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How Firelight Was Born

This story began over twenty years ago, when I experienced shadow theater for the first time while attending a play in New York City. As dark shadows appeared against the lit screen, the interplay between light and dark that commenced was magical. As I delved further into the world of shadow theater, I began to realize that this medium offered possibilities for me as an educator.


This ancient art form, with probable origins in Asia, has traveled to every part of the world, adapting and changing. In this spirit of adaptation, I created an interactive shadow theater experience for the classroom. What I soon discovered is that shadow puppetry could reach a range of learning styles, captivating students as they learned (through play!) the fundamentals of storytelling and collaboration. I took this experience into New York schools, and for the past ten years into classrooms across the country as a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist and National Consultant with Focus 5, Inc.

Fast-forward to March of 2020, when we found ourselves homebound. I immediately noticed the uptick of screen time for myself and my entire family. For my kids, classroom time was suddenly hallmarked with passive listening and inactivity. These are not the sorts of interactions that allow a child to thrive.

Arranging Puppets within Stage.jpeg

I understood the need for new learning tools and outlets for play during this time, and beyond. With that spark of inspiration, Firelight Shadow Theater was born. Originally offering immersive kits and online courses, we have transitioned and are now offering both virtual and in-person programming again! 


Our mission is simple: provide the tools to bring the magical world of shadow theater to children so they can find their voice and begin to tell their own stories. 


I can’t wait to see you in the land of shadows. 


- Daniel Barash

Owner and Creative Director, Firelight Shadow Theater

DSCF2286 Daniel Behind Fabric Stage Warm
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