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Dream Tale Puppets

Summer Classes at Falmouth Academy

Between 2008 and 2011, Dream Tale Puppets operated as a sub-program of Falmouth Academy, a college preparatory day school for students in grades 7 through 12 in Falmouth, Massachusetts. In addition to his work with Dream Tale Puppets, Jacek Zuzanski taught Drama Elective classes and directed Middle School plays. He also led summer acting and puppetry workshops, which he continued leading at the FA until the summer of 2017. Below you will find short descriptions and pictures from some of these summer workshops. 

The Golden Fish Makes Wishes Come True

In this creative, fun, theatrical adventure, children learned to express themselves on stage using the voice and body. They played acting games, explored how actors use imagination and give life to characters, and discovered the joy of a collaborative theatrical ensemble. Participants created sets by drawing, sculpting, painting, and learning to use duct tape, glue, staplers, and other handy tools. They also built table top style puppets using driftwood, old buoys, shells, pieces of nets, and other treasures found on Cape Cod’s beaches. 


The workshop ensemble worked to produce an adaptation of the fairy tale “The Fisherman and His Wife,” which tells the story of a fisherman who catches a golden, wish-granting fish. In this original adaptation, the Fisherman’s family are joined by many other quirky characters, including neighbors and members of the royal court. To cap off the workshop, the participants produced a final performance for their family and friends. Children took home their creations, together with a tremendous sense of achievement, many new skills, and the joy of having made new friends.

July 17 – 21, 2017, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., ages 8-12.

Pictures by: Jacek Zuzanski

Acting & Arts Workshop: Through the Looking-Glass

This theatrical and creative adventure culminated in a fabulous final performance based on an original adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories. The workshop, designed for those who like to express themselves using their bodies and voices, included drawing, painting, and sculpting. Students played acting games, explored the ways actors use imagination and give life to characters, and learned how to support one another in creative efforts. They designed and built sets and puppets and developed new creative skills across various media.


June 27 – July 1, 2016, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., ages 7-12

Fairies and Trolls: Adventures in the World of Puppet Theatre

Students learned how to create a table top stage, puppets, and movable scenery, culminating in the construction of a tabletop puppet theatre. They devised a short puppetry show and performed it with the help of peers. Children put their hands to work and expanded their creative talents using cardboard, paper, wood, sticks and twigs, yarn and fabric, foam and recycled materials, and more. They worked in small groups to write narration and dialogue for the story of a pretty fairy, a gloomy troll, and other fantastic characters from an enchanted forest. At the end of the week, they put on a show for the friends and family of the Falmouth Academy Summer Workshops.


June 28 – August 1, 2014, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., ages 7-12

Building Your Own Theatre

Students learned how to build their own toy-theatre style puppet theatre and how to create movable scenery and cardboard puppets. They invented their own short stories with characters and locations, created a storyline starring pretty princesses, fairies and nasty goblins. They wrote narrations and dialogues and, at the end of the week, performed a short puppet show for all the Falmouth Academy Summer Workshops’ friends and family. After the show, everyone took their theatre home to produce more shows.


June 1 – June 5, 2013, 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., ages 7-12

Puppet Theatre and Playwriting

In this workshop, students delved into the secrets of puppetry, playwriting, and the process of creating a puppet show. The fun began with acting games and exercises that developed expressive skills and taught students to create stage characters and work collaboratively. Next, participants studied manipulation techniques and learned how to bring different styles of puppets to life, at first using training puppets provided by the workshop and, once they had constructed their own puppets, using their own creations. The students took these puppets home at the conclusion of the workshop. Using puppets and inspired by improvisations games and exercises, they explored playwriting, devised a storyline, wrote narrations, dialogues and scenes, and then rehearsed, produced, and performed a final production for the enjoyment of friends, family, the workshop community, and invited guests.


July 8 – July 12, 2013, 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., ages 7-12

Acting Workshop and Theatre Production of Boat in the Woods

In this two-week acting class, actors dove into theatrical and creative explorations that ended in a spectacular final performance. Students developed their acting talents and skills by playing games, exercising physical and vocal expression and articulation, and learning principles of cooperation and teamwork.


The workshop started with auditions for parts in “Boat in the Woods,” a play about a group of children and their fantastic summer adventures, written specifically for this workshop. Once roles were assigned, participants moved through memorization and staging, exploring the ways actors use imagination and learning to give a character life and to collaborate with peers. To prepare for the final presentation, participants invented and created sets, props, puppets, and costumes. Finally, families, friends, and the workshop community were invited to see the grand production.


Monday – Friday, July 22 through August 2, 2013, 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.