Mystic Paper Beasts

Type: Performance, Workshop, Remote
Art Form: Theater
Grade Level: K - 5

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, and England.

Ensemble members include dancer and choreographer Marya Ursin and visual artist Dan Potter.

Note: Sky Tales is available online (both live and pre-recorded) for remote learning. Adapted mask, movement, and storytelling workshops are also available remotely. Outdoor performances available. 

Marya Ursin is the Artistic Director for the Beasts, and is Executive Director of their perfance space, Dragon’s Egg Studio. 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 the 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 Integrative Health and Healing, 500 RYT yoga teacher, massage therapist)

Dan Potter has a BA from Harvard University, an MA 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.

Marya and Dan have co-written and illustrated two storybooks for children, and are working on a third. 

Programs Offered

Mystic Paper Beasts perform mask theater programs for school assemblies