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Based on the book by Jean Giono
Produced by Puppet State Theatre Company

From Edinburgh, Scotland

About the Company
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Hear the wind, feel the rain, smell the lavender, and laugh along with Dog.  


In this ecologically inspired tale, a French shepherd sets out to plant a forest and transform a barren wasteland acorn by acorn. Their uplifting and unforgettable story shows us the difference one man (and his dog!) can make to the world.


In its eleven years of touring, The Man Who Planted Trees has become a favorite of audiences and presenters around the world. 

"It is very, very rare to find something that appeals as effortlessly to children and adults as this magical show. *****(Five Stars)" —Scotsman

Best for Grades: 2nd + up

Audience Size: Small Venues or Limited Audience.
Can play for up to approximately 300 people, with a maximum distance of 50-60 ft from the front of the stage to the back row of the audience.

Excerpt Scene from The Man Who Planted Trees.
Please contact us to watch a full length archival recording.

Interviews and excerpts at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival



Company Background

Puppet State was founded in 2003 by Richard Medrington, who has worked as a professional puppeteer since 1984. In 2006 he teamed up with Rick Conte and Ailie Cohen to develop an adaptation of Jean Giono's The Man Who Planted Trees.

The show has toured with the original cast for over eleven years, performing in many hundreds of venues from tents in ancient Scottish woodlands, schools, theatres and festivals across the UK and Ireland to overseas trips in Bermuda, Malaysia, North America, Europe, New Zealand and return visits to the Sydney Opera House. The company is delighted to be returning to present their well-loved show in the USA and Canada in 2018-19.

Awards include the Eco Prize for Creativity 2007, Total Theatre Award for Story Theatre 2008, Victor Award for best show at the International Performing Arts for Youth Showcase in Cleveland, Ohio, Best Children's Show at the Brighton Festival 2009 and the
2010 Manchester Evening News Award for Best Studio Production. In 2009, Puppet State was part of Scots on Broadway and performed to great acclaim at the New Victory Theater in New York. In 2012 the show was awarded the Most Sustainable Production by the Center for Sustainability in the Performing Arts and was the highest rated and reviewed of thousands of shows across all the Edinburgh Festivals through @tickitreviews.

Visit the company's website.

Artistic Team

Artistic Team

    * Co-directors: Richard Medrington & Ailie Cohen

    * Script: Richard Medrington & Rick Conte

    * Performers: Rick Conte & Richard Medrington

    * Set and Puppets Design and Construct: Ailie Cohen

    * Soundscape: Barney Strachan

    * Poster Design: Esther Cohen

    * Stage Manager: Elspeth Murray

Critical Acclaim

Critical Acclaim

Medrington's voice is lilting and perfectly modulated, creating tension and pathos. Tempered by Conte's jaunty puppet work with the dog, this is a multi-sensual and visually witty hour of children's theatre.

—The Stage

Laughs, heartbreak, war, regeneration, scented breezes, sparkling wit, the best dog puppet ever. Perfect for children and grown-ups. Terrific.


For all the laughs to be had along the way, the ending is genuinely touching. In the performance I saw I noticed the middle-aged man in the seat next to me take out a hankie and wipe a tear from his eye.


This show makes your imagination come alive. It makes you think that 1 man could make such a big difference. It's made me realise what a difference I can make! [ps] the dog was great!

—Caitlin, age 8

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Curriculum Connections

Curriculum Connections

  • Science: Forestry, Ecology, Plants, and Conservation

  • History: WWI; WWII; French History

  • Language Arts: Storytelling, Creative Writing, Literature, French

  • Community Values: Responsibility to Community and Environment, Power of Individual, Altruism

  • Performing Arts: Storytelling Styles, Puppetry, Scale, Interactivity

Study Guides

Sample Study Guides

Minimum Tech

Minimum Technical Requirements

  • Load In: 2.5 hours

  • Crew: 1 crew member for load in & load out

  • Minimum Stage Size: 20ft wide x 16ft deep. Performers must be able to easily access Audience.

  • Lighting: Simple Theatrical lighting (Basic washes, up to 5 specials)

  • Audio: In house audio system for music

  • Load Out: 1 hour

  • Audience Seating: Limited Seating required, can play up to approximately 300 people, with a maximum distance of 50-60 ft from the front of the stage to the back row of the audience.


Outreach and Workshops

Post-show Q&A available.


This performance is also available as a “sensory friendly” or “relaxed” performance if arranged with the company in advance and with specific direction as to what adjustments are necessary for your venue.


We have also offered student and teacher workshop opportunities while we are on tour and where the tour schedule permits. Please let us know what you'd have in mind and we will do our best to meet your needs.

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