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 42 years of bringing quality performances and educational workshops to audiences throughout the world.

 

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!

 




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




Upcoming Performances


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!



MillbrookLibrary.org





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!




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
grumblinggryphons@gmail.com
860-672-0286




"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.


Where
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
sc-kpercy@biblio.org




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.


Where
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

 



 

 

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 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.




 

Welcome!

 

 

 

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

Trickster

Trickster




 

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


Leslie,
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
860-447-1411

“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.