Betsy Tobin/ Now Or Never Theatre

From versatile solo shows to large multi-media productions, Betsy Tobin presents unique and innovative programs for all ages, integrating acting, shadow theatre, masks, puppets, and video sequences. Her shows have received critical acclaim across Europe, as well as in the United States. Betsy’s programs can focus on traditional theatre and puppetry techniques or the innovative work she is currently doing with shadow theatre and video. Her workshops can be custom-designed to focus on the essence of acting, to integrate tips on story structure and playwriting, or to teach specific techniques such as hand puppetry, shadow puppetry, mask-making or masked acting.

Betsy Tobin/ Now Or Never Theatre is available for full or part-time residencies.


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Explore: Performing Arts, Professional Development, Storytelling, Theatre, Folk, Masks, Puppets


Individual workshop and performance prices are determined by each artist. Please contact us for performance and workshop pricing for a particular artist. Visit our Pricing page for other pricing information.

  • The Essence of Acting

    Workshop or Residency for grades K through 12th

    After a fun warm-up exercise in a one-hour workshop, we will play theatre games that focus on rhythm, movement, and voice. Exercises will build upon each other. We will put it all together in small groups in a final exercise that can be presented to the group. In a two-hour workshop, participants will work on characterization and different styles of theatre. We will also develop a short piece to present at the end of the workshop. The focus of the piece can be a story or a poem or we can create original theatre.

  • Shadow Puppetry

    Workshop or Residency for grades K through 12th

    After demonstrating various techniques and lighting effects for shadow puppetry and talking briefly about the origins and history of shadow theatre, in a one hour workshop participants will take turns enacting simple scenes and stories with shadow puppets on the overhead projector or against a shadow screen. In a two-hour workshop, the participants will sketch and cut out their own shadow puppet or set to enact a simple scene or skit with others.

  • Puppets – Past & Present

    Workshop or Residency for grades K through 12th

    Betsy presents the history and uses of puppetry and shadow theatre in many different parts of the world. She demonstrates different puppetry techniques and presents short sequences from her own performances.

  • The Magic of Masks

    Workshop or Residency for grades K through 12th

    As she dons many masks, Betsy Tobin familiarizes audiences with the origins of theatre and the use of masks in many different cultures. She demonstrates the essential elements of masked acting. A one hour workshop can focus on mask making or masked acting techniques. A two-hour workshop includes both.

  • Charlotte’s Web

    Performance for grades K through 6th

    Children and families will love this touching story enacted with puppets and magical shadow imagery of the webs that Charlotte weaves for her friend, Wilbur. As Fern’s mother, the storyteller evokes life in the barn as she tells the story of Wilbur’s unlikely survival and his lasting friendship with a spider and her offspring.

  • Three Precious Pearls ~ Coliatha and the Roots That Bind

    Performance for grades K through 6th

    In a poignant Chinese folktale, a child proves his worthiness as he surmounts numerous obstacles in his search for three precious pearls. In the second original story, Coliatha faces the elements and meets a funny witch who casts strange spells upon her as she searches for roots. Students assist the storyteller with puppets and masks in this lively, interactive production.

  • In Search of Giants

    Performance for grades K through 6th

    This program tells the story of a child’s quest for legendary heroes. Aided by his magical guide, Miranda, Ian never strays from his goal as he encounters various creatures that magically appear throughout a beautiful patchwork set. The adventures of Ian and Miranda are accompanied by Michael Stanwood’s enchanting and inventive music, using a wide variety of instruments.