Grey Seal Puppets

Grey Seal Puppets

Well known for their trademark whimsical approach to storytelling and exquisite puppet design, Grey Seal Puppets offers a variety of puppet performances sure to tickle your fancy. Their repertoire includes a variety of productions from familiar fairy tales (The Emperor’s New Clothes) to original stories (Bathtub Pirates). The company’s thirty-year history includes such honors as three Citations of Excellence from UNIMA-USA (International puppetry organization), the President’s Award from the Puppeteers of America, and the Award for Leadership in Theatre from the NC Theatre Conference. In addition to touring productions, Grey Seal also performs regularly on television with clients such as The Reimler Agency (Bojangles), WTVI-Channel 42 (local PBS affiliate), the Muppets, and Silver Burdett Ginn. Their television work has been honored with several awards in the industrial and broadcast categories including a prestigious Beacon Award and the ITVA Silver Reel of Excellence. Grey Seal Puppets offers custom character design services. Their work includes not only puppet design, but also mascot characters, specialty costuming, and props. Grey Seal has created characters for clients such as the Cartoon Network, the New Orleans Hornets, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and the Charlotte Bobcats. Drew Allison is the founder of Grey Seal Puppets. He is involved in all phases of production including writing, building, designing and performing. Drew has performed regularly on television and stage for over 30 years. In 1994 Drew was awarded The President’s Award by The Puppeteers of America for outstanding achievement in the art of puppetry. Drew also co-authored The Foam Book: An Easy Guide to Building Polyfoam Puppets and is featured in the Foam Book DVD. For more information about Grey Seal Puppets, please visit our website at Grey Seal Puppets 231 Foster Avenue Charlotte, NC 28203 1-888-GREY SEAL


  PO Box 11902, Charlotte, NC 28220



Grey Seal Puppets "The Nightingale"

Program description

Receiving gifts everyday of the year sounds like a dream come true. But for the mighty Emperor, who can have anything he wants at the snap of his fingers, the dream turns into a nightmare. Bored with the constant barrage of “fru frus,” “doo daas,” and “gobbledy gook,” the Emperor seeks something else… the beautiful song of a simple gray bird, the nightingale. The bird’s song enchants everyone in the palace, until the arrival of a curious box with a picture of the nightingale inside.

The box sings as beautifully as the real nightingale and whenever the Emperor desires. Mesmerized, the Emperor and his faithful court jester watch the box all the time. One day the singing box fails to work. Devastated, the Emperor grows ill and can only be rescued from death by the song of the real nightingale.

Adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen story, The Nightingale is presented in a unique style. The puppeteer as storyteller, takes on the guise of several characters as well as bringing to life the large rod and shadow puppets. With original music and a Dr. Seuss inspired design, The Nightingale is truly enchanting.




Booking / scheduling contact

Drew Allison


Program detail
Artistic discipline: Literary Arts, Multi-media, Music, Puppetry, Storytelling, Theater
Cultural Origin: American, Asian
Program type: Assembly/Performance
Population served: Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Kindergarten
Subject: Language Arts, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts
Bilingual: No
Available dates:

We are available year round.

Available times:

We schedule to fit your schedule!

Space / technical requirements:

We come completely self-contained with our own staging, lighting and sound. We need a space that is 15’wide by 15′ deep by 10′ high to perform this piece.


We are a touring company, we come to you!

Fees / Ticketing:

The cost for a single performance in the Charlotte area is $550.00. The cost for two performances on the same day in the same location is $900.00.


NC Standard Course of Study:

Through puppet theatre performances, students will be introduced to theatre skills, various puppet styles and story-telling. (R7 – Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.)

The performance encourages students to explore their own creative outlets relative to the theatre experience. By watching the performance, students will learn that puppetry is a collection of art forms on display; movement, visual art, drama, role play, pantomime, dance and more.(SL2 – Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally. )

Students will identify and apply specific character traits and virtues demonstrated by the performances. They can then take this ability and apply it to stories they write themselves.(W4 – Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.)

NC Essential Standards:

From the Arts Education, Theatre Arts K-8 Standards:

Through the use of puppetry students will be introduced to the literary skills involved in storytelling (K-5.C.2 – Use performance to communicate ideas and feelings.)

Performances of classic fairy tales will encourage students to read and re-enact these timeless stories on their own. (K-5.AE.1 – Understand how to design technical theatre components, such as costumes, sets, props, makeup, lighting, and sound.)

Students will be able to assess character traits and morals illustrated in the performances and apply them to real life situations. (K-5.CU.2 – Understand the traditions, roles, and conventions of theatre as an art form.)

Example: From our telling of the fable “The Tortoise and The Hare,” students recognize that fastest is not always best and that slow and steady is the way to go. After the audience affirms this realization they also realize that they inherently knew this already and should apply the same lesson to their own lifestyle.


Conducts educational programming for 2 or more years: Yes
Performs criminal background checks on staff with youth contact: Yes
Maintains general liability insurance (Individuals and organizations listed in this Directory can provide proof of insurance upon request. ASC does not hold copies of current documentation for providers): Yes
Three letters of recommendation / references available: Yes
Provides study guides for teachers and or students: Yes
Connects to State and or Common Core Curriculum Standards: Yes
Provides tools to assess student learning (workshops and residencies): Yes
Conducts ongoing assessments of program quality: Yes