My Father's Dragon

Participate in a National Research Study on
The Impact of Live Performance

Announcing a collaboration between Purdue University and Enchantment Theatre Company. Amanda Mayes, Ph.D., Manager of Education at Purdue Convocations, will be leading a unique research study examining the impact of a live performance on a student’s literacy skills. Click here to learn more about your opportunity to participate in this national research project.

"According to Purdue University’s Amanda Mayes, it is more than a research project about the impact of performing arts on literacy. 'This is ultimately about public policy change,' she said. 'The larger agenda is to ensure that the arts are required parts of a pubic education nationwide.”' Click here to read this article about the production and the study in the The Virginian Pilot.

My Father’s Dragon
Based on the beloved stories by Ruth Stiles Gannett​
Exclusive production authorized by author Ruth Stiles Gannett
Story adaptation by Jennifer and Landis Smith and Leslie Reidel, Artistic Directors of Enchantment Theatre Company
Score by Charles Gilbert, composer of Enchantment’s Peter Rabbit Tales
Production design by C. David Russell, Designer for Enchantment’s Peter Rabbit Tales

In collaboration with author Ruth Stiles Gannett and in celebration of the books’ 70th Anniversary, Enchantment Theatre Company brings the three tales of My Father’s Dragon to life on stage.

When nine-year old Elmer Elevator hears about a baby dragon who is held captive by the ferocious animals of Wild Island, he sets off on an adventure to rescue the dragon and return him home. With the help of his friend the Alley Cat, Elmer packs everything he thinks he’ll need – including chewing gum, two-dozen lollipops, seven hair ribbons and a box of rubber bands! With pluck and ingenuity Elmer makes his way to the Island, outwits the wild animals and saves Boris, the dragon. But can they find their way back home? As they travel over the ocean they get lost in a storm and discover a magical island of escaped canaries. The resourceful Elmer helps the canaries overcome their “curiosity disease” and uncover a stash of hidden riches. With bags of gold and the canaries’ blessings, the dauntless duo at last returns home.

With talking animals, a daring rescue, a flying dragon, buried treasure and lots of humor throughout, this fabulous adventure is brought to the stage in Enchantment Theatre’s distinctive style. Using puppets, masks, inventive scenic effects and original music, Enchantment Theatre Company is delighted to bring you the story of a compassionate and courageous young boy and his unlikely friendship with a splendid yellow and blue-striped dragon.


ENCHANTMENT THEATRE COMPANY (PRODUCER) - Enchantment Theatre Company has produced original theater for school groups and families since 2000 when it was established as a non-profit arts organization in Philadelphia. The company presents only original work based on classic stories from children's literature, using its signature blend of masked actors, pantomime, magic, large-scale puppets, and original music. Building on the more than 35 years of theatrical experience of its artistic directors, Enchantment has quickly become known for high quality imaginative productions, not only in its home city but throughout the United States and the Far East.

Enchantment has toured its original productions all over the world, appearing each year in almost all the lower 48 states. It has performed in such sophisticated urban arts venues as New York’s Lincoln Center, Washington, D.C.’s John F. Kennedy Center, and Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center and Annenberg Center. The company has also toured the Far East six times, performing in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Enchantment has shared the stage with more than 65 orchestras in North America in its special symphonic works that pair great stories with great music for the benefit of school and family audiences.

Enchantment Theatre Company is a non-profit arts organization resident in Philadelphia. They have been guided by their mission: to create original theater for young audiences and families. They accomplish this through the imaginative telling of stories that inspire, challenge and enrich their audience, on stage and in the classroom. All of Enchantment’s productions are original adaptations of new and classic fables, myths and legends, combined with original music. Drawing on great theatrical traditions from around the world—from the Bunraku theater of Japan, to the shadow puppets of Indonesia, to commedia dell’arte—Enchantment weaves these together in compelling productions of beauty and inspiration. They employ a unique combination of art forms to tell their stories: masked actors, magic and illusion, puppets (often life-size) and mime, all set to classical or original music.



  • Literature
  • Visual Arts and Drawing
  • Performing Arts: Theater, Music, Dance
  • Language Arts: Reading and Creative Writing as storytelling with a focus on the concepts of imagination, creativity and problem-solving

SCHOOL TIME AUDIENCE: Ages 5–10; Grades K–5


Newbery Honor Book and an ALA Notable Book

NEA Teachers’ list of top 100 books for children

• Common Core Standards Exemplar Text

• Common Core Standards Recommended Reading List

NY Public Library 100 Great Children’s Book List



“The Enchantment Theatre Company’s production of Peter Rabbit Tales has captured the essence of Beatrix Potter’s work through their careful study of both the text of the original tales and research into our Beatrix Potter illustration archive. Through a well-crafted script, dynamic choreography and simple but effective staging, the show makes for an absorbing and enjoyable experience for all. We are delighted to endorse this excellent production.” - Ronnie Fairweather, Creative Director, Penguin Books UK


“As usual Enchantment Theatre presented a fantastic children’s theatre production. Teachers and students alike were mesmerized by the artistry of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Thank you for continuing to produce literary-based work that is accessible and magical!” – Jaymi Crowley, Cam-Plex, Gillette, WY

“I don’t really remember the last time we presented a children’s event where the kids were quite this captivated.” – Rodney Rock, Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, University of Connecticut

“Let me begin by saying Peter Rabbit Tales was the third production from Enchantment Theatre that we have had in the theater since I have been here. From a presenter’s point of view, I admire the way your company blends music, dance and theater into each high quality presentation. For Peter Rabbit Tales I thought the sets, costumes, and masks were exquisite. I find the Enchantment Theatre Company consistently produces some of the highest quality theater for children that I have ever seen.” – John Healey, Executive Theater Manager, Weinberg Center for the Arts, Frederick, MD

“I had the opportunity to speak with my neighbors who attended [Peter Rabbit Tales] with their two young daughters... The first comment was this was the best children’s performance they had seen so far out of about 10 shows.... Further he explained that the beginning of the show when the actors come out and are introduced before donning their final costume pieces was brilliant. It really connected with the children and created an atmosphere that didn’t frighten the children. So kudos on an excellent production.” – David Baylor, Director of Operations, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Manassas, VA

“Many children’s tours have very little scenery and I think that does their shows a disservice - your full-stage set got a review of ‘magical’ by the locals. I got a lot of positive feedback on the lobby displays as well, that was well-liked and added more depth to the evening and I think will help me in building a reputation for future shows that I want to bring in..... One anecdote I can share was one young mother called me the following day saying that it was the first show that her son had ever seen and could she get a poster to frame for his room? That’s the kind of impact I want to have with bringing in children’s shows!” – Cat Nelson, Facility Manager, Washington Community Center Theater, Washington, IA

“We enjoyed Peter Rabbit Tales very much.... The production was very well done. I especially like that the narration coming from the sound systems, it was very loud and clearly spoken - it reminded me when my mother used to read stories to me. The music was wonderful and so were the sets... Feedback from many of our members echoed these sentiments, including one mother who told me last weekend that since seeing the show, her son, who was previously only interested in playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, now wants to play Peter Rabbit all the time!” – Theresa Remick, Managing Director, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota


“Enchantment Theatre Company—one of the nation’s most revered organizations for cross-generational theater.” – Philadelphia Weekly

“When Enchantment Theatre Company is in town it’s never fairytale theatre as usual.” – Los Angeles Times

“Sometimes ‘etc’ simply means ‘and so forth,’ but when ETC is used as shorthand for the Enchantment Theatre Company, it translates to ‘Everything That’s Captivating.’” – The Free Lance-Star, Manassas, VA

“It’s not just the superb design work and eye-popping special effects that make Enchantment Theatre’s shows unique. Beautifully choreographed, the company’s movement-based productions effectively mix mime and dance into a stylized ballet of color and sound that entrances both the kids and their adult companions.” – Philadelphia Weekly

“Everything about this world-class production is inventive and endearing; it fully captures the spirit of the beloved stories, the essence of childhood, and the imagination of the audience, both young and old. [Peter Rabbit Tales] –, Philadelphia, PA

“The entire play is narrated by a beautiful voice so that it makes everyone in the audience feel as if a Peter Rabbit book has dropped to the floor, popped open, and came to life in front of us.” –, Philadelphia, PA


Join the collaboration between Enchantment Theatre Company and Amanda Mayes, Ph.D., Manager of Education at Purdue Convocations as they conduct a national research study examining the impact of a live performance on students' literacy skills. Your participation in this study will help strengthen the case for the arts playing an integral part in a child's education.

Click here for more information about the study and how you can get involved.

"According to Purdue University’s Amanda Mayes, it is more than a research project about the impact of performing arts on literacy. 'This is ultimately about public policy change,' she said. 'The larger agenda is to ensure that the arts are required parts of a pubic education nationwide.”' Click here to read this article about the production and the study in the The Virginian Pilot.

For artistic and technical questions contact:
Landis Smith, Artistic Director-Production

For tour bookings contact:
Barbara Simon, The Brad Simon Organization, Inc.

For questions about the Purdue University Research Study contact:
Amanda Mayes, Ph.D.