated our two most popular stories, “The Three Little Pigs” and “Little Red Riding Hood,” and took them on the road for performances at Cape Cod and Southern Massachusetts libraries, schools, and other cultural venues, adding “Rumplestiltskin” to the repertoire and Norina Reif to the troupe along the way. Dream Tale Puppets became our official name in 2005. Five years later, the theatre produced “Jack and the Beanstalk,” and during the following years we welcomed over a dozen of actors to the cast of this show. Until 2018, the theatre operated under fiscal sponsorship of the subsequent non-profit cultural organization which had been also serving as a visa sponsor to the theatre founder. Following Cape Cod Children’s Museum these were: the Cape Cod Conservatory, Falmouth Academy, and the Polish Theatre Institute. In parallel to producing and performing, Jacek Zuzanski served as a theatre teacher directing school plays and conducted a variety of after school and vacation programs. In 2013, the community of John Wesley United Methodist Church in Falmouth offered the theatre rehearsal and studio space to build puppets and store materials and equipment. This support and partnership makes possible the continuous development of theatre’s programs. During eight months between 2017 and 2018, Dream Tale Puppets’ founder taught, designed, directed, and performed in Poland. He returned to the U.S. as a permanent resident in May 2018 to resume work on Dream Tale Puppets’ latest production “Alice, or the Red King’s Dream”.

THE TEAM AND ASSOCIATED ARTISTS

Norina Reif

Puppeteer and voice actor, she is also a playgroup coordinator specializing in early childhood development and an expressive therapist

Margaret Moody

Puppeteer, and actor trained in Bu Dai Xi style Taiwanese puppetry also produces and performs her own solo shows

Robert Bock

has been involved with the Cape Cod area theater scene for 30 years as a performer, director and administrator.

Jacek Zuzanski

Jacek Zuzanski

Dream Tale Puppets founder, director, designer and leading performer

Sarah Kahn

Voice actress, Master of Social Work, collage artist, and art teacher

Izabella Laskowska

Actor, broadcaster, journalist,  and the Director of the Polish Theatre Institute

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

As always, it was a pleasure to once again host you and the DreamTale puppets at the Fall River Public Library. Your presentations are always a delightful experience for our young patrons and you are such a pleasure to work with. You are one of my favorite children’s entertainers!

David R. Mello, Supervisor of Children’s Services

Fall River Public Library, August 2023

Our patrons love the experience of a Dream Tale Puppets show. Jacek is a pleasure to work with, professional and affable, and the performers spent a long time after the show letting the children meet and interact with the puppets. Each show is a sensory delight that combines masterful performance with distinct, hand-crafted puppets to bring timeless tales to life. Their unique style and excellent value make art, literature and theater accessible to every community.  

Melissa MacLeod

Youth Services, Carver Public Library, June 2019

Thank you for a most engaging and energetic performance! Your combination of puppetry, masks and storytelling offered our audience a unique and extremely entertaining experience! The public feedback was excellent!

David R. Mello, Supervisor of Children’s Services

Fall River Public Library, August 2015

You have managed to bring the joy to both kids and adults alike. It is very rare to have a luxury of such professionalism in the home performance and we are hoping for many happy returns!

Anna and Mikhail Burdman, 

Hyannis MA, December 2014

Dream Tale Puppets were wonderful! They put on a thoroughly entertaining performance and introduced the classic tale of ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ to a bunch of mesmerized three year olds. Thank you Dream Tale Puppets for a great time!

Alison S

Marblehead MA, January 2015

Your imaginative presentation of the puppet shows was superlative. The puppets, themselves, were so artistically created, and the interplay with the children in the audience was so charming, that we adults who were watching enjoyed it as much as they did. I am sure that your puppet show was the most popular event of the day.

Maryanne Desmarais

Chase Library Association , July 2015

WE ARE A MEMBER OF

SOME OF OUR PRESENTERS

Hyannis J.F.K. Museum, Cultural Center of Cape Cod, Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, Polish Theatre Institute, John William Decas School (Wareham), Puppet Showplace Theater, Cape Cod Theatre Company/Harwich Junior Theatre, Harrington Elementary School, Cape Cod Children’s Museum, Hartford Performs, John Wesley United Methodist Church (Falmouth), Holy Trinity Church Harwich, Planting Fields Foundation, Ipswich Winthrop School, Goat on a Boat Puppet Theatre, Somerville Arts Council, Woods Hole Daycare Cooperative, Willowbend Day Camp (Mashpee), Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club (Brewster), Quincy Elementary School, The Bourne Society for Historic Preservation, Eastham Cultural Council, Arlington Center for the Arts, Payomet Performing Arts Center, First Night Boston, Boston Athenaeum, Westport Free Public Library, Eldredge Public Library (Chatham),  Needham Free Library, and Truro, Dedham, Fall River, Sandwich, Falmouth, Cotuit, Carver, Norton, East Bridgewater, Middleborough Public Libraries.

In the January 2014 Falmouth Community Television hosted Dream Tale Puppets for the  recording of “Rumpelstilskin” and for producing a short video about our work. The production was directed by Basia Goszczynska who also conducted the interview. 

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