Microscope Toy​ Theater

Work in progress:

"Small Enchantments" by Lila Rose Kaplan, 

Directed by John Blondell, 

Original music by Alex Gabriel

collaboration with Theatre Arts Department of Westmont Collage, Santa Barbara CA:

this surprising tale bursts to life through interlocking monologues and tiny paper worlds..

Real Elephant - toy theater piece performed in a vintage suitcase.

Nadia, a little girl, loses her passion for life. All day long she lies in her bed, dull, getting thinner and weaker. Until one day, following a dream she has dreamed, she makes a wish. She would like a real elephant to visit her. Will her father take this challenge and make it happen? Will she get well?

As the story slowly unfolds, the children will gasp upon the revelation of the larger-than-life leading character!

Short video presentation: https://vimeo.com/251902164

A Premiere of the show took place at the "92 street Y" in New York in November 2010.

The show had been developed and changed through new designs, ideas, metaphors.

A Real Elephant traveled around the country and the Globe:

"On Edge" Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts in Santa - Barbara, Automata Arts in Los Angeles, Detroit Institute of Arts, "Garage" Museum of the Contemporary Art in Moscow, International Paper Theater Festivals in France, Germany, Russia and Mexico. 

 “... a unique theatrical experience for all ages!” - "92streetY"  

"Real Elephant" is a theatrical retelling of the children's novel by A. Kuprin, great classical writer, explorer and adventurer. One of many Russian émigrés writing in Paris in the first part of the 20th century, Alexander Kuprin writes an "Elephant" in 1907 for reading aloud to children.. This short heartwarming and charming story became a favorite for children of all ages.

2019: the show won a nomination of "The Best Show for Children" in the category of the "miniature form of performance art" in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Seating is limited to 40 

original idea, design, music:

Yulya Dukhovny

narrative voice:

Neil Averill (EN)

Masha Pushkareve (RU)

soundtrack mix:

Val Spolyansky


35 min. piece performed in English or Russian

Into the Rice Fields

A 30 min diorama-theater piece performed on a model size rotating wooden stage.

The story represented with drawings and objects, dioramas and movable pictures, model size rotating wooden stage and a physical theater techniques.

"From immemorial time the shores of Japan have been swept at irregular intervals of centuries by enormous tidal waves..."

The original play (by Y. Dukhovny) was inspired by the work of two extraordinary philosophers and "travelers in time": Lafcadio Hearn, writer (1850 - 1904) and Tōru Takemitsu, composer (1930 – 1996). The "intersection" between these two worlds of sound and word represented in this piece by the literary phenomenon of Lafcadio Hearn's short stories and the avant-garde music of Tōru Takemitsu. The two sound layers of text and music express a spatial concept of the Japanese "Ma" ("a void that isn't empty, an absence that is really a presence, a space between things that is full of energy"). 

This new work supported in part by the grant from the Arts Council of Long Beach.

Physical theatre is a genre of theatrical performance that pursues storytelling through primarily physical means.

Performed in English

Seating is limited to 40 

Star in a Glass Jar

a 30 min. toy theater piece performed in a window frame. The show inspired by the traditions and charm of Kamishibai, a method of storytelling originating from Japan.

Smells of cinnamon and apple pies, soft clinking of toy ornaments...The perfect holidays time feeling; unless something goes terribly wrong. "Star in a Glass Jar" is an incredible adventure of one child's letter with no address, which finds its way to the other side of the world. There, in a small village, may live someone willing and ready to help.

Original story, design, piano score: Yulya Dukhovny

written by Priscilla Gallardo and Celeste Rose Dukhovny

Voice of narration and vocal: Claire Finnk

For the entire family 5+

Seating is limited to 35.   

"очень рождественский, очень пронзительный, очень правдивый, очень волшебный, очень бумажный, очень настоящий - ТЕАТР". Seasons-project.

click on the link to see the video:


Work in progress:

a book (in Eng) "Star in a Glass Jar" will be published in 2019, St. Petersburg 

The Fisherman's Dream   

a 30 min. Toy Theater piece combines found objects, paper theater, sound. Live performance unfolds on a table-top stage resembling a giant tunnel book. Small paper figures interact within the main character's dream.

Original idea, design, original piano score: Yulya Dukhovny 

Voice narration: Fred Masbeck

The show had been presented at the 10th Great Small Works festival in New York, "On Edge" Festival of Contemporary Performance Art in Santa Barbara, at the Automata Arts in Los Angeles, the National Festival of the Puppeteers of America at the University of Connecticut and at the "Season – Project" Festival of Art and Design in Moscow..

click on the link to see the video:


Late night on the shore... The old Fisherman sits next to the fire and recalls his youth... He falls asleep and the audience falls into an unexplored territory - poetic and absurd. 

For all ages 8+

Seating is limited to 30.

Toy theater-installation "Fisherman's dream. The world in miniature"

an interplay of a few related objects.

review: https://artandcakela.com/2016/11/05/a-miniature-world-awaits-at-grand-central-art-center/

A Wooden Sandbox, part of the installation:

A small wooden sandbox filled with sand, memories on distant seas, unspoken words, forgotten tales...

Bricolage*, sand, sound composition.

The sandbox represents the precious memories of an old man, the Fisherman, and invites the viewer to peek into a metaphorical zone of someone's humble quiet pondering on life and youth.

Voice narration: Fred Masbeck

Original music: Yulya Dukhovny

 Y.D: “The idea and the inspiration for the Sandbox bricolage came from the memory of my own childhood game: "The Secret". The life of a child in the era of the "real socialism" was very different from today - no computers or "clever" expensive toys and entertainment.. We spent a lot of time on the street, being engaged in active, spontaneous, creative games. "The Secret" was children's practice of building a special "composition" with small treasures. This almost ritual activity was widespread among Soviet children. Typically, the "secret" was placed in a dug hole where candy wrappers, coins, old buttons, leaves, fragments of letters, postage stamps or any other small items were considered valuable. In children's world the value of an object was rather aesthetic and emotional than utilitarian. The pit was usually covered with glass and buried in the soil, so there was a little window through which you could look into a beautiful dreamy world, which has been created by your own hands. The most important thing was to find a clear glass, without which the meaning of the game was lost. Most of us diligently searched for fragments of bottles or glass jars at the nearest garbage, and then dug up the "installation". The "Secret" was shown to a trusted friends. It was kind of a sacrament that served as a way to demonstrate or to offer friendship. As a common and a frustrating practice, on the other hand, there happened a destruction of other people's secrets.. Well, the world of children can be cruel as well...In my opinion, the structure of this game represents a unique, expressive form of art activity, lost in times...