Whorls of Wonder Puppet Theater, a performing arts company dedicated to

Ecological messages of hope, inspiration to action! 

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Custom Puppet Design and Fabrication

About Us

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Our Mission

     Our Mission, as a performing arts company, is to introduce our audience to natural forms and forces of nature they might not otherwise be exposed to. We aim to entertain through the thrill of discovery and  to inspire  action by imparting a growing respect for the earth and its many wonders! Knowledge inspires hope for the future! 

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Current Project: Terran's Aquarium

(In development) Our new show: Terran's Aquarium Exposes the audience to the current global fresh water crisis.  The main character, young Terran, goes through many magical transformations, dealing with no water in his world, and learns what to do about it! Designed for a family audience the puppetry show received a 2011 Henson Foundation grant to take the stage! 

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Future plans: Touring Company

Whorls of Wonder Puppet Theater aspires to take its messages out to an International audience through touring and video production. With two shows in production Terran's Aquarium and "Little Things" we are off to a good start! Subscribe and follow to see how you can join us in this exciting puppetry venture!

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Please be in touch if you have any questions about  our shows, custom made puppets or offerings and we will get back to you.Thank you! 

Whorls of Wonder Puppet Theater

Portland, Oregon, United States

(707) 303-0093

Mary Nagler, Artistic Director

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     Mary Hildebrand Nagler is a Professional Puppet Designer, Fabricator,Performer and Teacher who has entertained family audiences for over forty years. Nagler comes from a varied career in Puppetry; from her original hand puppet version of Punch and Judy to building two Classic Muppet characters: Beaker and the Swedish Chef! Her puppet work have been seen in film, video, on stages, in puppet festivals and in hundreds of informal gatherings  on both coasts.

   Nagler has worked with  and for some of the best know companies in the World of Puppetry. A few of the more high profile projects she has worked on are: helping build the marionettes used in the film  Being John Malcovich. With Images in Motion, Sonoma CA.  At the Puppet Heap, in Hoboken New Jersey, she worked on many puppets including fabricating two Muppets: Beaker and the Swedish Chef. The original designer for Avenue Q, Rick Lyon, hired Nagler to assist in the making many casts for the globally popular Broadway musical. The Puppet Kitchen, NYC, hired Nagler in to pattern and shape the dog heads for the stage version of Clifford the Big Red Dog. She has taught College level puppetry classes and built costumes, props and puppets for many theaters on both coasts including the Bridgeport Cabaret Theater and Oregon Cabaret Theater, to name a few. 

  Nagler holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from The University of Connecticut’s world renowned Puppet Arts program. “Little Things,” her thesis production, was a showcase of the puppet arts featuring forty- seven puppets of varying styles. “Little Things,” written, built and directed by Nagler, is based on childhood  memories exploring Nature with her father. The show debuted in 2008 to audience acclaim. In 2012, for the Sonoma Repertory Co (SRT), Nagler directed student builders in the construction of her original design set of the AVENUE Q puppet cast, including a number of auxiliary characters. Sonoma State University hired Nagler to design and build Tiamot the Five-headed dragon and the Gelatinous Cube for their Production of She Kills Monsters, (From Dungeons and Dragons fame) by Qui Nguyen, and to construct a Camel for The Importance of Being Ernest, by Oscar Wilde. She returned to design and build a number of endangered species puppets including a Large African elephant and giant snake for Sonoma State’s recent production of The Magic Flute, by Mozart.  Nagler teaches college level classes in Puppetry and Multicultural Puppetry, most recently for Sonoma State University and Sacramento State University, CA   

Whorls of Wonder Puppet Theater is Nagler’s most recent endeavor. Her show, Terran’s Aquarium, received the 2011 Henson Foundation Family grant and was invited by the late Jane Henson to work shop the production through their Puppets At The Carriage House (P.A.T.C.H. Program) in New York City. Ecologically based, the original story seeks to expose the current fresh water crisis on our home planet; offering solutions and hope.