Mystic Paper Beasts

Traditional Native American storytelling for school assemblies through movement, masks and other crafty creations

Sky Tales

skytails3The Mystskytailsic Paper Beasts theater troupe has been cheered around the globe for their extraordinary collection of simply-made yet expressive mythological masks, ingenious props which transform everyday objects into beasts, beings, tools and treasures, and for the whimsy and exuberance of their performance—a playful style full of rapid changes, dancing, miming, and singing. Sky Tales presents a constellation of Native American Tales from seven different Native nations – tales of the sky gathered like stars from a variety of traditional narratives, magical revealing, and transformative.  Characters are distinguishable by the 25 hand-made masks worn by the two Beast players.  Sky Tales teaches students about myth, grounding them in some fundamental stories from Native American tradition and inspires them with a Do-It-Yourself approach to art-making.

Audience Limit: 200 for grades K-2, 300 for grades 3-5

Post-Performance Workshops

Marya Ursin

Marya Ursin of the Mystic Paper Beasts

Students use myths and masks to create and perform stories. They learn how specific masks suggest posture, movement, and personality and how to use these elements to bring ancient tales to life.  Workshops are movement-based and tailored to students’ grad level.

Participants:  25 Students
Price:  $125 per workshop

Mystic Paper Beasts Performance Reqirements

Mystic Paper Beasts Educational Materials

The Mystic Paper Beasts perform myths of transformation in the whimsical masks for which they have gained international renown. They have presented some 700 performances in the past 22 years of collaboration, including such venues as museums (British Museum of Art at Yale, Brooklyn Children’s Museum (NYC), Williams College Museum of Art, Discovery Museum (Bridgeport), New Britain Museum of Modern Art, among others), First Nights Boston, Hartford, New Haven, and more; festivals as various as the Ct. Eagle Festival to the Westport Art Festival, parades ranging from the Halloween Parade in NYC to Veterans’ Day parades in Westerly, RI; for multiple libraries, schools, festivals, private celebrations throughout New England, Washington DC area, Pennsylvania, Colorado; and Scotland, Wales, England. They have been performing in schools through Young Audiences of Massachusetts since 2012.

Marya Ursin is the Artistic Director for the Beasts, and is Executive Director of the Dragon’s Egg. She writes and performs for the Beasts, and is a member of the NYC based dance troupe, SITU. She is a trained dancer (Merce Cunningham) and mime (Marcel Marceau), and teaches at t he National Theatre Institute and at Connecticut College. As a dancer in NYC and beyond, she has performed at BAM, DTW, the Whitney Museum, Walker Arts Center, and many other sites. (BA Swarthmore College, MA in process, in Integrative Health and Healing, 500 RYT yoga teacher, massage therapist).

Dan Potter has a BA from Harvard University, a master’s degree in Architecture from the Harvard School of Design, and has additionally studied sculpture, painting, and drawing extensively in the USA and in Strasbourg. He shows his work at galleries in NY, CT., RI, Vietnam, Turkey, Mexico. He is the primary mask maker for the Beasts, and performs with the company, which he co founded in 1976.



Full Performance with Marya Ursin & Dan Potter
Single: $650  Double: $1,040  Triple: $1,365   Quad: $1,625

Solo Performance with Marya Ursin
Single: $449 Double: $720 Triple: $945 Quad: $1,125

Travel fee: $80 per day
Note: pricing may vary for weekends/out-of-school time

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