Grumbling Gryphons Traveling Children's Theater (winner of the 2003 Connecticut Governor’s Arts Award) was founded in 1980 and celebrates 34 years of bringing quality performances and educational workshops to audiences throughout the world.


Artistic Director Leslie Elias and company perform environmental and multicultural shows for children of all ages. The company performs in schools, theater, libraries, museums and festivals throughout the U.S and abroad. Grumbling Gryphons is well known for engaging children in a highly participatory drama experience, with live music, marvelous masks, and imaginative content. Pre-performance workshops and residencies in drama, storytelling, music, movement, mask making and puppetry enhance every performance. Theater Arts Summer Camps for children provide enriching arts experiences for children.


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

Enjoy browsing our website!



Please come preview our Workshops & Performances with children! 
See our unique approach to educational theater firsthand!






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.





To begin our 35th year on a fun note, Grumbling Gryphons Theater is performing an intergenerational show at Geer Village in Canaan, CT on Wednesday, January 28th at 11:00 a.m. free to the public, as well as conducting a pre-performance workshop in Cornwall, open to homeschoolers throughout the region who are invited to Grumbling Gryphons studio to train as The Greek Chorus to perform in the show!
Happy 2015!

Have a fun, creative joyful year!

Contact us about future performances, workshops, celebrations and 2015 Summer Theater Camp!

Grumbling Gryphons Theater to perform: The Myth of Persephone at Geer Village on Wednesday January 28th at 11:00 a.m. for young people and seniors in a special intergenerational performance. A pre-performance workshop for homeschoolers to train as actors and become the play’s Greek Chorus will be held at Grumbling Gryphons rehearsal space in West Cornwall on Tuesday, Jan. 27th from 1:00-2:30 p.m.
The public is invited for both events.
The Grumbling Gryphons Traveling Children's Theater will present The Myth of Persephone: How the Seasons Came to Be this January 28th on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. for Geer residents and children of all ages, including area nursery schools. Canaan Child Care Center and Geer Village are co-sponsoring the event at Geer Village. Director-Fran Chapelle of Canaan Child Care and Scott Zbell-Recreation Director of Geer Village collaborated to bring about this special event, which welcomes participation for all. The public is invited to attend, free of charge.
In addition, Grumbling Gryphons Theater is offering a pre-performance workshop on the Tuesday before the Geer performance for children (ages 5 -15) and their parents who would like to learn dramatic roles for the play. This workshop will take place at Grumbling Gryphons Listening Lake Studio from 1:00-2:30 p.m. on January 27th. Suggested donation for the workshop is $10.00 per child or family. This workshop will offer participants unique hands on learning experience of Greek drama and myth. Grumbling Gryphons director, Leslie Elias and her troupe of actors will delve into drama, dialogue and music, training participants to perform as the lively Greek Chorus throughout the show.
“The Greek Chorus”, appears in several scenes playing group parts such as Comedy and Tragedy, “Musical Muses” with Apollo the Sun God, and in Hades, they perform as part of the Underworld with Cerberus, the Three-Headed Dog who guards the Gates of Hades.
Throughout the play, they dance to lively Greek music provided by keyboardist Dale Adams of Litchfield, CT.
Leslie Elias, director of the Grumbling Gryphons, and co-founder Vanessa Roe have adapted this ancient Greek myth of Persephone and Demeter into a highly imaginative and entertaining show for school and family audiences, with audience participation as an essential part. Five actors Leslie Elias, Lindsay DeWinkeleer, Johnny Segalla, Matt Russell and Julius Reece will enact this ancient myth with the active help of the audience attending the performance. Dale Adams, long time musical director of Grumbling Gryphons will accompany on keyboards bringing live music to the stage.
Lord Pluto takes Persephone away from her mother Demeter, goddess of corn and grain, to hold her captive in Hades, where Cerberus, the Three-Headed Dog stands guard. The audience is actively engaged in singing and chanting to help the gods and goddesses rescue Persephone from Hades. The story ends with a compromise that Persephone live with her husband for part of each year, when the seeds will lay dormant in the barren season of winter. Her annual return to Earth marks the beginning of spring and the seasons for planting and growth.
Captivating songs and gods, goddesses and otherworldly creatures in fantastic masks enlivens this highly interactive production, set to music.
Robert Flanagan of New York mask and puppet designer for The Muppets and Saturday Night Live made several of the traditional Greek masks. Ellen Moon of Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut made many of the masks, scenery and costumes, for this show and has served for many years as mask designer for Grumbling Gryphons.


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

Upcoming Performance Schedule
To Be Announced





See our unique approach to educational theater firsthand!

Please contact for more details



Goshen Center School

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




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)

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


Grumbling Gryphons Theater Arts Camp

Each summer, children ages 5-15 are invited to attend Grumbling Gryphons Annual Summer Theater Arts Camp to be held July & August in Cornwall, CT. Children will help create and perform in an original play directed by Leslie Elias. More guest artists are to be announced. Visit the CAMP page for information or to register for a camp.

Contact Leslie Elias, Artistic Director 860-672-0286 or grumblinggryphons@ for more information!


More performances dates to be added soon!



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 30 years.