The TDF Sweepstakes is open. Enter now!

La MaMa Puppet Festival 2023

Opening Date: Nov 01, 2023

Closing Date: Nov 18, 2023

La MaMa Puppet Festival 2023 Show Site Icon

Playing @

Various spaces

Throughout the five boros New York, NY 00000

View theatre details
Puppetry has been an integral part of La MaMa’s programming since 1962, when founder Ellen Stewart invited puppet artists from Korea to perform their production of Head Hunting by Pagoon Kang Wouk. Ellen recognized puppetry as an art form that exists across world cultures in many different forms. Despite the cultural specificity and variety of these forms, she saw a universal magic in bringing inanimate objects to life. By setting objects in motion, puppet artists can penetrate linguistic and cultural barriers to tell stories that are accessible to audiences around the world. Bringing international puppet artists together leads to innovation, experimentation and increased awareness of puppetry as a sophisticated art form.

2023 lineup includes:

By Dan Hurlin
November 2-12, 2023 @ La MaMa Galleria
A motel is a liminal space, situated inconclusively between a departure and an arrival. It is a way station between what happened before and what happens next. It is a temporary detention center of sorts where the inhabitants hold up and wait with eager anticipation for the future, or a fearful dread of it. Motel is a 1/2 scale installation piece in which a 1/2 scale woman waits. Her mysterious presence and the quotidian objects with her unpack a narrative: Why has she come here? Where has she come from? What is she waiting for? What was she writing in that letter? From the clock radio, a soundscape acts as an ambiguous time stamp and we are transported to a timeless and ominous deja vu of roadside America.

Sounding the Resonant Path
Puppetry and design by Tom Lee
Music by Ralph Samuelson, Perry Yung, Tatsu Aoki, Kioto Aoki
Moving Panorama Scrolls by Blair Thomas
November 2-5, 2023 @ Ellen Stewart Theatre
This presentation will be the world premiere of Sounding the Resonant Path, a performance installation that draws on the spiritual connection between the human world and the natural environment. We witness an artist, seeking the unknowable, encounter the growing bamboo and tree, whose harvested material is crafted into the artistry of the flute and the puppet. Japanese kuruma ningyō style puppetry and multiple, illuminated shadow scrolls play out this wordless tale to the accompaniment of taiko drums, shamisen and shakuhachi flute.

The Healing Shipment
By Maria Camia
Musical composition by Aaron Banes
November 3-5, 2023 @ The Downstairs
The Healing Shipment is a spiritual/sci-fi gestalt puppet musical about an Extraterrestrial named Maricama from Aricama, the land of practice, play and healing. When Maricama gets stuck on earth after her potato spaceship crashes into a bickering family’s backyard, she calls upon her future granddaughter, Marikata, to save her from this sunless planet. As Marikata embarks on this time-traveling mission, Maricama guides the phone-addicted humans back to their inner light, all while learning how to face her NOW.

Jump Start
A Presentation of Works in Progress

Mia M.I.A. (Work-in-Progress)
A new shadow puppet musical for adults
Written & Directed by Charlotte Lily Gaspard
A Midnight Radio Show production
November 3-5, 2023 @ The Club at La MaMa
Charlotte Lily Gaspard invites you into a fantastical galaxy of shadow puppets, whimsy and dreams, in her upcoming project, Mia M.I.A.: an urban fairytale for adults.The play centers around an ordinary couple as they navigate lives on earth. Yet, as our story unfolds, they are drawn into an enchanted realm of silhouettes, puppets and dance, much like Alice through the looking glass. Mia M.I.A. comes from the creators of The Enchanted Revolution, a magical lo-fi space pop opera, and artists from Gaspard’s collective, Midnight Radio Show.

Jump Start Triple Bill
November 9-11, 2023 @ The Club at La MaMa

Osni the Flare (Work-in-Progress)
Creator, Composer, Puppeteer: Tristan Allen
Technical Director: Jim Freeman
Osni the Flare is a symphonic puppet ballet set to a full, original score. Tristan Allen employs the narrative power of instrumental music and puppetry to create an imaginary world. Tristan’s innovative rod puppetry, detailed sound design and experimental mode of storytelling creates rich works of wordless fantasy. Through exuberant tenacity, puppets will gracefully choreograph a luminous blaze, birthing the primal origins of fire.

They Were Called Trees (Work-in-Progress)
Written, Directed and Puppetry Designed by Tanya Khordoc & Barry Weil (Evolve Puppets)
Original Music by Joel Phillip Friedman
Set Design by Tom Lee
It is the last days of humanity on Earth, after trees and animals are gone and the air is thin. A “family” lives in a cavern made from plastic bottles, worshipping the sputtering machine that gives them oxygen. Today, they perform a religious ceremony through puppetry—their story of how the world got this way—for the benefit of their young child, who is full of questions. Writer/director/puppetry designers Tanya Khordoc & Barry Weil use plastic refuse to create this world, alongside visual and spoken “refuse”—words and images that are leftover scraps of our destroyed civilization. Objects, artifacts and language take on new meanings in this strange, dying world.

Other Atlantas: What Had Happened (Work-in-Progress)
Written, designed and created by Marcella Murray
Other Atlantas will eventually be a celebration of the marginalized who remain in spaces left behind, swallowed up, disappeared, decimated, used up and ignored for the sake of some other entity’s idea of progress. In this residency, Marcella Murray will develop the opening of this series which explores the process of displacement and resettlement using shadow puppetry, projection mapping, LEDs and two-way mirrors. This piece asks "How DID we make it over?" While Marcella is pretty sure she doesn't know, she has an inkling towards the porousness of time, the inevitability of light, and celebration in all states of emotion aka The Kickback.

Puppet Slam
Curated by Jane Catherine Shaw
November 7-8, 2023 @ The Club at La MaMa
La MaMa Puppet Slam returns this year with new short works of genius! These condensed works of puppetry are original, compelling, brilliant, witty, tragic, funny, stunning, startling, ironic, exotic, political, lyrical, musical, beautiful, intellectual, experimental, wild...and always demonstrate genius in a matter of minutes!

Daydream Tutorial
By Maiko Kikuchi
November 9-12, 2023 @ The Downstairs
How do you pretend you are not home when your persistent neighbor at your door? Do you own a clone, or would you rather be alone? Still wide awake after counting 100 sheep? Is it possible to find your Zen in the city? These vital questions are asked…and answered…in the surreal, live performance of Daydream Tutorial from Japanese visual artist and theater maker, Maiko Kikuchi. This amusing production is presented through a mix of puppetry, mask performance, object manipulation and projected animation. Ten whimsical vignettes invite you step into the imaginative nexus of a series of daydreams to experience not only the fun of observing, but also, the comical twist on reality that all of us can experience. 

By Les Sages Fous
November 10-12, 2023 @ Ellen Stewart Theatre
Guided by enigmatic arrows, a scrap-collector steers his tricycle and trailer to the opening of a fantastical maze filled with illusions. A dream-like adventure begins. The tricycle guides the man through his life journey as if it were an uncanny ride at a fairground; through the house of mirrors, the carousels and the games of chance, leading him through the dark shadows of his past, towards his quest for freedom and into the light. Tricyckle is a spectacle of metamorphosis and transformation using objects and puppetry. As visual theatre without words, the show was conceived for theatres as well as nonconventional spaces. Tricyckle's intriguing musical score is composed solely of invented instruments created with found objects.

The Pact
By Aaron Haskell
November 16-18, 2023 @ Ellen Stewart Theatre
The battle between good and evil has waged for centuries, threatening to engulf our world in darkness. But the tide is about to turn. The Ancestral Mother, Aurora in earthly wolf form, has returned to rescue us from the clutches of despair. Aurora has crafted a divine pact and within the new offspring, the ability to guide us towards a brighter future.

La MaMa Kids: Go Home Tiny Monster
By The Gottabees
November 4-5, 2023 @ Community Arts Space
After a sudden storm, Sylvie and her loving family of homespun creatures find themselves in need of a new home. Luckily, they have an audience full of people who can help them out! Go Home Tiny Monster is a wildly creative theatrical ode to a community's generosity. The show, told entirely without words, features The Gottabees’ signature mix of puppetry, live music, physical theater and joyously absurd silliness. ‍Recommended for ages 3 & up.

La MaMa Kids: Wood
By Puzzle Theater
November 11-12, 2023 @ Community Arts Space
A green leaf that grows on a dead branch, pieces of wood that come together to form strange creatures, some hostile, some comical… A curious world that surprises, amazes, and inspires. A world that also makes you think and wonder. In keeping with its artistic approach, Puzzle Théâtre is once again drawing inspiration from a whole new medium to create an atypical, colorful puppet show, full of humor and unexpected situations.

Performance Schedule:

Visit for full festival schedule.

TDF Tickets Offers:

TDF member tickets:

Not currently available for this show

Listed atTKTS


Full-price tickets

$10 - $30

You Might Also Like



Public Transportation

Subway Icon

By Subway:

Bus Icon

By Bus: