• 2023-10-08


September 7, 2015


Production Dates: October 10 – 11, 2015

Reimagining of Classic Brothers Grimm Fairytale Shines
On Marin Theatre Company’s Family Series Stage

MILL VALLEY, CA—Marin Theatre Company continues to delight children and families this season with the help of the Great Arizona Puppet Theatre and its award winning version of Cinderella. The incredible mother-daughter puppeteer duo, Nancy Smith and Gwen Bonar, have been performing and revising this unique puppet show for over a decade and this latest version is their best yet. Says Ms. Smith, “It’s funny, has special effects and is so good even boys like it!” Ms. Smith co-founded the Great Arizona Puppet Theatre in 1983 with her husband Ken Bonar, and both of their daughters, Gwen and Laura, have had a hand in developing and creating unique stories for the puppet theatre ever since.

The great Arizona Puppet theatre has toured shows internationally, and accrued numerous awards such as Arizona Republic Best Children's Theater, a Puppeteers of America Award and a UNIMA-USA Citation for Excellence in Puppetry for its production of Cinderella.

Marin Theatre Company’s Education Department invites children to stay after the show and meet a real-life Cinderella

MTC’s Education Department will be partnering with Amazing Fairytale Parties on October 10 and 11 offering young patrons the chance to meet a real-life Cinderella for families to take pictures with. With Halloween right around the corner, MTC is encouraging children to dress up as their own favorite Cinderella character (or wear any costume of their choosing) and share these photos on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #CostumeContestMTC in the caption, and tagging @marintheatreco in the photo. The photo that receives the most community “Likes” will win a pair of tickets to MTC’s upcoming holiday show The Little Prince in December.

The History of Nancy Smith’s Cinderella

Ms. Smith shared the creation of the Great Arizona Puppet Theatre’s Cinderella with MTC:

“The show was developed when my daughter, Laura, who was 8 years old at the time, asked, ‘When do I get to be in a puppet show?’ We were planning shows for our summer season so she would be out of school and available. She wanted to do CINDERELLA and we agreed that our Cinderella would not be passive, but actively trying to better herself. Also, the prince would be more than just rich and handsome, but have some character, and you should understand why he and Cinderella should be together.

Laura wrote the first draft of the show. We shopped together to pick out fabrics and materials to make the puppets and she sat with a script beside me as I sewed and we memorized lines. Initially we had a basic hand puppet stage that was easily transportable. When we opened our own theater in central Phoenix we were astounded at how many people came to see the show, and a little embarrassed at our basic set, so we built a new, bigger, two-level stage, painted by our scene painter, Holly Veseley.

All this time, my younger daughter, Gwen, was itching to do the show, too and eagerly took on Laura's part when she was unavailable. Gwen is a wonderful puppeteer who brings up the performance level of everyone around her. Good shows grow and I think our show is better than ever!”