The Puppets & Players Little Theatre was founded in 1991 by Laurie Branham and Gilbert (Gil) Olin. Their goal was to revive traditional puppet theatre, an art form that has entertained and educated young and old for centuries. Having in mind underserved children, the artists also wanted to make live theatre accessible to those whose primary entertainment outlet was television. So, with a "Gypsy" approach, they created a self-contained theater on wheels in a Baroque style, inspired by an Italian opera house located in Milan.


San Diego Zoo
SeaWorld of California
Tivoli Park, Japan
Disneyland / California Adventure
The Orange County Performing Arts Center
MGM Grand, Las Vegas
The Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel
San Diego County Fair
Orange County Fair
L.A. County Fair
Ventura County Fare
Oregon State Fair
Silver Dollar Fair
The List goes on and on...

"We are delighted with the addition of The Puppets & Players Little Theatre here at SeaWorld. Your "Puff, the Magic Dragon is in a word, "enchanting". Your professionalism and craftsmanship shine through in all your performances.  We have been impressed by your ability to adapt and change under less than perfect circumstances. You are genuine troopers!"

Virginia Creamer, Show Supervisor
SeaWorld of California

"The presentation and production of The Puppets & Players Little Theatre is first-class, a great family attraction. We look forward to working with Gil and Laurie in future years. They, and their marionette friends, are master storytellers for the next generation."

Jim Farley, Manager
Marin County Fair

Hans Christian Andersen, the most celebrated children’s author of all time, appears and narrates his immortal fairy tale. In this timeless classic, a woman who longs for a child of her own visits an old witch who gives her a magic seed. The seed becomes a beautiful flower, which opens to reveal a little girl n...o bigger than a thumb. The woman names her Thumbelina. One night, a mother toad steals Thumbelina and carries her off into the swamp to marry her big, ugly toad son. With the help of a singing fish, Thumbelina escapes and floats away on a lily pad. During her journey, the beautifully illustrated pages of a storybook turn to reveal a variety of
magical settings as she wanders through the seasons in search of her dream. Along the way, she meets some of Andersen’s most enduring characters—a sleazy beetle, (who betrays her) Miss Mouse, (an old busybody) Mr. Mole, (a rich old codger who wants to marry her) and the Swallow, (who takes pity on her). In the end, with the Swallow’s help, she meets her true love and becomes Queen of the Flowers. This show is 30 minutes in length, and features marionettes and hand puppets, classic songs, and live performances by Laurie Branham as the woman who longs for a child, and Gil Olin as the legendary author Hans Christian Andersen.


In this fantasy adventure, Little Jackie Paper and Puff return to the magical land of Honalee and discover that the mystical “Magic Box” belonging to King Cobwebs has been stolen. Jackie and Puff agree to help the king and his granddaughter find the missing box and return it to the pal...ace. During their quest, our heroes fight a duel onboard a pirate ship with Captain Bilgewater and his sidekick Grog, face a fearful storm at sea, and travel to the bottom of the ocean, where they meet a friendly octopus named Rastapus, who helps Jackie discover that the “Magic Box” contains “the most powerful magic of all”, the magic of his own

imagination. This 30 minute show features marionettes and hand puppets, delightful songs, and an energetic live performance by Gil Olin, who doubles as a storyteller and a pirate.


We also offer fun-filled workshops where children can use their imaginations to create their own little puppets and perform in a game show called "Guess That Feeling", hosted by Gil as "Woody Wordman."