Beech Tree Puppet Theater

Art Form(s)
Artist Credentials
Teaching Artist Institute Graduate
About this Artist

Beech Tree Puppet Theater founders Ole and Ingrid Hass are critically acclaimed classical singers and actors and have performed together for almost 30 years. As vocal soloists and puppeteers, they have performed at the National Theater in DC, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Kennedy Center, National Cathedral, and Strathmore Hall and given hundreds of shows in schools, libraries and public spaces in the Washington-Baltimore area. They both hold graduate degrees in opera performance and are active as teachers and artists in residence.

Artist Statement

We tell meaningful stories in an artful way. Our performances are sensory-friendly, usually without amplification. We hand-craft our puppets and sets from natural materials such as wool, silk and wood, and respectfully adapt folk and fairytales for the puppet stage. We place a high value on direct and eloquent language in our scripts, and our songs are composed to be simple and beautiful, imitating or adapting traditional folk tunes.

Puppets bring a story to life, enhancing its meaning and impact for the audience. Language is enlivened, inspiring a love for stories and reading. Our shows often celebrate aspects of the natural world, such as the seasons, weather, or a sunrise, inspiring enthusiasm for nature and its treatment in the curriculum. The combination of story-telling, music, and visuals with puppets appeals to all types of learners and deepens their recall of content. Puppets can also break down barriers, cross-cultural differences, and open people of all ages to new ideas and possibilities.


“The Hass duo have marvelous voices... The craftsmanship on the sets and props,
a joy to behold... ‘The Giant Turnip’ sings.”

“Beech Tree Puppets performed for our 2 nd grade students and blew them away! This
professional duo of trained singers put on a captivation show that mesmerized every single student in a group of 70. The performers wove a spellbinding and suspenseful story (The Crystal Ball) that contained story elements, clearly defined characters, and beautifully made puppets, costumes, stage, and scenery. Their storytelling was reminiscent of the traditional craft, encouraging students to use their imaginations, but also introduced sophisticated, yet accessible vocabulary.”

Osa Oyegun, teacher, Washington International School

“From the smallest pre-Kindergarten students, to the biggest fifth graders, students were mesmerized.”

Greenbelt News Review