The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of the Sea

Presented by Grumbling Gryphons

The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of the Sea provides a powerful vehicle for promoting awareness of our planet’s rapidly depleting oceans and endangered marine life. The workshop prior to the show will provide participating children opportunity to be in the show!

The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of the Sea premiered in 1990 as part of an environmental expo “The Visit of the Mimi” held at Captain’s Cove Seaport in Bridgeport, CT, which thousands of school children attended. With the invaluable input by marine biologist Barbara Whitman and other environmental educators, Leslie Elias created a play that has served as a powerful vehicle for promoting awareness of our planet’s rapidly depleting oceans and endangered marine life. Since 1990 the show has toured the United States, receiving rave reviews for its beautiful artistry and timely message. Sixty of the ocean costumes were featured in New York City’s 25th Anniversary of Earth Day. In Florida, The Grumbling Gryphons were instrumental in helping to get Amendment Three passed, which enforced the banning of net fishing. The Ghost Net was chosen to be the kickoff event for New England’s Coast Weeks as part of the National Beach Cleanup Campaign.

Says David Brown of Miami, “As an environmental educator and a marine science instructor, I have not been able to find a program of comparable quality.” We hope to inspire the next generation to work together to help save our seas!


Grumbling Gryphons Traveling Children’s Theater

Grumbling Gryphons is a non-profit tax-deductible organization celebrating 43 years! Their artistic mission is to provide children with an educational theater experience that is both empowering and inspiring. They have performed from coast to coast and abroad. Each summer Grumbling Gryphons hold a theater arts camp in Cornwall, CT. To find out more about their theater, please contact and visit They welcome comments, testimonials and photos to include on their website and are happy to answer any questions at 860-672-0286.

Leslie Elias

Leslie Elias (Playwright, Director, Composer, Mermaid Queen, She Teppa She, Horseshoe Crab, Ghost, Sea Turtle and others) is a recipient of the 2023  CT Artist Fellowship Award and Connecticut’s 2018 Arts Hero Award. She has served as artistic director of Grumbling Gryphons since co-founding the theater in 1980. She has had over 45 years experience as a creative dramatics specialist. Her play, The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of the Sea is featured in the book Participation Theater for Young Audiences published by New Plays, Inc. She holds an annual theater arts camp in Cornwall, CT and is a Teaching and Performing Artist for the State of Connecticut. She is thrilled to be bringing such a talented cast of performers  to the International Festival  of Arts & Idea in New Haven.

Daniel Saed

Daniel Saed (Sludge, Ralph, Clam, Dolphin, Seagull, Angelfish) Actor, singer and voice artist has grown up with the performing arts and has worked as a teaching artist and actor with Grumbling Gryphons for many years, performing key roles in the company’s touring productions, including Trickster Coyote, Anansi the Spider, and The Myth of Persephone. He was a featured performer in Grumbling Gryphons educational videos for Hartford Performs during the  pandemic. Danny attends Naugatuck Valley Community College where he majors in both music and theater. Recently he was a featured baritone soloist in Handel’s oratorio Israel in Egypt in the NVCC Chorale and sang with The Brass City Voices Choir and The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra performing From Fortune’s Bones To a New World. Danny continues to work towards enriching and engaging the next generation with wisdom of the world around them.

Natalie Resto

Natalie Resto (Marina, Clownfish and Fiddler Crab) Aspiring illustrator, teacher and amateur actress. Natalie is currently studying to acquire her certificate in Early Child Education so she may better understand, bring joy and support the people around her, both parent and child regardless of where life takes her."

Stephen Kalpin

Stephen Kalpin (Seastar, Simon, King, Neptune, Parrotfish, Dr. Calamari, Lead Skeleton, Condo Mondo, Trash Creature & Father)   is an actor and playwright based in Hartford CT. Some recent credits include Kate in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew with Valley Shakespeare Festival, Panch in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Chuck Biggs in She Kills Monsters. He wants to thank his loving family for their support, and YOU for your support of our world's oceans!

Brian Bender

Brian Bender (Musical Director, Arranger and Keyboard Accompanist, Trombone) has performed across the United States and Europe with numerous Jazz, Klezmer, Reggae, Celtic, Latin, Blues and Pop bands. He has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Presidential Inauguration of Bill Clinton.

Ellen Moon

Ellen Moon (Costume designer and scenery) has been making masks, costumes and sets for the Grumbling Gryphons for over 40 years. During that time she has also led myriad workshops in which thousands of children have made their own masks and costumes. She is also a fiber artist and her one-of-a-kind jackets have been shown in galleries throughout the US. In 2004 the Connecticut Commission on the Arts awarded her an artist’s fellowship.

Louise Krozek

Louise Krozek: (The  Freed Whale Creator!) A retired member of the United Scenic Artist union  Local 829 in NYC painting scenery for both Broadway Plays and Movie Productions throughout her career. Some of the  many productions she worked on included Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Mama Mia, Miss Saigon, Evita and Les Miserables on Broadway. She painted scenery for the movie “All that Jazz.”

Jude Streng

Jude Streng: (Assistant Costume Designer & Creator of The Factory, Horseshoe Crab) From printmaking to collage, watercolors and acrylics, she’s taught workshops in mandalas, calligraphy and woodcuts.  Ecology remains a strong interest in such activities as organizing the “Honoring the Earth” Montessori art show, and visiting The Findhorn Foundation. In 1984-1986, she worked for the Brookfield Craft Center, as buyer and manager of the SoNo branch.

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