Dallas Children's Theater Blog

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Meet the Puppeteers – Kathy, Bea, Becky, and Trish

We’re continuing our celebration of the 20th anniversary since the first time Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts (KBTPA) performed its acclaimed interpretation of The Nutcracker at DCT. These four incredibly talented artists fondly look back at their favorite Nutcracker memories.


Kathy Burks – with Tchaikovsky and The Little Puppeteer (from THE NUTCRACKER)

What influenced KBTPA’s unique interpretation of The Nutcracker?

“… I really enjoyed working with Bea [Wolf, the playwright and music director] to put THE NUTCRACKER together to be able to remind people who Tchaikovsky was, and still is to all of us. He’s wonderful…We just interpreted the music in a way that might be fun for puppets to do and for those people that are watching it. So it’s a brand new way of hearing the music and interpreting the music and relating it in a slightly different way.”


Bea Wolf – with Musical Sheets (from The Nutcracker)

As a musician yourself, what part of the show do you particularly enjoy?

“One thing that stands out is the prologue, which tells about how Tchaikovsky wrote the ballet.  One of our characters, The Little Puppeteer, interrupts and asks “just how long do you intend to speak to Tchaikovsky?” and two of my musician friends who were in the audience just fell out laughing. That was so satisfying to me because musicians especially appreciate that kind of thing.”


Becky Burks Keenan – with Piglet and King (from THE FROG PRINCE)

What is one of your most memorable audience reactions to the show?

“The funniest reaction I got, and I enjoyed doing it so much, was the poodle’s feet. He starts out very graceful and slow, and then there’s a certain point in the music where he twiddles and he twiddles really fast across the stage. That always gets a big laugh, so I enjoyed doing that part. The kids always talked about the poodle and his feet, so I was able to say, “I did the feet!””


Trish Long – with Frog (from The FROG PRINCE)

What else should audiences know ahead of time before they come see the show?

“The neat thing to me is that we frequently still have so many generations come back, and they meet us in the lobby and they’ll say, “My mother brought me, [and now] I’m bringing my daughter.” Or the grandmother will be there. The grandmother will say, “I brought my daughter. Now she’s bringing her daughter, my granddaughter.” That’s the really neat part of it, people should be prepared to make it a family tradition.”






Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Adapted for the stage by B. Wolf

November 18 – December 21, 2016

Recommended for ages 4 and up


No holiday season is complete without Tchaikovsky’s THE NUTCRACKER! This unique and acclaimed puppet interpretation brings the classic story to life with innovative passion and artistry. According to The Dallas Morning News, this NUTCRACKER “…out-Fantasia’s Walt Disney’s classic film.” DFW audiences love holiday traditions, and that is why 2016 marks 20 years of this most requested title. It’s a perfect introduction to classical music, so make a date to bring your children!

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Images by Craig Lynch

THE NUTCRACKER is produced by special arrangement with the playwright.


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