Hansel & Gretel at The Puppet Co.

By Jamie Davis Smith
A visit to the Puppet Co. is always a fun afternoon for kids and parents alike. My three year old son likes to tell people “I like puppets!” and he delights in seeing the puppets at the Puppet Co. Theatre come alive.

As with other Puppet Co. productions, a new twist is given to a classic fairytale. In this version, the young siblings Hansel and Gretel travel deep into the woods to gather strawberries for supper after their mother accidentally spills some milk. Along the way Hansel and Gretel have some adventures and the Sandman eventually comes to lull them to sleep. When the pair wakes up they are next to a Gingerbread house covered in gumdrops and candy – and that’s where the trouble begins. Hansel is captured by a tree whose branches turn into limbs and Gretel narrowly escapes being thrown in the oven by a witch who wants to eat the children. Clever Gretel tricks the witch into getting into the oven instead and manages to free Hansel. Delighted, the children return home with a basket full of candy – and a giant witch cookie they pull out of the oven the witch had recently been in. This telling of Hansel and Gretel is a little friendlier than the classic. It also includes some of the music by Engelbert Humperdinck that appears in the classic German opera as well as some special effects. Puppeteer Christopher Piper expertly plays all of the roles in Hansel and Gretel including the witch, mother, and Sandman. Piper also manages to control the scenery as well and grown-ups may want to watch Piper magically put on the show by himself. Hansel and Gretel is a real treat to enjoy with your child!


  • Seating is first-come first served with the front of the theatre reserved for children only.
  • No strollers are allowed in the theatre, but there is stroller parking just outside.
  • The show runs about 40 minutes.
  • If your child can’t sit through the show, the performance is broadcast live to a monitor in the
  • lobby so you can keep watching.
  • There is free parking in the Glen Echo parking lot, but it can take about 10 minutes to walk from
  • the lot to the theatre with kids so be sure to leave enough time!
  • The Tales of Beatrix Potter runs from October 4 th – November 16 th . and shows on Fridays at
  • 11:00 and Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 am and 1:00 pm.
  • Tickets are $12. Everyone 2 and older needs a ticket. Buy tickets here or at the box office.
  • When going to Glen Echo for the show, be sure to spend some time in the park’s fun playground
  • or stop by the branch of Praline in the park for a treat. The carousel is closed for the season.
  • Group rates and birthday party packages are available.

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