Golden Thread Fairytale Players offer a dynamic repertoire of performances for young audiences, with plays based on traditions and folklore from across the Middle East.
Inspired by popular performance traditions such as Hakawati, Ru-hozi, Naghalli, Karagoz, and Commedia dell Arte, Golden Thread Fairytale Players employ epic storytelling, puppetry, song, dance, circus arts techniques, and Middle Eastern languages to create engaging performances that draw from enriching folk tales and timeless historical texts.
Our dynamic and humorous shows invite audience participation and make unexpected connections to contemporary culture. Golden Thread Fairytale Players performances appeal to audiences of all ages, for their highly entertaining value and important capacity to develop deeper appreciation for diverse cultural traditions.
Golden Thread Fairytale Players have performed at schools, libraries, festivals, and museums all over the Bay area. A few highlights include Palestine Cultural Day, One World Festival, the SFMOMA, the Hearst Museum and the Asian Art Museum; numerous San Francisco and San Mateo Public Libraries; many private schools; and public schools in the San Francisco Unified School District, Berkeley Unified School District, San Leandro Unified School District, and Redwood City Unified School District.
John Muir Elementary
KZV Armenian School
Berkwood Hedge Elementary
Cesar Chavez Elementary
Orion Alternative Elementary
Thousand Oaks Elementary
Daniel Webster Elementary (SF)
Sylvia Mendez School
Daniel Webster Elementary (Daly City)
Dolores Huerta Elementary
Buena Vista Horace Mann
Clarendon Alternative Elementary
George Peabody Elementary
Chinese Immersion School
Bryant Elementary School
Live Oak Elementary School
In person shows have been canceled in response to the ever-evolving Covid crisis. Visit our Season page for Leila’s Quest for Flight to learn more about our free radio play version, now available!
Questions? Email us at email@example.com.
Here is what audience members and educators are saying about the program.
“Golden Thread has quickly become a favorite presenter of family programs at San Francisco Public Library.” —Family Engagement Services, San Francisco Public Library
“The program was excellent. It definitely broadened their perception of cultures. The students enjoyed the ingenious way the actors changed their parts. The kids went around mimicking the actors for days.” —Teacher, Hawes Elementary
“I’m so happy these kids are getting such wonderful exposure to Middle Eastern culture, and especially getting to hear the Palestinian voice. And to end it with one of my family’s favorite Fairuz songs was the cherry on top!” —Parent, Berkwood Hedge School
“[As an educator, I valued] an opportunity for students to experience art especially made by people of color and performers. —Teacher, Cesar Chavez Elementary School
“Inspirational. It would be wonderful to bring it to all elementary schools.” —President, Berkeley PTA Council
“I so appreciated how this performance gave my students some understanding of Palestine, Arabic, and even the simple geography of the Middle East. I especially appreciated the lesson plan that was available to us before the performance.” —Teacher, Berkwood Hedge School
When the optometrist shatters little Leila’s dream of becoming a pilot, a menagerie of mythic birds gather to help her accomplish her goal. Drawn from beloved Palestinian folk tales, Leila’s Quest for Flight incorporates music, dance, and physical comedy. These dynamic shows are entertaining for all ages, connecting diverse cultural traditions to contemporary themes.
Bringing Armenian legends and traditions to life, this new work will feature two of the most popular Armenian fables: the love story of Princess Tamar, and the adventures of the brave Nazar, a beloved comedic hero of Armenian folk literature. Touring Bay Area schools in April. Performances in Redwood City are made possible in part through a generous grant from the Redwood City Civic Cultural Commission.
21 Days that Change the Year is a delightful performance frames an ancient tale from Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh within contemporary adventures of a sister and brother eagerly awaiting the coming of Nowruz. Starting from spring cleaning and setting a traditional Haft-seen table, to Charshanbeh-suri where children jump over fire, and the Sizdeh-bedar picnic which concludes the rite of spring ceremonies, 21 Days will introduce audiences to the rituals of the Iranian New Year, Nowruz.
Will Nasrudin and his faithful donkey ever make it to Samarkand, the center of arts and crafts on the ancient Silk Road? There is only one way to find out! This visually colorful performance with dynamic story-telling, dance and music is adapted from several folk tales centered around the comedic personage, Nasrudin Hoja, a wise fool renowned in Central Asia, Turkey, and Iran.