Betsy Tobin

microcosm/MACROCOSM juxtaposes individual with collective experience as it explores perspective shifts in ritual and everyday moments. In this celebratory performance, the superimposition of images through acting, shadow theatre, puppetry, and video creates an ethereal effect, leading the audience to experience multiple layers of reality.

The show integrates ancient theatre techniques with contemporary forms and concepts. Solo scenes are interspersed with ensemble acting. There are frequent shifts in perspective from close-up to afar, from “micro” to “macro”.

microcosm/MACROCOSM focuses on the repetition of patterns and cycles both in nature and in human nature. The stories are condensed into poignant exchanges between people. The scenes played or filmed in silhouette cast intimate glances into everyday life, revealing the essence of interaction and relationship.

From creation’s firmament the stories evolve from elemental matter into cosmopolitan shapes that define our culture. The play depicts the waltz of men and women who join and separate like the flow of water through a streambed. Water, stars, sand, earth, deserts, and outer space form the backdrop for a collage of stories that unveil the forces of attraction that have brought our world into being.

Performed by Stacey Valentine, Gwylym Cano, Shannon Jellison, Sheila Murphy, Sarah Beth Parks, Phil Van Scotter, and Betsy Tobin.

The show is available to tour with the existing cast or we can recreate the show in your community working with local performers.

Performance length: 70 minutes
Minimum stage size: 25’ X 25’

“Betsy Tobin has a striking ability to engage individual audience 
members on a profound level with the ideas being presented and 
the boundary-breaking visionary style.

Carol Heepke
Program Coordinator, Boulder Public Library


“I have had the opportunity to study with some of the most renowned 
dance and theatre performers and educators in the world, and I see the 
work of Betsy Tobin as the highest of quality in artistic innovation and accomplishment. She is a treasure to our discipline.”

Kathryn Moller
Professor in Theatre & Dance, Fort Lewis College

Funded by the Boulder Public Library Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute, the Boulder Arts Commission, the Boulder County Arts Alliance/Neodata Endowment, & the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District.  

Stories of Sticks and Stones is a compelling performance about human nature, man’s relationship to the earth, and man’s relationship to divinity. Sticks and stones play protagonists and antagonists. Sand portrays the earth, the wind, the rain, the passage of time. The storyteller embodies spirits, heroes, heroines, wind, war, rain, and other surprising elements. She becomes the interpreter for the stories the sticks and stones have witnessed. The stories and proverbs come from all different continents, highlighting concerns common to all people.


As Tobin plays a variety of characters, including kindly and vengeful spirits, 
a unifying thread is how similar myths and legends permeate the collective 
memories of various world cultures… Tobin’s engaging work proves a sophisticated adult work that successfully captures a creative, childlike playfulness too often lost along life’s journey.”


Performance length: 1 hour
Stage area: 16’ X 20'
a solo performance by Betsy Tobin


Funded by: the Jim Henson Foundation, Atelier de l’Arcouest, the Neodata Endowment, and the Boulder Arts Commission, a division of the Boulder City Council.


The Adventures of an Ordinary Man in an Extraordinary World


Inspired by Greek mythology, this show won a prize at the Festival of Caen for the quality, originality, and sense of humor. It explores the story of Sisyphus, a mortal man, who falls in love with a shooting star. The show depicts Sisyphus’ remarkable adventures in the Underworld. The myth of Sisyphus is best known for his eternal punishment of pushing a boulder uphill. In her witty and evocative production, Betsy Tobin employs a combination of puppets, masks, and animated objects to enact one man’s fight against his destiny.




“A performance that permits without a doubt returning the puppet to its veritable 
place in the world of theatre.” LE COURRIER CAUCHOIS 
“A show one dreams of seeing several times say those who have seen it several times.”


“From festival to festival, THE NIGHT OF SISYPHUS has already conquered 
audiences and critics. The show, remarkable by its dramatic intensity as by its 
moods, charms by its humor as by its profundity.”

“One of the most outstanding puppet theatre performances in Europe of our time…”
FESTIVAL of ASCONA, SWITZERLAND Michel Poletti, Director

Performance length: 55 minutes
Stage dimensions:15’X10’