Theatre Information

Puppet Co. Playhouse Rapunzel

By • Mar 22nd, 2012 • Category: Reviews, Virginia
Puppet Co. Playhouse
Puppet Co. Playhouse, Glen Echo, MD
Through April 8th
40 minutes
Reviewed March 17th, 2012

Rapunzel is the classic fairy tale of a long-haired girl locked in a tower by a witch. The Puppet Company’s telling is a version of the classic story by the Grimm brothers, not a Disneyfied version (“Tangled”) or the Sondheim version (Into the Woods). We are introduced to an older childless couple. The wife convinces her busband to sneak into the neighbor’s garden to steal some radishes (also called rapunzel). Unfortunately the “neighbor” happened to be a mean old witch and she catches the husband, and claims their daughter as compensation for her radishes. Rapunzel grows up, and so does her hair, and the witch hides her in a tall tower. The only way into thee tower is by climbing Rapunzel’s hair. One day as Rapunzel was singing in her tower a prince rode by, heard the beautiful melody and fell in love. Eventually the prince figured out how to get up to the tower and the two planned to marry. Then things got complicated!

The telling of this story is done entirely by one puppeteer, Christopher Piper. Piper filled in for Eric Brooks who was called out of town unexpectedly. Entirely done with hand puppets, Piper does a remarkable job shifting sets, changing his voice, and telling the story in a very entertaining style. There were five different characters, and each had a unique personality. The set was made up of two different castles, plus the radish field, a wall (and the wall gets its own song too!), and a briar patch. Colorful backgrounds helped set each scene.

The children in the audience were caught up in the plot as well and seemed to enjoy it. And since it had been many years since I read the original Grimm Brothers version of Rapunzel, many of the story elements were new to me, leading to a very enjoyable piece of theater.

The Puppet Company’s Rapunzel was the classic fairy tale told with hand puppets in a very entertaining way.

Photo Gallery

Witch Wartsmith tries to keep Rapunzel our of the hands of a handsome Prince Old Jonathan is confronted by Witch Wartsmith
Witch Wartsmith tries to keep Rapunzel our of the hands of a handsome Prince
Old Jonathan is confronted by Witch Wartsmith

Photos by Christopher Piper


  • Puppeteer: Eric Brooks
  • Puppeteer: Christopher Piper (March 15-18)

Production Staff

  • Puppets, Costume and Set Designs, and Directed by: Allan Stevens
  • General Manager: Mayfield Piper
  • Director of Guest Services: Jon Gazarek
  • Lighting Design: Dan Brooks
  • House Manager: Kathi Gollwitzer
  • Director of Development & Community Relations: Erin Gifford

Disclaimer: Puppet Co. Playhouse provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College.