Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Perrault's godmother of all fairy tales
Adapted for Marionettes by Nicolas Coppola.
Meet with puppeteer after the show
Suggested for ages 3 and up

WHEN: Sundays through August 17 at 12:30 & 2:30 PM
WHERE: Merseles Studios Theater, 339 Newark Avenue, Jersey City
TICKETS: Advance tickets $8 child & $9 adult. At the door $10 child & $11 adult. Groups $7 each of 20 or more.
For tickets visit or go directly to

All proceeds go to Jersey City Theater Center, Inc.0—a 501c3 not-for-profit organization committed to developing a much needed Performing and Visual Arts Center in Jersey City, New Jersey for professional artists, businesses, the community and visiting tourists.

Since 1980, Puppetworks, a Brooklyn-based puppetry theater company, has been committed to preserving the tradition of live-theater presentations through the art of the Marionette. Nicolas Coppola, founder and Artistic Director of Puppetworks, was honored by The Puppeteers of America with its 2011 President’s Award for “Outstanding Contributions to the Art of Puppetry.” Coppola adapted for marionettes the original Charles Perrault tale of Cinderella that kicks off JCTC-KIDS programming.

In addition to operating its full-time resident puppet theatre in Brooklyn's Park Slope historic district, Puppetworks has been a holiday tradition at Macy’s (Herald Square) since 1976, when Macy’s first built a special puppet theatre for Puppetworks.

Cinderella at Merseles Studios Theater is the New Jersey debut of this renowned puppetry troupe, and for Mike Leach, Chief Puppeteer and Executive Director of Puppetworks, the JCTC-KIDS production is a genuine homecoming. After nearly a quarter century of engaging children with this timeless form of theater in New York, Leach can finally bring his puppetry to audiences on the western banks of the Hudson.

Leach has called Jersey City home since he was five years old and experienced his first marionette production at P.S 27 in 1974. In 1989 while working at Macy’s, Leach snuck backstage after a Puppetworks show and began working one of the marionettes. Instead of turning him over to the authorities, the puppeteer who caught him recognized his natural talent. Leach has been pulling strings with Puppetworks since 1990.

“After 25 years, puppetry is in my blood,” said Leach. “It’s very exciting to finally bring Puppetworks to my hometown of Jersey City.”

According to Leach, demand for this classical form of children’s theater is strong and growing, but suitable theater space in New York was unavailable. “Our shows in Brooklyn sell out. We could increase the number of shows we present by 40 percent and we’ve been looking for additional space, but we just couldn’t find anything adequate until Merseles Studios. To open a new market, we decided to head west and I’m able to stay home.”

The Cinderella story as told by Puppetworks maybe familiar—the evil stepsisters and prince and glass slipper are all featured—but it is more directly based on the original 1697 folktale than other versions. Puppetworks specializes in compelling, timeless puppet-theater that has deep cultural roots and offers children and young people a fun and engaging alternative to digital entertainment.

With Cinderalla at Merseles Studios Theater, kids of all ages will encounter storytelling distinctly different from what they see on television or the internet. “Puppetry is a very real, interactive experience,” said Leach. “Everyone responds positively to classic story telling.”

“With Puppetworks, JCTC helps introduce live theater to young kids early in their life, allowing them to grow into theater goers”, said Olga Levina, Artistic Director of JCTC, “Artists from Puppetworks have created a magical atmosphere that brings joy to children and brings out the child in every adult.”

For more information about Puppetworks, visit

Serving the youth of Hudson County is a crucial component of the Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC). JCTC-KIDS is theater programming for younger children (from Pre-K to “tween” age), that feature positive messages and are specifically designed for younger audiences. JCTC is reaching out to parents, teachers, school administrators, parent organizations and other community leaders to ensure JCTC-KIDS is an ongoing, comprehensive theater program that will entertain, educate and inspire young people.