Celebrating our 5th Decade!

Grumbling Gryphons Traveling Children's Theater (winner of the 2003 Connecticut Governor’s Arts Award) was founded in 1980 and celebrates 44 years of bringing quality performances and educational workshops to audiences throughout the world. Grumbling Gryphons is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


Artistic Director - Leslie Elias

To find out more about our programs and repertoire please contact grumblinggryphons@gmail.com or call us at 860-672-0286 for bookings & schedule.

Enjoy browsing our website!


Northwest Corner Gives Matching Grant Campaign is Now Live!

You can make a difference! From July 8-28th, your generous contribution to our matching grant campaign will help us with our goal to raise $10,000 before July 28th, for our year-round theater arts programming!

Click on this link and find out how to make a donation now!

Grumbling Gryphons is honored to be selected for the Northwest Corner Gives Matching Grant Campaign which helps selected local non-profits thrive!

Your generous donation whether it be small, medium or large will help Grumbling Gryphons continue to provide quality performances, workshops, theater camps and school residencies throughout Connecticut and beyond!

Join us in this community effort to bring vibrant arts experiences to children, youth and elders!

Thanks to Editor/Videographer Jeff Schlichter

Grumbling Gryphons is now celebrating 44 years! Help us to reach our goal!

Many Thanks and Happy July!

Summer Performances!

Come join us for a Summer Season 2024!


Anansi The Trickster Spider - A West African Folktale

Grover's Corner Gazebo, Great Barrington, MA

This performance has been rescheduled to Saturday, August 31!

Rumsey Hall School, Washington Depot, CT | July 18, 2024

Stanley Park, Westfield, MA | July 19, 2024

Click here for more info!


Anansi The Trickster Spider - A West African Folktale

The Wish House Lawn, West Cornwall, CT 06796 | August 11, 2024

We are available this summer to perform at your camp, festival, library, senior center and other public and private venues, including birthday parties!

Rumsey Hall Camp

Monday, July 15th - Thursday, July 18th

Click here to register for Rumsey Hall Camp

2024 Theater Camp

Monday, July 29th - Saturday, August 3rd

Click here to register for the annual Theater Camp

Partial Scholarships are available for All Region One Students through the
Berkshire Taconic Susan Fillman Scholarship Fund.

Earth Day 2024 Celebration and Performances in Cornwall!

Leslie Elias-Artistic Director, recently received a FY2024 Artist Respond grant to bring children, teens, and seniors together to celebrate Earth Day through music, poetry, dance, theater, art and environmental stewardship!

Take a look and see Grumbling Gryphons in action!

Thanks to Editor/Videographer Yonah Sadeh

We’d love to hear from you and bring this experience to YOUR community next year!

See even more video from the Earth Day Celebration! Click on the videos below to watch on YouTube!


Hold Fast to Dreams

See what the public are saying about our new production which toured senior centers & libraries this spring! Bring us to your center!

"There is a reason that Leslie Elias and her Grumbling Gryphons are still going strong after more than forty years: classics are always in vogue. Her production of "The Owl and the Pussycat" at Noble Horizons absolutely charmed the residents of Noble Horizons and their guests (who ranged from nine to ninety.)" - Katherine Almquist, former Director of Admissions at The Marvelwood School


The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of the Sea.

May 11 - Mattatuck Museum

"Grumbling Gryphons and each of their cast members truly made this show come alive for the kids at the Mattatuck Museum! Not only was the group accommodating, but they actively engaged and worked with children of all ages to make sure they were excited about and engaged with the show. Their sets are beautiful works of art, and the costumes for both actors and kids are masterpieces. Accompanied by a talented pianist, The Ghost Net was a great pairing with an exhibit on view at the Mattatuck Museum and offered a well-rounded and holistic approach to caring for our oceans and environments. We look forward to bringing Grumbling Gryphons back for another interactive performance soon!"
- Abigail Sites, Education Programs Manager, Mattatuck Museum


Women's Forum of Litchfield Presents

Music, Masks, Myths and Merriment: A Magical Theater Experience

For all ages! - March 7 at 2:30pm

Click here for more info!

Latest Testimonial

Anansi The Trickster Spider - A West African Folktale

Burlington Public Library - February 3, 2024

Leslie and her troupe of accomplished actors kept our audience of kiddos from preschool to tween and their families enraptured by the story of Anansi the Trickster Spider. Audience members loved having the chance to interact with the characters and help tell the story. - April Jones, Children's Services Librarian


CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering Elementary School

Grumbling Gryphons exceeded our expectations with an engaging show and gorgeous costumes. We especially appreciated how culturally sensitive and well researched their Trickster Tale show was. The children squealed with delight when I told them we would be having Grumbling Gryphons back and begged to be a part of the show next time! We will definitely be having them back!
Thank you for all you do Leslie!

- Tiffany Frisenda, Art Teacher & Coordinator/Facilitator

Rumsey Hall School - After School Creative Dramatics Class

Leslie is so passionate about the work she does. My daughter loves learning with The Grumbling Gryphons because she is given space to be fully self expressed and creative and is inspired by Leslie’s style and imagination.
- Samantha Morosani, Parent

Grumbling Gryphons featured in the Nemasket Week!

"Among the audience participants were Mary Jean Liberatore and her granddaughter, Emma Liberatore.

Liberatore said they wanted to come to the show since they both love to sing, and she thought the performance would be a great show to expose her granddaughter to.

'I thought Leslie was fabulous in how she brought everyone together,' said Liberatore. 'The community involvement was great.'"

Read the full article Here!

Leslie Elias is joined by the other bees during the Grumbling Gryphons performance of Anansi the Trickster Spider.

The actors huddle together during the performance.

Daniel Saed teaches Anansi’s song to the audienceand shows them
the word spider in American Sign Language.

American Sign Language interpreter Sandy Paasche signs applause.

Read more about Anansi - the Trickster Spider on the programs page.

Ghost Net at Fishers Island

Grumbling Gryphons performers & crew pose under the movie marquis after a performance of The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of The Sea, sponsored by Fishers Island Conservancy.

Read more about The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of the Sea on the programs page.

"Thank you so very much for your outstanding interactive performance at the Fishers Island Movie Theater on August 12, 2023. The kids loved being a part of the play and learning about how they can help save our oceans and animals from the Ghost Net and trash washing up on our shores. The music, costumes, stage sets, actors and the play were all so well done as well as our communication prior to the show! Thank you as well for repurposing the marine trash banner I created on our marquis with the trash debris that has washed up on Fishers Island!"

Michele Klimczak - Marine Debris Coordinator, Fishers Island Conservancy

Special thanks and shout out to environmentalist Michele Klimczak of Fishers Island Conservancy who created & collected the trash banner from marine debris & ghost gear

The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of the Sea

Read more about The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of the Sea on the programs page.

Theater Camp 2023

This year's camp was a terrific success!

Learn all about it on the Camp page.

Recent Testimonials

"The Grumbling Gryphons provide wonderful family entertainment, and we couldn't more strongly endorse this show for young families. It is engaging, fun, captivating and unique. Our 3 young boys loved the show. Our 7 year old sang along, our 5 year old loved the vibrant costumes and our 2 year old sat entranced through the entire performance. Great fun for the entire family." - Chris Mulvey

Read all our latest testimonials on the reviews page!

"Thank you for bringing The Ghost Net to the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Environmental care is such an important theme to communicate to even our youngest audiences. Even though The Ghost Net doesn’t shy away from the scarier aspects of neglect, the show also demonstrated resilience, cooperation and how even modest choices for change can have impact." - Melissa Huber

Read Melissa's full testimonial on the reviews page.

"Leslie Elias and Danny Saed of the Grumbling Gryphons never cease to amaze us and our library patrons. The latest program that they brought to our library, "Through the rainbow and into the stars," was a drama workshop in the art of improvisation." - Kendra Percy

Read Kendra's full testimonial on the reviews page.

Growing Wings

"Thanks again for a great week, the kids had a really wonderful time and we’re all still singing the songs we learned." - Breetel Graves, Parent

Read more about our recent Growing Wings theater camp!

The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of the Sea

Special Discounts available this Summer, 2023!

Bring One of our Shows in Repertoire into YOUR Library, camp or festive event (public or private!) at a special discount!

Call us for more info on booking performances & pre-performance workshops at 860-672-0286 or email grumblinggryphons@gmail.com

Special Summer Discounts for Grumbling Gryphon's timely environmental musical!

"One student was overheard saying, 'This was the best day of my life!'."
Read Melissa Koster's full testimonial on the reviews page

"The Ghost Net is so good that when the play was over, I turned to my friend and proclaimed, "That should go Off Broadway!" The costumes, acting, music and getting school children into the act ---all are fun, engaging and professionally executed within a serious message about ocean plastics, oil spills and miles-long nets that entangle ocean creatures. The Ghost Net is a great way for children to learn about our ocean environment and the damage humans are doing; smart educators will find the play an effective vehicle for stimulating discussion concerning possible solutions to the crisis in our oceans."

Betsy Glassman
Teacher & Environmentalist,
Litchfield, CT

Past Performances

Trickster Coyote Shares the Fire: A Native American Trickster Tale

Thursday, November 16 at 6:30pm

Pre-Performance Workshop - 4:30pm

Torrington Library | 12 Daycoeton Pl, Torrington, CT 06790

Saturday, November 18 at 11:00am

Danbury Library, 170 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810

Anansi - the Trickster Spider

Saturday, August 5, at the Stissing Center

The Mixed-Up Fairytale

Saturday, July 29, 11am at the Cornwall Town Hall
24 Pine Street, Cornwall, CT 06753

Anansi - the Trickster Spider

Sunday, July 9, 4pm at the Staten Island Children's Museum

Click Here for More Info

All Together Now — Drama Workshop with Leslie Elias & Daniel Saed

Saturday, June 24, 2pm at the Scoville Library

Saturday, June 17th, 11am

20 West Broad Street, Stamford, CT

Saturday, June 10th, 11am
The International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven on the Green
10am pre-performance workshop

This performance was featured in a write-up by the Lakeville Journal and included in the Signs of Spring newsletter, read more here.

The Myth of Persephone

Saturday, March 11 at the Millbrook Library

3 Friendly Lane, Millbrook, NY 12545

Recent Testimonials

Read all the latest testimonials from recent performances, on the Press/Reviews page!

"An amazing production whose artistry will stay with you and make you smile long after the performance. Stunning visuals, engaging audience participation, a rich tapestry of Native American storytelling, folklore and culture. Unforgettable!"

- Katherine Trouern-Trend, Youth and Family Outreach Services Librarian
Hartford Public Library

Watch the video below, then read what Matthew DeLong, Arts Director at The Glenholme School in Washington, CT, had to say about Grumbling Gryphons' Persephone workshop.

This workshop was made possible through funding from the Connecticut Office on the Arts for Teaching Artist and Performer-Leslie Elias, awardee for a 2022 Artist Respond Grant (Round Two).

"Thank you so much for your time, flexibility and wonderful performance. We hope you had as much fun with us as we did with you and your team! We had a blast watching you and our kiddos perform. We are so thankful that we had an opportunity for our scholars to experience a story that aligns directly to Native American Heritage and the stories they have told for hundreds of years."
- Nora Baghat

Read the full review of Grumbling Gryphons' Trickster Coyote workshop
at Achievement First Hartford Elementary Academy.

Jonathan Doster created this wonderful trailer for Persephone during the 2022 Theater Camp Performance at Grumbling Gryphons HQ in West Cornwall, CT.

Dear Friends, Neighbors, Colleagues & Community,

Exciting news! With YOUR generous help, we reached our goal for our Matching Grant!

Thank You All!

We had such a wonderful response from our friends and colleagues!
Thank you to Northwest CT Community Foundation who generously matched every
donation dollar-for-dollar until we reached our goal!

Bravo and thank you everyone, we are so grateful to be part of this wonderful community!

We look forward to providing interactive theatrical programs throughout the year! Email us at grumblinggryphons@gmail.com to find out more about our programs!

The Magic Dreidel

Sunday Dec. 25 at the Marigold Theater

84 Cottage Street, Easthampton, MA


Trickster Coyote Shares the Fire: A Native American Trickster Tale

Wednesday, November 16 at 2pm

Hartford Public Library | Downtown Branch
500 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103


Anansi, The Trickster Spider: A West African Folktale

Grumbling Gryphons will perform Anansi, The Trickster Spider: A West African Folktale
at the Millbrook Library on November 19 at 12pm.

Join the Show!

Children and adults are welcome to participate in the performance,
there will be a theatrical workshop from 11 to 11:45am.

Visit the library's event page to register for the workshop!


Anansi, The Trickster Spider at NVCC

November 4, 10:30am

This performance is for NVCC students and families of Early Childhood.

Drama Workshops at Cornwall Library!

November 5 & 6 from 2-4pm

Grumbling Gryphons will host a two-day, two-hour, intensive workshop for children 6 & up to become an integral part of the performance as “The Greek Chorus”.

At 3:30pm, workshop participants will perform the opening scene from The Myth of Persephone: The Greek Myth of How The Seasons Came to Be, presented in both English and ASL.
This performance will be open to the public.

Grumbling Gryphons held a children’s workshop and theatrical performance of Anansi, The Trickster Spider: A West African Folktale at Whitfield’s WelcomeFest
on Saturday, September 10, 2022!

Michelle Parish wrote this review of Grumbling Gryphon's performance at WelcomFest.


"Leslie Elias and all of the players of her Grumbling Gryphons children's theater company bring joy and energy to the stage at every performance!" - Doe Boyle, Teaching Artist.

Read Doe Boyle's full review on our reviews page!

The Henry Whitfield State Museum is located at 248 Old Whitfield Street in Guilford, Connecticut.

See what Bina Williams had to say about Grumbling Gryphons recent peformance at the North Branch Library in Bridgeport, CT!

"A mother and her daughter came in to the library yesterday. The daughter (whose first language is not English) has been singing "Anansi... he is a spider!" The daughter is 4 and was one of the bees!"
- Bina Williams MLS

See the library's event page for more information!

North Branch Library, 3455 Madison Ave. Bridgeport, CT 06606

Call 203-576-7821

2022 Theater Camp is a Success!

Bravo to our 2022 Summer Theater Campers, staff, artists, musicians, parents, grandparents & volunteers who helped make our summer theater camp performances full of life, joy and learning!

This year's Theater Camp was covered in an article for the Register Citizen!

"Grumbling Gryphons theater camp was the highlight of my son’s summer. He has begged us to go back to 'Greek camp' since the program ended. He loved learning ASL, Greek, mythology, and all about preparing and putting on a play. At camp, he found other imaginative and curious kids who loved the ancient stories as much as he did. We’ll definitely be coming back next year-
thank you Leslie & your entire team for this experience."

- Parent of a 2022 Theater Camper

Read more reviews for Theater Camp on the Camp page.

Special Thanks to Lazlo for the excellent photos and video!

Take a peek!

See even more photos from the performance on Lazlo's website.

"Again, what a great job with the play Leslie!" - Lazlo

Inquire about our Year-Round Workshops


in Drama, Music, Movement & Storytelling Workshops
for children of all ages

Children will engage in drama, music, movement, storytelling, puppetry and theater improvisation. Under the guidance of actress and director Leslie Elias, children will explore the art of improvisation as well as acting out songs, stories, poems and nursery rhymes that inspire children’s imaginations and creative expression. Parents are encouraged to participate with their children and join in the fun!


All classes held at Grumbling Gryphon Headquarters, 29 Lake Road, West Cornwall
Covid protocol observed - call with any questions or concerns - bring a mask!
Call 860-672-0286 or email grumblinggryphons@gmail.com to register


“Leslie’s class is an hour full of magic-dancing, singing, imagination. Both my children loved it and stayed engaged the entire time. Not the easiest feat for three, soon to be four-year olds! In just one hour they transformed from frogs to dragons to bears. They sang, danced, crawled, played the drum, cried and laughed. They entered a magical world that lingers in them still days after.” 


Tommy Edwards, parent

Read Kendra's glowing review of Grumbling Gryphon's previous engagement of Anansi- The Trickster Spider: A West African Folktale at Scoville Library's Storytelling Extravaganza.

Please take a moment to ENJOY our short film dramatization of the poem

The Owl and The Pussycat 

by Edward Lear!

If you enjoyed our intergenerational presentation please let us know and be sure to watch our other videos on YouTube

Take a peek at some highlights of theater camp, our 40th celebration and a glimpse into our touring productions!

Summer Celebration with the Berkshire Stompers and the Golden Lady.

Dear Leslie,

You are amazing!

I was amazed how you are able to involve kids of all ages, everyone had their parts and everyone had a wonderful time!


Olga Skobelsky Pariente
(Parent of three children in St George and The Dragon Summer of 2021)

A Special Dual-Language Performance of The Myth Of Persephone featuring
renowned Deaf actor Robert DeMayo with Grumbling Gryphons...

The reviews are in! See what Dic Wheeler of Oddfellows Playhouse had to say about a recent showing of Persephone

Photos from Persephone by Lazlo


Oddfellows is excited to be hosting Grumbling Gryphons Traveling Children's Theater
in their new dual-language adaptation of the Greek

Myth of Persephone

Guest starring well-known deaf actor Robert DeMayo!

Bring the family to see the performance, and kids ages 10 - 14
can actually join the show as members of the Greek Chorus!

The performance is at 4 pm on May 1, and the workshop for young performers will be from noon to 3 pm. Capacity is limited for both the workshop and the performance, so please register for the workshop HERE and purchase tickets for the performance HERE.

Contact info@oddfellows.org for more info!

Wishing you all a Happy Spring!

Grumbling Gryphons Traveling Children’s Theater is thrilled to report that we are back on the road! Now we can travel to your venue! It has been a long haul during Covid, but with a little help from our friends and community, we kept going and provided both virtual and outdoor performances for our audiences near and far!

Recently we performed our first in person school performances of our dramatic production of Anansi- The Trickster Spider: A West African Folktale on Friday, March 4th at West District School in Farmington, CT

Here’s what the coordinator Nicole Cotoia had to say!

Coming Soon - You’re invited in March and April to two upcoming public performances of Anansi- The Trickster Spider: A West African Folktale!

Call us soon to book a show or workshop to travel to your venue! Whether it be a private party, school, library, theater, museum, community celebration or more, we tailor programs to suit your needs!

Thanks & stay safe!
Leslie Elias - Artistic Director

"Leslie! It was pure, powerful, storytelling magic. You had the entire crowd engaged."
- Kendra Percy

Saturday, April 2nd, 11:00 a.m.
Come gather round the outdoor fire for a fun and “foolish celebration” of tricksters & fools for an April Fool’s day-after interactive performance with actors and storytellers Leslie Elias and Daniel Saed.

Scoville Memorial Library - outdoor performance, 38 Main St. Salisbury, CT 06068

For more info please contact Kendra Percy - Children’s Services
Scoville Memorial Library
T: 860-435-2838

Here's what Katherine Almquist had to say about Grumbling Gryphon's performance at Joy's Memorial

Saturday, March 26th, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Pre-Performance Drama Workshop - Join Grumbling Gryphons for this drama workshop and become a part of the performance on Sunday!

Sunday, March 27th, 3:00 p.m.
Anansi- The Trickster Spider: A West African Folktale will be perfomed by Grumbling Gryphons and workshop participants.

24 Kent Rd South, Cornwall Bridge CT 06754

If your child would like to participate in the pre-performance workshop and the show on March 27th, please contact Leslie Elias - Artistic Director.

If you had a personal connection to Joy and her family and you would like to attend the whole celebration, please click on the link below to learn more and register, as there is limited space!

Visit's Joy's Memorial Event Page

Storytelling Extravaganza

February 5th
1:00 p.m. at Scoville Memorial Library

You are invited to an outdoor Storytelling Extravaganza this Saturday, February 5th at 1:00 p.m. at Scoville Memorial Library. Come gather around the “bonfire” with Leslie Elias, storyteller, actress and theater director of Grumbling Gryphons Traveling Children's Theater who will engage children of all ages in a participatory telling of the story of "Trickster Coyote Shares the Fire!”

Wear warm clothing, bring blankets, chairs & hot beverages. The library will reschedule in case of weather & post the new date on their website. For more info, please check on the line up of fun events that begins at 11:00 a.m.

Click Here to Download Flyer

Hope to see you there!

Happy New Year everyone!




Community and Family Celebration held at Grumbling Gryphons Headquarters to honor and protect Mother Earth!


Many thanks to our families and musicians who gathered together on Sunday afternoon September 12th to celebrate a bountiful harvest and make merry music and dance in honor of Mother Earth!

Through song, dance, drumming and a magical parade through our Grumbling Gryphons bountiful garden we joined together in an intergenerational community celebration.

Special thanks to drummer Paul Newman, mandolin player Todd Stoughton, dancer Laura Knoepler, actors Daniel Saed and Rachel Clay, parent leader Joy Setton, and all the children who participated and paraded!




On Saturday, August 14th, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. a lively production of St George and The Dragon, written and directed by Leslie Elias was performed for an outdoor audience of nearly 100 folks at Grumbling Gryphons Headquarters! A triumphant and talented tribe of children who came from as far as Alaska, came together with teen and adult actors to perform a phenomenal production beset with jesters, royalty, dragons, snakes,ceremonial dancers, wild animals, mummers, St George and the Mad Doctor!

Adding to the magic were two lively musical bands The Merry Minstrels with Rachel Gall, Jane Prentice and Kathy Lyon of Still, The Homegrown Band and guitarist percussionist Arieh Saed who accompanied the thespians with beautiful strains of lyrical tunes and lively traditional tunes. The Berkshire Stompers got everyone on their feet with their exuberant and powerful music, led by Charlie Kiel, Shamu Sadeh and a talented band who played for the finale’s celebration and outdoor processional. The breathtaking and larger than life Golden Lady danced (created and performed by Ellen Moon) with jubilant children whilst the enormous 10 person Dragon danced along!

Green is Gold
Fire is Wet
Fortunes Told
Dragon's Met!

Bravo to our cast and players of Theater Camp 2021!

This was our first performance ever outdoors at Gryphon Headquarters! The stars aligned and magic was made! Come, take a look and please consider making a charitable contribution to our non profit 501c3 organization to help support our youth, local artists and future productions!

Stay tuned for our newest movie soon to be released The "Amp" ire Strikes Back!"

Here are some photos of our artist in residence & costume maker Lory Bevans who created art with the children during camp. A special thanks to Lory Bevans, Katherine Almquist, Kaitlyn Carozzo, Catherine Paton, Daniel Saed, Johnny Segalla, Micah Conway for their help during theater camp and performance! Thank you to parents, grandparents, our photographers Alex and Anna Kremer, and videographer Ben Willis.

Let's do it again next year!

If you are interested in theater camp or any of our touring productions for this school year and beyond, please contact us at 860-672-0286 or email us grumblinggryphons@gmail.com

Like us on facebook

Thank you all!

Have a great and safe year!

Leslie Elias-Artistic Director

Read about the impact Covid-19 has had on Grumbling Gryphons and other local theater groups in this article.

In this video, Leslie is interviewed by Maddie Stenson, Program Director of the NWCT Arts Council. She gives insight into her perspective as a performer herself, a theatre leader, and how she handles performances during the era of COVID-19.



Great News!

Thanks to the generosity of friends, neighbors, community members
and Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, who matched dollar for dollar, we have met our Northwest Gives Covid relief grant Challenge!!

We are thrilled to have met this Challenge!   We welcome your continued  support, as Covid will be affecting our theater for a long time to come!


Help us reach our goal in our matching challenge grant!

Dear Friends & Community,

Exciting news! Grumbling Gryphons was selected for a matching grant by Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation to help Grumbling Gryphons and other non-profits make it through COVID-19. We need your help to donate any amount through their online giving platform called Northwest Corner Gives. Any amount that you give will be matched dollar for dollar and greatly appreciated!

Your support will help us to transition to a new time!

Whether live or online, we will forge ahead and continue to provide quality virtual performances and workshops for children of all ages! You can help us match our grant! Here’s how it works:

For every dollar you donate Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation will match it!

Our goal is to reach $1,000.00 Please, won’t you help us reach our goal?

Visit this website to make a #NorthwestCornerGives donation today!

If you have had trouble donating through the website previously posted here, please try the link above. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you all for your patience!

Promo #3 Long Grumbling Gryphons from Jeff Schlichter on Vimeo.



Bravo CCS poets, actors and dancers!
On February 13th, my after school drama students at Cornwall Consolidated School performed their very creative and original group poem “Come with Me”! Each of the thirteen children ranging in age from Kindergarten through 5th grade contributed poetry to a group poem, filled with wonder, imagination, movement, merriment and awesome interaction! They acted/danced the poem as well as performed a Langston Hughes poem “Hold Fast To Dreams"! It was a great pleasure to work with these students!
I look forward to many more classes, workshops and performances. Stay tuned for SUMMER THEATER CAMP DATES for 2020!

Visit our Facebook page for photos and a video from our recent performance of The Myth of Persephone at Daisy Ingraham Elementary School. Such fun!

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Appreciators of Arts for Children,

Good and exciting news! I am deeply grateful and honored.

I have been selected by the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council for the 2018 CultureMax Awards for my work as Arts Educator.

Thanks to all of you who nominated, supported me and helped in my wonderful journey in arts and education over the many years!

Thank you to the teachers, parents and most of all the countless young thespians who inspired me to continue working and creating!

I love working with children of all ages. Their creativity and joy in movement, song, dance, art, creative writing and storytelling continues to brighten my being and open my heart.

May we all continue to sing, play, share, laugh, improvise and explore our imaginations together! It is a true delight to work together, improvise and play!

Republican American Summer Camp article




Bravo children, counselors, parents, musicians, artists and stage hands who worked together to create this amazing theater experience. It was a joy to work with 18 wonderful campers and a fabulous team of counselors and phenomenal artists! I am grateful to all for yet another exhilarating theater camp adventure! I love working with old and new campers and look forward to future plays and musical ventures with our merry, musical, magical team!
Thank you!
--Artistic Director, Leslie Elias, 2018 Connecticut Arts Hero


View photos on the Summer Camp page.



The Golden Lady (created by Ellen Moon) dances with the butterfly lady-Kathleen Sartor of Sirius Coyote on Cornwall Town Green in the festive after celebration of Grumbling Gryphons 2018 Theater Camp!




View a video and photos from our
Theater Arts Performance Camp 2017

Read the Lakeville Journal Compass article from July 27, 2017 about the camp!



Celebrating Earth Day with "The Golden Lady", a puppet made by Ellen Moon.

The Grumbling Gryphons performing The Myth of Persephone at
Clark Art Institute, June 18, 2017


Clark Art Institute

Excerpts from Trickster Tales: Native American Animal Legends at Ellsworth School, Danbury, CT May 25th, 2017

Grumbling Gryphons Trickster Tales 2017 from Craig Norton Media on Vimeo.


The Grumbling Gryhons at the Salisbury Vigil for
Climate Action, January 22, 2017

A few words about The Ampire Strikes Back: A Vampire Energy Play


Dear Leslie,

Well what can you say to a miracle worker? It was extraordinary! Working this subject through the school with after schools programs, getting kids (and parents!)(and the school staff) invested and having fun the whole time is the best kind of social service and cultural development I can imagine. You have teaching skills, tools, costumes and experience that is invaluable. We are so lucky to have you. Thank you for orchestrating this event, and for using it stimulate our community as well as initiating a celebration I expect will be enjoyed by many more in the future. Fantastic!
My best,
Katherine Freygang
Coordinator of Going Green Fair: A Celebration of Cornwall’s 10th Year of Going Green





See our unique approach to educational theater firsthand! Please call the school or organization in advance to confirm the date to notify them of your visit.

Please contact grumblinggryphons@gmail.com for more details


Visit the Summer Camp page for video excerpts!

Photos from the 2016 Summer Camp!




Photos from The Myth of Persephone, May 4th, 2016 at Colonial School in Pelham, New York

Johnny Segalla as Mercury, Messenger of the Gods, April 6, 2016 at Betances Elementary School, Hartford, CT

The cast of The Myth of Persephone, April 6, 2016 at Betances Elementary School, Hartford, CT

Goshen Center School

Julius Reese and Jonhny Segalla with school children from Goshen Center School, Goshen, Connectcut from The Myth of Persephone production.






2003 Connecticut Governor’s Arts Award


Grumbling Gryphons is the winner of the 2003 Connecticut Governor’s Arts Award, the highest award one can achieve in this state. View the video below to learn more.


Grumbling Gryphons Promotional Documentary from Craig Norton Media on Vimeo.



Listen to Leslie Elias talk about the Trickster Raven performance at Geer Village with Robinhood Radio host Marshall Miles.


Highlights of 2015:

Photos from our recent performance of "Trickster Coyote Shares The Fire: A Plains Indian Tale" on July 11, 2015 at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield, Massachusetts

“Thank you for a Great, Fun, Adventurous & Inspiring Story at our Children’s Summer Theater @ Eastfield Mall !!" -Sheyla Thompson




View Photos from the 2015 Summer Camp!

2015 Summer Camp


The 13 Clocks Performance


Learn more about us and see us in action!  



Leslie Elias and Johnny Segalla as Persephone and Lord Pluto, King of Hades

Johnny Segalla  with Cerberus, the 3-Headed Dog in The Myth Of Persephone


performance news

Grumbling Gryphons invites you to preview our workshops and performances with children! Please call the school or organization in advance to confirm dates and notify them of your visit.

PLEASE COME PREVIEW OUR WORKSHOPS AND PERFORMANCES WITH CHILDREN! See our unique approach to educational theater firsthand! Please call the school or organization in advance to confirm the date and notify them of your visit.

Accolades for the Grumbling Gryphons

See REVIEWS for comments from teachers, parents, audience members and participants or click on a link to read a recent article about Grumbling Gryphons:

Lakeville Journal   Waterbury Republican
Lakeville Journal
August 19, 2010
  Waterbury Republican A&E
Sept. 12, 2010

Our 30th Anniversary Celebration at Cornwall Town Hall
"On August 12 the Cornwall Town Hall resounded with the lilting tunes of Kreol melodies from Haiti as this year's posse of Grumbling Gryphons campers put their hearts and souls into a final performance that delighted a full house of all ages. Cornwall's very own children's theatre group, led by Leslie Elias, who has a near-magical ability to conjure up colorful pageants of myth, mystery and humor with her international crew of talented performers, also celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. The spectacle continued onto the town green, as a sinuous giant green man (a three-person puppet, mesmerizing to watch, designed by Ellen Moon and Tim Prentice) and a very tall and beautiful lady in flowing white (on the tallest stilts you've ever seen) led cast, audience and all in a dance on the green, amid the sqeals of delighted children. It was a gem of an evening."

Laura Tyson (parent of Sienna Li, a veteran Grumbling Gryphon's actress & camper)

Grumbling Gryphons performs The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of the Sea at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, New Jersey

It was a great pleasure meeting you. The day was very successful. People had a great time. Many thanks for the fantastic performance.
-Marjorie Frankel Nathanson
Executive Director
Hunterdon Art Museum

Praise for Anansi: The Trickster Spider

February 2011 - Abram Lansing, Cohoes, NY
Follow this link to read the school's comments and to view their slideshow!


Praise for Sea Magic: Masks, Mermaids, Music and Merriment!

June 25, 2010 from Chris Staubach — Head of Youth Services
The Public Library of New London
63 Huntington Street, New London, CT 06320

“Thank you for your powerful Sea Magic performance. Wow! Wow! Wow! The costumes and props! The acting! The audience couldn’t resist participating! Tremendous fun and an environmental message even the parents could understand! You haven’t seen the last of us in New London. We want you back again and again. Thank you so much for sharing your art with us.”

Sincerely yours,
Cris Staubach
July 7, 2010



Past Performance:

on Saturday, Dec. 26 - Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009
We were happy to perform at the new Connecticut Science Center in Hartford, CT (see Reviews for parent comments)

The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of the Sea
Directed by Leslie Elias

The audience joins Marina, a young teenager, on a fantastic voyage to the sea where they meet King Neptune, the Mermaid Queen and a host of ocean creatures in this participatory story of survival in waters filled with drifting ghost nets, floating garbage and creeping oil spills.

Presented by: Life Publications

Grumbling Gryphons is the winner of the 2003 Connecticut Governor’s Arts Award, the highest award one can achieve in this state. Founded in 1980, the Gryphons have been performing in schools, theaters, festivals, museums and libraries for 38 years.