"Jack and the Beanstalk" is a Giant Hit!

Fe-Fi-Fo-FUN!.  The story of a lad that doesn't know beans about trading, but still manages to climb his way to the top.   One of TPC's best loved shows returns in a BIG way.  See the rave reviews here.   Tiny Tots @ 10:00 has "Tiny Tots 'Sing-a-Long'" on Saturday & Sunday.

Copyright, the Puppet Co, 2016

All rights reserved.

Frequently Asked Questions


About the Puppets

Your Visit

Birthday Parties

School Groups


About the Puppets -

Who makes the puppets, costumes, scenery?

What are the puppets made out of?

How can someone become a puppeteer?

I want to make puppets. Where do I start?

Do you perform the voices live?

Can you untangle my marionette? Restore my old puppet?

Do you tour your shows?

When will you do a Harry Potter, Dora the Explorer, Sponge Bob, etc. show?

What is the difference between puppets and Muppets?

What is the difference between puppets and marionettes?

Do you make puppets to sell?


Your Visit -

What is the difference between Main Stage & Tiny Tots performances?

What are the age recommendations for the shows?

Are there group discounts for tickets?

Are there senior discounts available?

Do I have to pay for a ticket if I am bringing my child to see the show?

Can my child talk/walk around during the performance?

When does seating begin?

Do performances always start on time?

When does the lobby open for a performance?

Can I save seats for my friends?

Is pre-seating available?

Where can I park?

Can I bring my stroller, (bike, scooter) into the Playhouse?

Is the Playhouse wheelchair accessible?

Do you have ASL Interpretation?

Does my child need a chaperone in the theatre?

Are you Air Conditioned? Heated?

Can we use our purchased tickets for another day?

What do I do if I have a voucher, gift certificate, or coupon?

Are there online fees for ticket purchases?

Where can I find something to eat?

Can I bring snacks and/or drinks in the theatre?

Where are the picnic tables?

When does the carousel open?

What is your refund policy?

If I purchased extra tickets and cannot use them, can I sell them to someone else waiting in line?

Are you Air Conditioned? Heated?

Is it okay to use an electronic device during the performance?


Birthday Parties -

Can my party guests hang out in the lobby area?

Will you sing ‚"Happy Birthday‚" or pay special attention to my child?

Am I renting the theatre as well?

Can I purchase more tickets?

How far in advance should I book the Birthday Party ROOM Package?

How far in advance should I book my birthday party?

What is your refund policy for Party Packages?

What are the age recommendations for a show?

When does seating begin?

Do performances always start on time?

When does the lobby open for a performance?

Can I save seats for my friends?


School Groups -

Where should the buses drop off and park?

What is seating like?

When should we arrive?

Do I check-in/checkout with you?

What is a performance pass?

Where do we put the packed lunches?

Where is the playground?

Can our group sit together?

Where are the bathrooms?



About the Puppets -


Who makes the puppets, costumes, scenery?

We do! Everything you see onstage is produced by the Puppet Co. We make the puppets, write the scripts, design and make the costumes and sets. We often compose the music when not using that of classical composers, and then we arrange the music on the computer. We also create the video animations that are used in some of the shows. For details of who did what you can read the program for the show you attend.

Go to top

What are the puppets made out of?

Until the late 1990s we used a material called Celastic. That product was discontinued and we turned to neoprene rubber, which called for a completely different technique. Of course, we incorporate a lot of traditional materials, such as wood, cloth and papier-mâché and more modern materials like foam rubber and Styrofoam. Costumes use all different sorts of fabrics, and features are painted with acrylic paints.

Go to top

How can someone become a puppeteer?

Some people go to college to learn. West Virginia University, University of Connecticut, and University of Hawaii all have excellent programs. Others teach themselves, still others audition for a show and are trained by other puppeteers. Good puppeteers generally have some background in acting or movement.

Go to top

I want to make puppets. Where do I start?

There are so many different kinds of puppets that there is no easy answer. The best way to learn is to check your public library for books on puppet making and start simple. The more puppets you make, the better you will become.

Go to top

Do you perform the voices live?

Yes, for all shows except "Mozart's The Magic Flute," which is recorded with real opera singers (in english). We feel that performances involve a lot of interaction with the audience, and that doing the show with live actors is important to make the show as enjoyable as possible.

Go to top

Can you untangle my marionette? Restore my old puppet?

We get this one a lot, and the answer is unfortunately "No." We don't have time to do it ourselves, and we have not been able to find anyone else who provides that service. We suggest you treat untangling a marionette as a really fun puzzle, take your time, and hang it somewhere safe between attempts.

Go to top

Do you tour your shows?

Not anymore. We formed the Puppet Co. in order to be able to create a theater for puppets, but in the beginning we used to tour the East Coast. Now the shows are very complicated, with so many lights, video and computer effects that the shows would not be as impactful where we to try to move it from place to place. We will occasionally do a short residency for some other puppet theaters, but they are few and far between.

Go to top

When will you do a Harry Potter, Dora the Explorer, Sponge Bob, etc. show?

All the stories we perform are in the public domain. That is, the rights are not owned by someone else. To use someone else's work without their permission would be stealing. Besides, it's more fun to create our own work.

Go to top

What is the difference between puppets and Muppets?

"Puppets" is a generic term for figures that are animated by a puppeteer. "Muppets" are the work of the Jim Henson Company, and are a brand like "Macy's" or "Nabisco."

Go to top

What is the difference between puppets and marionettes?

Marionettes are simply puppets on strings. All marionettes are puppets, but not all puppets are marionettes. There are rod puppets, hand puppets, shadow puppets, Bunraku-style puppets, and many combinations of these.

Go to top

Do you make puppets to sell?

We accept commissions from time to time, but mostly we make puppets for our own productions. The types of puppets we make are very labor intensive, and therefor very expensive. Since we keep our puppets in repertory, they pay for themselves over many years.

Your Visit -


What is the difference between Main Stage & Tiny Tots performances?

Main Stage shows are designed for older children (around 5 years old). They have more dialogue, and the theatre is dark. ALL children in attendance are expected to be seated and quiet (no conversations) through the duration of the show (usually 45 minutes).
Tiny Tots performances are designed for the younger crowd (0-4yrs). These shows are shorter (about 30 minutes long), the lights stay on, and the doors remain open. Still, children are expected to be seated through the performance, but small-talk is allowed as long as it is responsive to the show.

Go to top

What are the age recommendations for the shows?

Main Stage performances each have their own general age recommendation. Most are recommended for ages 3 1/2 and older, though some are for 5 and older. Recommendations are based on the length of the show, amount and sophistication of dialogue, conflict level, and perception of the villain (e.g., wolf, giant, witch).


Tiny Tots performances are designed for children under 3. This is a starter program and children are learning how to go to a theatre at this stage. We encourage families to practice how to sit, watch and learn about the theatre.

Go to top

Are there group discounts for tickets?

Yes. Group discounts are available with an advance reservation, prior to the day of performance. Go here for example rates. Call our box office at (301) 634-5380 to make your reservation.

Go to top

Are there senior discounts available?

Actually, everyone pays the same price as kids.

Go to top

Do I have to pay for a ticket if I am bringing my child to see the show?

Yes. For Main Stage shows, anyone 2 and older needs a ticket. For Tiny Tots, everyone out of the tummy needs a ticket.

Go to top

Can my child talk/walk around during the performance?

Children (and adults) are expected to be seated and quiet throughout any performance at the Playhouse. Of course, laughing and clapping are hoped for, and a whispered query is understandable, as long as other audience members are not disturbed. Think of your theater outing as a teaching opportunity that will help your child learn consideration for others. There is a live feed of the performance on the television monitors, so parents won't miss anything while caring for their "fussy" child in the lobby.

Go to top

When does seating begin?

Seating begins 15 minutes before showtime.

Go to top

Do performances always start on time?

In most cases. Try not to be late as it is disruptive to others that did arrive on time. Late arrivals may have to wait to be seated if actors are entering or exiting the theater through the lobby.

Go to top

When does the lobby open for a performance?

About 30 minutes before showtime. During a performance, the lobby is available to ticket holders only. Ticket holders for the second show of the day are asked to wait until the previous show has cleared before entering the lobby.

Go to top

Can I save seats for my friends?

No. Our theatre is general admission seating. If you wish to sit with others that are a few minutes behind you, please wait until you can be seated together.

Go to top

Is Pre-seating available?

Pre-seating is available for persons in wheelchairs upon request. Notifying the Box Office at (301) 634-5380 strongly is advised.

Go to top

Where can I park?

Glen Echo Park has a free parking lot located off of Oxford Road. DO NOT PARK IN THE PERMIT LOT. These lots are ONLY for employees, and you run the risk of getting a parking ticket. See the map here.

Go to top

Can I bring my stroller, (bike, scooter) into the Playhouse?

No. Strollers may be parked outside the Playhouse doors, under the overhang. There are bike racks in the Park. There is no room for these items in the Playhouse, and they would constitute a safety hazard.

Go to top

Is the Playhouse wheelchair accessible?

Yes. We encourage you to arrange with us for pre-seating. Call (301) 634-5380.

Go to top

Do you have ASL Interpretation?

Yes. Each production has an ASL interpreted show on a select Sunday at 1pm as listed here.

Go to top

Does my child need a chaperone in the theatre?

Yes. All children must have a responsible adult attending with them.

Go to top

Are you Air Conditioned? Heated?

Our theatre is air conditioned during the Summer and heated during the cold months. If you are sensitive to cooler temperatures, please bring a light sweater with you just in case, as temperatures can vary with the size of the audience.

Go to top

Can we use our purchased tickets for another day?

No. Our tickets are not transferrable.

Go to top

What do I do if I have a voucher, gift certificate, or coupon?

Please call us at least 24 hours before a show time to reserve your tickets. We are a small office and may not be able to take your call; please leave a voicemail with your name, number, and time at which to reach you.

Go to top

Are there online fees for ticket purchases?

No! We are proud to say that there are no service charges or credit card fees when you purchase tickets online.

Go to top

Where can I find something to eat?

Across the Park, next to the playground, is the Ballroom Café. It is open from March through October. Check the here for hours of operation. Adjacent to the Park is the Irish Inn at Glen Echo a favorite with our audiences.

Go to top

Can I bring snacks and/or drinks in the theatre?

No. We do not permit any food or drink in the theatre with the exception of sippy cups, baby bottles, and water bottles with tight fitting lids.

Go to top

Where are the picnic tables?

They are located in front of our building next to the carousel.

Go to top

When does the carousel open?

The carousel is open from May to September. here for hours and information.

Go to top

What is your refund policy?

All sales are final. Our system does not allow for refunds or exchanges. Please be aware of this policy before purchasing.

Go to top

If I purchased extra tickets and cannot use them, can I sell them to someone else waiting in line?

Absolutely not. It is a federal crime to resell your tickets on our property. We are in compliance with County, State, and Federal guidelines at all times and are audited by such entities. If you have purchased more tickets than you need, unfortunately we cannot return or exchange them. If you would like to give them to someone else, that would be very kind.

Go to top

Is it okay to video or take photos during the performance?

No. As with all theaters, video and photos are prohibited. However, we try to have one or more puppets in the lobby after the show for photo ops with the children.


Is it okay to use an electronic device during the performance?

No. Texting, monitoring or use of electronic devices in general is distracting to our patrons, and is not allowed. Phones and pagers should be silenced and screens dark. Feel free to use these in the lobby if you need to.

Go to top


Birthday Parties -


Can my party guests hang out in the lobby area?

During your Showtime, if they have a ticket, yes. The lobby is reserved for those that hold a ticket to the performance that is in progress. Other than this circumstance, your party guests are to remain in the Room or outside.

Go to top


Will you sing ‚"Happy Birthday‚" or pay special attention to my child?

In the theatre before the show, we do not make announcements. However, if you are renting the Playhouse party room we can in most cases bring a puppet into the room after the show to wish your child a happy birthday and take a photo with them. Exceptions may arise when no appropriate puppet is available.

Go to top


Am I renting the theatre as well?

No. Your room rental (if you chose our party package) is for the room and your tickets. The theatre is open to individuals and other parties in the park.

Go to top


Can I purchase more tickets?

Any birthday party package purchased through us has a 25-person maximum. A party that is either outside with picnic tables or a GEPPAC room can purchase more tickets. Please let us know in advance as they are based on availability.

Go to top


How far in advance should I book the Birthday Party ROOM Package?

Being that we only have one room to rent out per day, you should call us as soon as you have a date. (We recommend at least 2 months in advance) Booking the party room package several months in advance is optimal.

Go to top


How far in advance should I book my birthday party?

Generally, a month before your show date is a good time to purchase tickets. If you have a room with the GEPPAC offices, purchasing your tickets around the same day you’ve secured your room is best.

Go to top


What is your refund policy for Party Packages?

If a Party Package is cancelled 60 (sixty) days prior to the date of the reservation, a full refund will be made. If a Party Package is cancelled 30 (thirty) days prior to the date of the reservation, 50% of the rental fee and the full security deposit will be refunded. Less than 30 days prior to the date of the Party Package, only the security deposit will be refunded.

Go to top


What are the age recommendations for a show?

Main Stage performances each have their own general age recommendation. Most are recommended for ages 3 1/2 and older, though some are for 5 and older. Recommendations are based on the length of the show, amount and sophistication of dialogue, conflict level, and perception of the villain (e.g., wolf, giant, witch).


Tiny Tots performances are designed for children under 3. This is a starter program and children are learning how to go to a theatre at this stage. We encourage families to practice how to sit, watch and learn about the theatre.

Go to top

When does seating begin?

Seating begins 15 minutes before Showtime.

Go to top


Do performances always start on time?

In most cases. Try not to be late as it is disruptive to others that did arrive on time. Late arrivals may have to wait to be seated if actors are entering or exiting the theater through the lobby.

Go to top


When does the lobby open for a performance?

Our lobby opens 30 minutes before Showtime.

Go to top


Can I save seats for my friends?

No. Our theatre is general admission seating. If you wish to sit with others that are a few minutes behind you, please wait until you can be seated together.

Go to top


School Groups -


Where should the buses drop off and park?

National Park Service requests that you do not allow the buses to offload in the Permit Parking lot under the neon sign. Please comply. You will offload in the free parking lot where the buses will then remain.

Go to top


What is seating like?

We have general admission FLOOR seating for all children and most adults. We also have limited bench seating for adults only. We require adults attending field trips to be on each side of the students seated in the center.

Go to top


When should we arrive?

The Puppet Co. asks that you arrive as a group at least 15 minutes BEFORE your Showtime. If you have a large group of 50 or more, please arrive 30 minutes before your time. This allows for a much smoother check-in and seating.

Go to top


Do I check-in/ checkout with you?

Yes. As a group, you are required to have one adult check-in at the Box Office window. If payment is due, please submit payment to the person at the window. You will receive your PINK performance pass that allows entry in to the theatre. Please checkout with the Box Office before exiting the lobby. We will have a receipt and packet for you.

Go to top


What is a performance pass?

The performance pass is a PINK pass that tells the House Manager that your group has been checked and is ready to be seated in the theatre. Without it, you will not be seated.

Go to top


Where do we put the packed lunches?

Packed lunches that are in proper containers can be placed inside against the wall in our outer lobby. If there are several school groups in addition to yours, make sure your group's lunches stay separate from another's.

Go to top


Where is the playground?

The playground is just behind the carousel.


Can our group sit together?

Yes. In order to be seated as one unit, you must arrive no later than 15 minutes before Showtime, (Example: If your Showtime is at 10:00 AM, please arrive before 9:45am.) and enter our lobby together.


Where are the bathrooms?

We have 2 bathrooms in our lobby that anyone attending the show can use. However, if you have a really large school group, it might be easier to use the large bathrooms located behind the carousel in the brick building.

Go to top


Where are the bathrooms?

We have 2 bathrooms in our lobby that anyone attending the show can use. However, if you have a really large school group, it might be easier to use the large bathrooms located behind the carousel in the brick building.

Go to top


Can our group sit together?

Yes. In order to be seated as one unit, you must arrive no later than 15 minutes before Showtime, (Example: If your Showtime is at 10:00 AM, please arrive before 9:45am.) and enter our lobby together.


Where are the bathrooms?

We have 2 bathrooms in our lobby that anyone attending the show can use. However, if you have a really large school group, it might be easier to use the large bathrooms located behind the carousel in the brick building.

Go to top