Regional and National Touring Shows 

Local "run-out" programs (those not requiring an overnight accommodation) are available within an approximate 140 mile radius of Kansas City. These can be for up to two performances per day, any day of the week. Check your desired dates against our calendar for availability.

Fees typically begin at $950 for one show at a local educational venue, such as a school, library, or arts center. From there price is based on travel distance, number of shows, type of venue, and which show you'd like us to perform.

Performance prices vary. Book your performance today! Call 816-756-3500.


Technical Requirements

The following are minimal space and technical needs for presenting our shows:

  • Area needs to be 20' wide by 12' deep with a ceiling height of 10 feet. It needs to be free of activity at least 90 minutes prior to setup and 45 minutes after for teardown.
  • Electrical needs are at least two separate circuit 110V (normal house current) grounded outlets on a minimum 20 amp fuses or breakers.
  • One table of banquet size or equivalent for back stage. One bottle of water for artist.

For further inquiries or to book us, please contact us at 816-756-3500.



Available Plays

The current titles available as follows:


Anasi the Spider

A lively telling of four classic folk tales from Africa and the Caribbean. All these humorous stories feature a trickster spider that sometimes gets tricked himself. In “How the Stories Came to the World”, “Tiger Becomes a Riding Horse”, The Magic of Five” and “Dinner for Two”, Anansi the Spider offers universal lessons of wit and cleverness. 

The Comical Adventures of Old Mother Hubbard

Old Mother Hubbard loves her dog, and he loves her. In this comic poem, written in 1805, Old Mother Hubbard is always looking out for her best friend and in return he is dancing and spinning and sitting and standing all to the delight of Old Mother Hubbard. In a quaint old cottage the comedy of a dog and his master opens and unfolds to delight and captivate the story of this good old lady and her funny dog.

The Dinosaur Show

No bones about it – The Dinosaur Show will tickle your funny fossil and stimulate your imagination. Paul Mesner Puppets digs into the past to

bring the dinosaurs to life, using hand, rod, shadow and body puppets in a prehistoric tale. The play explains scientific facts of how dinosaurs

became extinct and includes a few whimsical and improbable theories. The cameo appearance of Dr. Dino Sawyer is sure to entertain with a

fascinating look at what was and what might have been.


Paul Mesner brings his own personal touch to this production of Pulcinella, an Italian puppet tradition over three centuries old. Pulcinella is the

hero of this story, however, he is all but pure innocence. After dancing with his girlfriend Teresina, his antics, joy for life and noise making get

him into trouble with his neighbor, who consequently suffers from Pulcinella’s stick. The neighbor suffers so much that he falls into a coffin.

Later when Pulcinella falls asleep Death comes to claim his property. Pulcinella awakes, and escapes from his clutches. Soon the police

arrive to find what has happened and Pulcinella insists the man is asleep. Failing to elude the law, Pulcinella finds himself in prison awaiting

the hangman.When the hangman finally arrives to ready Pulcinella for his death, Pulcinella tricks death again with his antics and survives

to dance with his girlfriend,

Little Red Riding Hood 

Our telling of this classic tale comes with a very contemporary twist. When Little Red finds the wolf disguised in her Grandmother’s clothes, she uses her self-defense moves to teach him a lesson he won’t soon forget. The story of Little Red Riding Hood is also accompanied by a collection of American folk and traditional rhymes presented by the First Lady of Mesner Puppets, Georgette.

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by A. Wolf

Think you know the real story behind the huffing and puffing?  Think again.  There’s only one individual who knows the true story about one wolf, three houses and three little pigs: Alexander T. Wolf.  In this revealing no-squealing adaptation of Jon Scieszka’s popular book, A. Wolf has a chance to tell his side of the story.  He only wanted a cup of sugar and he did have a cold.  For years we have only known this story from the pigs point of view.  Mr. A. Wolf tells all about what really happened to those three little houses made of straw, sticks and bricks and the three pigs that lived in them.


 Mesner Puppet Theater presents a veggie wonderful love story about two avid gardeners, Okra and Romaine, who meet, marry and have a beautiful daughter named Rapunzel. An evil witch, who forced Romaine to promise that he would give up his first-born child many years before, returns to claim the lovely child for her own. Rapunzel is taken to live in a tower and her future looks bleak until the Prince arrives and Rapunzel hatches a plan to escape he evil captor and leaf happily ever alfalfa. 

St. George and the Dragon

Return to the legendary time of far away kingdoms, ferocious dragons, and damsels in distress. Set in a chilly mythical Kingdom, the tale unfolds as the King and his Court try to decide what to do about an earth-shaking and hungry Dragon. In this version, it is not a brave Knight who saves the Kingdom from the Dragon, but the King’s daughter, Princess Georgette. With courage and good sense, Georgette proves herself to be a damsel in control of the situation, and solves the dilemma with a happy ending for all.

The Stinky Cheese Man

Adapted from the book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. The story contains zany versions of classic tales with the fabulous humor that has made this Caldecott Award winning book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith so popular. You will have fun with Jack, the narrator, who takes you through the twists and turns of this wacky tale.  Learn the real story of Chicken Licken or is that Chicken Little?  And then there is Cinderumpelstiltskin.  Will she have to spin her own dress?   Will she go to the ball?  The Really Ugly Duckling will make you laugh and cry and everyone will leave with a somewhat revised view of that Little Red Hen. The story is not only entertaining but also explains how a book is constructed.  This is the second Jon Scieszka book that Mesner Puppet Theater has turned into a puppet production, the first being True Story of the Three Little Pigs. 


* Indicates shows that have received the highest honor in puppetry -- an UNIMA/USA (Union Internartionale de la Marionette) Citation of Excellence in Puppetry (an award created by Jim Henson).



Funding Support

For presenters in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, the Mid-American Arts Alliance in cooperation with regional state arts councils may have funding support for presenting Mesner Puppet Theater. Learn more at Also schools, libraries, and other Missouri presenters may be available for funding support from the Missouri Arts Council. Mesner Puppets is educational-certified by the MAC.

We offer a splendid variety of award-winning and acclaimed stories for children and families, uniquely created for the puppet stage by master puppeteers Mike Horner and Paul Mesner. This list will vary from time to time. Many have an accompanying classroom activities packet to assist teachers.