The International Puppet Fringe festival proudly announces the following groups as participating performers in the 2023 festival:

Road of Useless Splendor – Deborah Hunt / Maskhunt Motions  (Puerto Rico & New Zealand)

The travelers are cloth-masked clowns, mad alchemists from another time. They reveal a giant book of distinct popup scenes populated by strange paper puppets, artefacts, and objects. They chase and are pursued through different landscapes and centuries, accompanied by a red crow and a swarm of rats, forever on the tail of utter transformation.

Sapientia – Scapegoat Carnivale (Canada)

Scapegoat Carnivale presents history’s first Western female playwright, Hroswitha of Gandersheim’s 10th-century play Sapientia, where a Christian queen martyrs her three children in the face of the Roman Emperor’s religious persecution. Its uniquely bizarre narrative about the clash of irreconcilable religions introduces us to the formidable Sapientia pitted against a paternalistic but ineffectual Hadrian. The result of their conflict is a display of lurid violence toward children who, through divine intervention, become immune to physical pain and undergo bodily transformations. 

“One of the most wickedly funny and strangely powerful productions of the year.” – Theatrefunhouse

“Hilarious, powerful, evocative and endlessly entertaining…Tickets are selling fast. See it!” “One of the most striking and unexpectedly enjoyable productions of the year.” -Montreal Gazette’s Jim Burke

“smart, irreverent, imaginative ” Zoneculture

“Hard core theatre enthusiasts should hope for a remount of this historic and innovative show.” -Westmount Magazine

The Trip – Treasure Chest Theatre (Hong Kong)

Join Team Beyond as they emergency land on a strange planet. Using mindfulness techniques Captain Nah Nah and her space cohorts figure out how to get home! Hong Kong’s Treasure Chest Theatre’s first puppet show!

Ramayana – Tholpavakoothu & Puppet Centre (India)

Tholpavakoothu is a traditional shadow puppetry of Kerala, India. The epic Kamba Ramayana is narrated in an hour-long production which consists of traditional 160 puppets representing 71 characters in four main categories (sitting, standing, walking, fighting) besides puppets to depict nature, battle scenes and ceremonial parades. The artists who perform the Tholpavakoothu are called Pulavar. In Tamil language the very word Pulavar means Scholar.

The performance will be led by Padmashri Ramachandra Pulavar and his sons Rajeev and Rahul.

Paper Cut – Yael Rasooly (Israel)

The award winning show, performed in over 30 countries, returns to NYC for the International Puppetry Fringe Festival!
A lonely secretary escapes into a world of daydreams- But as imagination and reality collide, her romantic tale becomes a Hitchcock nightmare!
The language of Black & White cinema is transformed to the low-tech universe of paper cut-outs and object theatre, creating a tension that is absurd, painful, and absolutely humorous.

Awards received for the performance:

  • Award for ‘ Best Artistic Conception and Realization’ at the  “International Adult puppet festival of Pecs”, Hungary
  • Diploma of distinction from UNIMA, The World Puppetry Organization. 
  • Winner of the Grand Prix at the “ International Festival for solo Puppeteers” in Lodz, Poland 
  • Excellence Award for a Solo Show- The NY International Fringe Festival

Spooky-Silly Sing-A-Long – Nappy’s Puppets (USA)

For thousands of years, man has manipulated puppets for a variety of reasons: religion, education, and entertainment. One of the oldest and most wonderful forms of puppetry is shadow puppetry.
People might not recognize Jim Napolitano even though he is broadcast to millions of television sets nationwide. That’s because as a puppeteer he spends most of his time out of the camera’s view. His television credits include Between the Lions on PBS, The Book of Pooh on the Disney Channel and the new cartoon Kirby, on Fox. Jim is a graduate of the University of Connecticut’s Puppet Arts Program and a native of Milford, Connecticut.
Get ready to sing a long with some familiar yet decidedly spooky classic childrens songs such as: I’m a Mummy, Little Bunny Foo-Foo, Five Little Zombie Ducks?, The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Five Little Mummies Jumpin’ on the Bed, and many others!
Join in the fun as Jim Napolitano of Nappy’s Puppet presents some of the silliest sing-a-long songs know to man and monster alike!

The Crazy Adventures of Don Quixote – Teatro SEA (USA)

Legendary Spanish writer Miguel Cervantes and his ghostly companions join forces to help his titular character Don Quixote overcome challenges and find his way back home.

Juan Bobo’s Tales – Teatro SEA (USA)

A charming character from Puerto Rico learns to value honesty, hard work and friendship while making the most out of his playful adventures.

The Journey of Pura Belpré’s Tales – Teatro SEA (USA)

Pura Belpré (1901-1982) was a talented author, collector of folktales, puppeteer and storyteller who wrote and reinterpreted Puerto Rican folk tales. As the first Puerto Rican librarian in the New York Public Library system, she pioneered many programs for the Latino community. Our show is a re-enactment of her legendary “Bilingual Story Hour.” Her famous tales: Pérez & Martina, Juan Bobo, and The Three Magi come to life in a creative and interactive experience that combines storytelling with puppets!

The Paper Play – Puppet Beings Theatre (Taiwan)

A double bill for younger audiences and their families, exploring the incredible storytelling power of ordinary paper.
“The Park” and “The Paper Play” take audience on an adventure filled with wonder and laughter, with magic moments of playfulness and discovery. The change happens before your very eyes, don’t blink or you will miss it!
Do try this at home!

“A perfect, heartfelt performance with the Midas touch of imagination.” 
-Performing Arts Review, Taipei.

“…the cast’s gusto and rapid creativity constantly enthral young and old alike”
-Brian G Cooper, The Stage ★★★★

“…The children amongst us are enthused – giddy with excitement… It is the performers’ acting and the puppeteers’ fidelity to, and belief in, each movement that sustains the illusion and wards off the audience’s credulity. “
-Tom Moyser, Broadwaybaby ★★★★

“…Everyone who sees this show will have their own visual and performance highlight moments to remember, and may even want to recreate at home or with friends.”
-2015 Edinburgh Fringe Total Theatre Award Nomination

Iara the waters’ charm – Lumiato teatro de formas animadas (Brazil)

An Indian from the village dreams of a supernatural woman. When he wakes up, he seeks advice from the village’s Pajé to try to understand the mysteries of this woman and discovers the story of Iara. Enchanted by the mermaid, he plunges into his own destiny.

The Possession of Judy – Boxcutter Collective (USA)

Watch as Judy (a tough-as-nails New York City grandma) rejects the false binary of the left/right political rhetoric, and joins a coven of activist witches to take down “the man.”  This hand puppet show correctly predicted Amazon’s attempted move to NYC, the last stand of the Amazon rainforest, the rise of a shadowy network of robot-assisted tech-overlords, and our only hope for the future: angry old women!

Little Red’s Hood – Swedish Cottage Theatre Mobile (USA) – (2 performances, Spanish & Mandarin)

Little Red’s Hood is a fresh retelling of the classic “Little Red Riding Hood” tale updated with a modern sensibility that appeals to kids. 

In this story, Little Red is a smart, young city dweller who is obsessed with her smartphone. Wulfric, a misunderstood wolf with a sweet tooth, crosses paths with Little Red on her travels to deliver her Grandma cupcakes and the trouble begins. This story offers a comical lesson on the importance of disconnecting from our digital lives and enjoy real life moment with friends and family.

(2 performances, Spanish & Mandarin)

The Not-So-Spooky Ghost– WonderSpark Puppets (USA)

A timid ghost, his skeleton father and a mysterious scarecrow have lots of laughs in this all-ages Halloween puppet show. The little ghost can’t scare a soul to please his Big Bad Dad, but help is on the way as the audience and some friends scare up some fun fright.

Con un kilo de harina – Fernán Cardama (Argentina)

Con un kilo de harina se pueden hacer seis pizzas, cien panqueques, ciento veinticuatro sorrentinos y engrudo para cuatro cabezas de títeres. Nosotrxs, con un kilo de harina, te contamos la historia de Giuseppe y su familia; una familia como tantas otras que tuvo que emigrar buscando un futuro mejor.

With a kilo of flour you can make six pizzas, one hundred pancakes, one hundred and twenty-four sorrentinos and paste for four puppet heads. We, with a kilo of flour, tell you the story of Giuseppe and his family; a family like so many others that he had to emigrate looking for a better future.

(Performed in Spanish)

Como Cucaracha en Baile de Gallina – Junktown Duende (USA-Puerto Rico-Mexico)

Junktown Duende’s new show “Como Cucaracha en Baile de Gallina” was developed in residency at Festival Arte Basura (Garbage Art Fest) in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2023). A love story between two old crumbling anthropomorphic buildings reveals the vibrant history of the neighborhood of Río Piedras, which like too many other historic neighborhoods around the world, was betrayed by the city, left abandoned and ruined, and now faces further destruction to gentrification and displacement, as foreign investors take advantage of new tax laws. The heroes of our story are the cockroaches, representing the indomitable spirit of the people who survive, resist, and persevere in the face of colonialism, violence, and betrayal. We are delighted to bring this very Puerto Rican story reflecting global themes to an international audience at NYC Puppet Fringe.

The Galapagos Animal Convention – Teatro SEA (USA)

“If humans don’t protect our environment, we have to do it ourselves. It’s our home too!” For this reason, the animals have gotten together for an assembly at The Galapagos Islands of Ecuador. They have to organize themselves to save Planet Earth! The convention, very serious but at the same time, fun, ends with a pact, an action plan, and a promise between the animals and the children, who call themselves the Ambassadors of Conservation.


The 2023 International Puppet Fringe Festival promises to be a spectacular event with its diverse range of performances that cater to all age groups. Among the most anticipated events are the Microtheater performances. These performances are unique in that they are short, compact plays that are performed in small spaces with limited seating. The audience is in close proximity to the performers, creating an intimate, immersive experience.

MicroTheater is a theatrical format, which consists in the representation of micro works lasting 15-20 minutes, for a maximum number of 15 spectators per show, represented in small alternative spaces a maximum of 4 times per night.

The Microtheater performances will feature puppet acts from all over the world. Puppeteers from different countries will showcase their skills and creativity in bringing their puppets to life. The performances will range from traditional puppet shows to more experimental and avant-garde productions.

Don’t miss out on the Microtheater performances at the 2023 International Puppet Fringe Festival. It is sure to be an unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe of the art of puppetry.

  1. La Mujer Barbuda/The Bearded Woman – Jei Fabiane (Colombia)

  2. Phantasmagoria – Cristina Arancibia (Chile)

  3. Por qué la luna perdió su brillo/Why did the moon lose its brightness? – Teatro 220 (USA)

  4. Barnacle Bill the Husband – Brendan Schweda (USA)



The International Puppet Fringe Festival is set to showcase some incredible films that will leave audiences in awe. The festival will feature:

  • Títeres en el Caribe Hispano: Cuba, Dominican Republic & Puerto Rico – dir. Manuel A Morán & Kristian Otero
  • One-handed witch
  • Evolve Puppets presents Light as Paper – PGOGNYC
    Light as Paper takes place in a fragile world of paper, light and shadow.  Its characters begin as a small white ball and a human hand.  Tanya Khordoc & Barry Weil (Evolve Puppets) use these simple elements to tell a visually striking and moving story about parents, children, love and loss. 
    Credits: Created & Performed by Tanya Khordoc & Barry Weil. Music by Joel Phillip Friedman. Developed as part of the Spring 2021 Object Movement Festival at the Center at West Park.
  • Handmade Puppet Dreams: Frights and Delights (August 10th and 13th)
    This special international collection of Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams Film Series has been curated specifically for the International Puppet Fringe Festival NYC, and showcases short puppetry films aimed to take you on frightfully fun journeys.
    A short Q&A talkback after the screening on Thursday, August 10th with Heather Henson (Founder of Handmade Puppet Dreams), Jessica Simon (representing Lake Minnetrista) Jaime Sunwoo (Handwritten), Alex Griffin (When Ghosts Appear).

  • Handmade Puppet Dreams: Kidscapes (August 12th)
    This family friendly collection features short films created during the pandemic and showcases what can bloom even in the worst of circumstances.  


At the International Puppet Fringe Festival, attendees can expect a truly unique experience with the addition of a cabaret from the

Great Small Works company

These cabarets are not your typical performances; they include a delicious spaghetti dinner that will leave you feeling satisfied and delighted.

But the spaghetti dinner is only half the fun! Great Small Works is known for their incredible talent in blending puppetry with live performance, creating an unforgettable experience for their audience. Their cabarets are a true testament to this, showcasing their innovative use of puppetry and their ability to tell deeply emotional stories through the art form.

So, if you’re looking for something that is both entertaining and delicious, don’t miss out on the Great Small Works cabarets at the International Puppet Fringe Festival.


Don’t miss the closing ceremony of the International Puppet Fringe Festival, featuring the lively and energetic salsa band, Salsa Stories! This talented group of musicians is sure to get you moving and grooving with their infectious beats and catchy tunes. It’s the perfect way to cap off an unforgettable festival experience.


The International Puppet Fringe Festival is a highly anticipated event that attracts visitors from all over the world. This year, festival-goers can expect a special treat in the form of a mini Halloween puppet procession. The procession will feature a dazzling array of puppets, each one skillfully crafted to delight and entertain audiences of all ages. As the puppets make their way through the festival grounds, the performers will be dressed in Halloween costumes, adding an extra layer of excitement and spookiness to the event. Don’t miss out on this unique and thrilling addition to the already incredible lineup of events at the International Puppet Fringe Festival – you won’t be disappointed!


This event is for all puppet enthusiasts to come together, share their love for puppetry, and showcase their talent on stage. Whether you are a professional puppeteer or a beginner, we welcome all to participate in this fun-filled event. It will feature various performances, from classic puppet shows to modern puppetry. You can expect to see hand puppets, shadow puppets, and marionettes, among others.

The event will be hosted by renowned puppeteers who will also perform their own shows. The stage will be open to anyone who wants to perform. So, bring your puppets and prepare to entertain!


  • The Many Faces of Traditional Japanese Puppetry by Claudia Orenstein.

Claudia Orenstein, Professor of Theatre at Hunter College and UNIMA-USA board member, offers a view into the wide variety of traditional Japanese puppetry forms that exist, beyond the well-known bunraku tradition, based on research conducted during her 2021-22 Fulbright Research Fellowship in Japan.

  • Títeres en el Caribe Hispano. Cuba, diez años después by Yudd Favier (Cuba). (In Spanish. En español)

Yuddf Favier, profesora universitaria, máster, teatróloga, asesora teatral y editora cubana, autora de varias compilaciones sobre teatro de títeres en Cuba, nos habla sobre el teatro de títeres en Cuba en los últimos diez años. Fundación de las primeras escuelas titiriteras de la Isla. El retorno del títere a la pantalla nacional y la experimentación con los objetos, el teatro de papel y nuevas formas en coexistencia con un teatro tradicional.
Yuddf Favier, Cuban university professor, master’s degree, theatrologist, theater consultant and editor, author of several compilations on puppet theater in Cuba, talks to us about puppet theater in Cuba in the last ten years. The establishment of the first puppetry schools on the island. The resurgence of puppets on the national stage and experimentation with objects, paper theater, and new forms coexisting with traditional theater.

  • Yael Rasooly: Choose the path of Creation– a masterclass for the independent theater maker.
    In this open hearted and personal artist talk, director singer and puppeteer Yael Rasooly will share her unique journey as a multidisciplinary artist, sharing her path of transforming limitations and vulnerability into the very forces that drove her to perform and teach in over 30 countries.
    Through stories, photos, sounds and footage of her own creations, alongside inspirations and her collaborations with leading companies in the field of contemporary adult puppetry in Europe, Yael will raise and share issues at the heart of being an independent theater creator from the essence to the practical tools.
    This masterclass is an invitation for participants to examine the relationship with their own creation, tuning into one’s intentions and personal voice.
    In the heart of the masterclass, Yael will offer a glimpse into the new creation in her performance trilogy, that speaks out on violence against women and children. An ongoing journey that began 15 years ago, walking the tightrope between the personal and political, fear and conviction, and why the medium of adult puppetry and visual theater is the answer.
  • Mettawee River Theatre Company
    Join us for the Mettawee River Theatre Company Roundtable discussion moderated by Bob Holman at the International Puppet Fringe festival. We’ll be discussing the groundbreaking work of Ralph Lee, his contributions to the world of puppetry, and his influence on modern theater. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about one of the most important figures in contemporary puppetry!


You are cordially invited to apply to attend the Giant Puppet Block Party at the International Puppet Fringe Festival!

Join us on August 13th from 2:30PM-4:00PM for a one-of-a-kind celebration of puppetry and creativity. This event is by invitation only, so be sure to apply first
to reserve your spot.

Come and enjoy the spectacle of giant puppets brought to life by talented puppeteers from around the world, featuring full body puppets, puppettronics, mascots, and more. You won’t want to miss this exciting event, so mark your calendars and get ready to be amazed!

Please submit your information by August 1st. Click here to apply.


José Luis Gutiérrez Reyes is a Puerto-Rican born artist, stage designer and maker. During his micro-residency, José Luis developed new sculptural works for the exhibition ‘Una Vida Plena’, held workshops for children on wood work and playing plena, a traditional music genre from Puerto Rico.

The 2nd phase of José Luis Gutiérrez Reyes micro-residency at The Clemente will involve building the 5th edition of his ‘Scenarianos’ series: sculptural stages made using up-cycled materials.

The last stage sculpture CLEMENTRINO is inspired by Clemente Soto Velez and will make its debut at the International Puppet Fringe Festival, 2023.