Flushing Town Hall brings back Tanglewood Marionettes’ award-winning production ‘The Dragon King’

The Dragon King features colorful sea creatures, an exciting adventure and beautiful hand-crafted marionettes. (Photo courtesy of Flushing Town Hall)

Flushing Town Hall is welcoming back the award-winning puppeteers of  Tanglewood Marionettes with an underwater fantasy based on the Chinese folklore, “The Dragon King,” on Saturday, Dec. 11. 

Tanglewood Marionettes last performed “The Dragon King” at Flushing Town Hall in 2018. This year, to meet the high demand, the venue will be hosting two separate shows on Dec. 11, allowing for smaller audiences, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Each performance will be presented to both an in-person, following COVID policy, and virtual audience. 

Gabrielle Hamilton, director of Education and Public Programs at Flushing Town Hall, said they’re thrilled to have the Tanglewood Marionettes for two shows of “The Dragon King.”

“Audiences of all ages will be enchanted by the wonderful puppets as they come to life and share this heart-warming adventure story with a grandmother as the heroine. We are so pleased to be offering exciting live entertainment to young children again in a safe space this holiday season,” Hamilton said. 

“The Dragon King” tells the tale of a brave grandmother who journeys to the bottom of the sea in search of the elusive Dragon King and the answers to why he has forsaken the land above. It features colorful sea creatures, an exciting adventure, and hand-crafted marionettes, captivating love for puppetry in children and adults alike. 

Peter and Anne Schaefer created the award-winning production. 

Since he was knee-high, Peter was born into a family of puppeteers and has performed with hand puppets, rod puppets and marionettes. After apprenticing with the Bennington Puppets for several years, Peter purchased a marionette show and launched his own company. 

While Anne, after studying art and philosophy in college, took a summer job with the Bennington Puppets of Bennington, VT, and began her interest in puppetry. The summer job turned into five years of intensive puppetry, during which Anne immersed herself in the many facets of puppet theater.

In 1993, Anne joined Peter in forming the Tanglewood Marionettes, a national touring marionette theater based in New England. 

Its highly skilled puppeteers created large, beautifully hand-crafted marionettes, colorful sets and integrated lighting, bringing a repertoire of classic tales to life for audiences of all ages. Tanglewood Marionettes is the recipient of two UNIMA awards, puppetry’s highest honor, for “The Dragon King” and “An Arabian Adventure.”

Families have the option to attend the performance in-person, or to watch the live-stream online. The performance is recommended for children in pre-K through sixth grade.

In-person tickets are $12/$8 for members and children, and virtual tickets are $5/$3 members.

For more information, visit flushingtownhall.org or call 718-463-7700 ext. 222.