Puppets Take Manhattan in August for First-Ever Puppet Week NYC

International Puppet Fringe Festival Returns, Featuring 40+ Puppet Troupes and Diverse Programming
Exhibitions Debut at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Education Center and the Museum of the City of New York

New York, NY — The inaugural Puppet Week NYC, highlighting New York’s rich and diverse puppetry communities, will take place during the second week of August 2021 with a full roster of events and activities. The International Puppet Fringe Festival, New York’s only international fringe festival dedicated to puppetry, returns August 11 with 40+ performances by some of the leading puppet makers and troupes from around the world. Organized by Teatro SEA, Grupo Morán (The Morán Group) and The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Education Center, the festival will include live performances held at La Plaza at The Clemente Center in the Lower East Side, as well as virtual performances, workshops and film screenings. During Puppet Week NYC, Puppets of New York companion exhibitions will open downtown at The Clemente Center and uptown at the Museum of the City of New York.

Rich puppetry traditions from around the world converge in New York, where talented puppeteers and troupes have developed an artform that is distinct to the city. As the city brings back live events and performances, Puppet Week NYC will kick off with the International Puppet Fringe Festival’s puppet celebrity red carpet. Beloved puppets and iconic puppeteers will make their entrance along with members of the audience. The festival will also honor Center for Puppetry Arts founder Vincent Anthony, and will include appearances by Lamb ChopMallory Lewis and Leslee Asch.

Many of the live Puppet Fringe events are free, outdoors, and open to the public, welcoming New Yorkers back to the world of live puppet performance.

“Puppetry channels the joy, the energy and the artistry of New Yorkers, and Puppet Week NYC brings this talent to the international stage,” said Dr. Manuel Morán, founder and producer of the International Puppet Fringe Festival. “During the pandemic, when our curtains couldn’t go up, our roster of puppet makers and puppeteers were eagerly preparing to enthrall audiences with their creative talents, and we can’t wait to finally share their work with you.”

Additional events, panel discussions, and exhibitions will round out the week of performances, highlighting New Yorkers’ contributions to the international puppet community, and bringing new audiences into the fold. The full program listing is available at puppetfringenyc.com

“The Clemente is a fitting home for the festival’s events, as puppetry found an early home here in the 1990s and we continue to foster diverse puppet performances in our theater spaces,” said Libertad Guerra, executive director of The Clemente. “Our hope is that Puppet Week NYC draws attention to this thriving and evolving art form uniting theater with all the visual arts, and attracting people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultural identities.”

Puppet Week NYC highlights include:

LIVE EVENTS & PERFORMANCES

International Puppet Fringe Festival
August 11-15, 2021
Virtual performances continue August 16-31, 2021
Location: The Clemente Center, 107 Suffolk Street, NYC

Wednesday, August 11th 

5:30pm – Puppet Celebrity Red Carpet (At La Plaza @ The Clemente)
6:00pm – Opening Remarks and festival’s dedication to Vincent Anthony (At La Plaza @ The Clemente)
6:30pm – The Triple Zhongkui Pageant by Chinese Theatre Works at La Plaza
7:00pm – Los Grises/The Gray Ones by SEA (FREE At La Plaza @ The Clemente)
8:00 pm – The Shari Lewis Legacy Show by Mallory Lewis and LambChop
9:00 pm – Opening of:
Puppets of New York: Downtown at The Clemente @ Abrazo Interno Gallery
Vince Anthony’s Legacy @ LES Gallery
Teatro SEA’s International Collaborations @ Teatro SEA
Murals of Puppetry around the World @ Tamayo Gallery (Teatro LATEA)

Thursday, August 12th

@ THE CLEMENTE

11:00am
Puppets of New York: Downtown at The Clemente @ Abrazo Interno Gallery
Vince Anthony’s Legacy @ LES Gallery
Teatro SEA’s International Collaborations @ Teatro SEA
Murals of Puppetry around the World @ Tamayo Gallery (Teatro LATEA)

1 pm- Títeres en el Caribe Hispano: Episode 1: Cuba (42 min.), Episode 2: Dominican Republic (52 min.) & Episode 3: Puerto Rico (70 min.) @ Teatro SEA

@ MCNY in the Front Terrace

5:00pm – VIP Reception (Private)
6:00pm – Puppet Celebrity Red Carpet (Hosted by Mallory Lewis and Lamb Chop)
7:00pm – Los Grises/The Gray Ones by SEA 
7:00pm – Opening night of Puppets of New York 
8:00pm – Muppets Take Manhattan Screening (PAID ENTRANCE)

Friday, August 13th

3pm – UNIMA-USA Membership Annual Meeting (@ Puppet Lounge) 
4pm – Out of the Shadows Panel @ Teatro SEA 
4pm – Karagoz by U.S. Karagoz Theatre Company  @ Flamboyán Theater
5pm – Salt Over Gold by Czechoslovak by American Marionette Theatre @ La Esquinita (Canopy)
5pm- Dreamscapes short films (Adult) @ Los Kabayitos
6pm – La Macanuda by Deborah Hunt  @ Flamboyán Theater
6:30pm – The Triple Zhongkui Pageant by Chinese Theatre Works @ La Plaza
7pm – Los Grises/The Gray Ones by SEA (FREE At La Plaza @ The Clemente) 
8pm – Great Small Works Spaghetti Dinner Cabaret Puppet Slam @ La Plaza

Saturday, August 14th

11am – Little Red’s Hood by Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre @ Suffolk St. 
11am – Penguin in my Pocket by Kurt Hunter @ LATEA Theater
12pm – UNIMA-USA Symposium – UNIMA Social Justice Symposium at Teatro SEA
12pm – Dreamscapes short films (Family Edition) @ Los Kabayitos
1pm – Los Colores de Frida / The Colors of Frida by SEA @ Suffolk
1pm – The Marzipan Bunny by A Couple of Puppets at LATEA Theater
1pm – Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup by WonderSpark Puppets @ La Esquinita (Canopy)
2pm- Títeres en el Caribe Hispano: Episode 1: Cuba (42 min.) & Episode 3: Puerto Rico (70 min.)  @ Los Kabayitos
2:30 pm – Teatro SEA’s Theatre Book Series Presentation @ Teatro SEA
3pm – Beautiful Blackbird: An African Folktale by Lovely Day Creative Arts  at La Esquinita (Canopy)
4pm – Once upon a time in the Lower East Side… by JunkTown Duende @ LATEA Theater
4pm – Karagoz by U.S. Karagoz Theatre Company @ Flamboyán Theater
5pm- Puppet States by Paulette Richards @ Teatro SEA
5pm – Salt Over Gold by Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre at La Esquinita (Canopy)
6pm – La Macanuda by Deborah Hunt at Flamboyán Theater
6:30pm – The Triple Zhongkui Pageant by Chinese Theatre Works @ La Plaza
7pm – Los Grises/The Gray Ones by SEA (FREE At La Plaza @ The Clemente) 
8pm – PGOGNYC present The Bawdy, Naughty Puppet Cabaret / Puppet Slam @ La Plaza

Sunday, August 15th

11am – Little Red’s Hood by Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre @ Suffolk St. 
11am – Beautiful Blackbird: An African Folktale by Lovely Day Creative Arts @ La Esquinita (Canopy)
11am –  The Marzipan Bunny by A Couple of Puppets at Teatro LATEA
11:30 am – Giant Puppet Encounter & Mascot Encounter @ Suffolk St.
12pm – Dreamscapes short films (Family Edition) @ Teatro SEA
1pm – Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup by WonderSpark Puppets at La Esquinita (Canopy)
1pm -2-D Puppet Workshop for kids by Junktown Duende @ Suffolk
1pm – Penguin in my Pocket by Kurt Hunter at LATEA Theater 
2pm – Títeres en el Caribe Hispano: Episode 2: República Dominicana (52 min.) & Episode3: Puerto Rico (70min.) at Los Kabayitos
3pm –  The Pura Belpré Project by SEA @ Suffolk
3pm – Harlem River Drive by Bruce Cannon @ La Esquinita (Canopy)
4pm –Karagoz by U.S. Karagoz Theatre Company  @ Flamboyán Theater
5pm – Once upon a time in the Lower East Side… by JunkTown Duende @ LATEA Theater
5pm – Salt Over Gold by Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre at La Esquinita (Canopy)
6pm – La Macanuda by Deborah Hunt at Flamboyán Theater
6:30pm – The Triple Zhongkui Pageant by Chinese Theatre Works at La Plaza
7pm – Los Grises/The Gray Ones by SEA ( FREE At La Plaza @ The Clemente) 
8pm – Puppet Dance Party @ El Clemente (Open to the public)

EXHIBITIONS
Puppets of New York: Downtown at the Clemente
Exhibition on view August 11-September 30
Opening Reception: August 11, 2021, 5 – 8PM 
Location: The Clemente Center, 107 Suffolk Street, NYC

This exhibition focuses on 12 important “downtown” artists who are committed to exploring the theatrical possibilities of puppet theater, and features tableaus of their puppet theater work. Many of the featured artists performed at Henson Festivals, and all continue to create and perform in downtown NYC. Co-curated by Leslee Asch, the producing director of all five Henson Foundation International Festivals of Puppet Theater, and Monxo López of the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY). 

Puppets of New York
Exhibition on view August 13, 2021- March, 2022
Opening Reception and Puppet Red Carpet: August 12, 2021, 7 PM
Location: Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, NYC
This exhibition explores the extraordinary, surprising, and diverse history of New York City’s quirkiest residents. From Punch and Judy to Oscar the Grouch; from Lamb Chop to the Lion King; from Lunar New Year to the Thanksgiving Day parade, the marionettes, shadow figures, and rod and hand puppets of New York have regaled our stages, studios, and streets. They have been broadcast all across the globe, and over time have reshaped the puppetry traditions of many cultures.  

Also on view at The Clemente:
Exhibitions on Vince Anthony’s Legacy and Puppetry around the World

Murals of Puppetry around the World @ Tamayo Gallery ( Teatro LATEA)

Exhibition on International Collaboration / SEA Puppetry
This exhibition will highlight the different types of puppets used throughout SEA’s history, providing a sample of SEA’s puppets and characters. The various puppets featured include shadow, cabezudos, vejigantes, hand and rod puppets, in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and styles. These puppets were created by the international artists Deborah Hunt (New Zealand-Puerto Rico), Ingrid Hamster Harris (Holland-Canada), Zenén Calero (Cuba), Víctor Navarro (Spain), Shinde Chithambara Rao (India), Álvaro Ortega Beltrán (Spain), Cristina Arancibia (Chile) and José López (Puerto Rico), who was SEA’s Puppet Master and Designer for 30 years.

About the International Puppet Fringe Festival
The International Puppet Fringe Festival NYC is a biannual puppet theater fringe festival hosted by Teatro SEA and The Clemente in the Lower East Side of New York City. The festival had its first edition in 2018, at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center, and featured puppet shows, short films and artist talks with international puppet theater companies. The Puppet Fringe Festival is the first ever international fringe festival dedicated to puppetry. Learn more at puppetfringenyc.com