2023 International Puppet Fringe Festival lands in NYC

The 2023 International Puppet Fringe Festival is now on the Lower East Side.

Between August 9–13 audiences will be dazzled by a diverse lineup of puppet performances from all over the world.

The week-long festival invites audiences of all ages to celebrate the art of puppetry in this one-of-a-kind experience that defines New York City as a global creative capital.

"We are so proud to support the International Puppet Fringe Festival, a truly unique experience for New Yorkers of all ages to enjoy, and one that helps shine a light on our city as a global center for creativity and entertainment" said Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, Pat Swinney Kaufman. "Congratulations to Dr. Morán, and the entire Fringe Festival team for organizing such a spectacular series of events and live performances on New York City's Lower East Side this August." 

It's the only international festival dedicated to puppetry, and it's organized by three Lower East Side cultural hubs including "The Climente."

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"We’re celebrating those other New Yorkers, whether they came from here or whether they’re from all over the world. They always have had and always will have a home here. Puppets for kids, puppets for adults, puppets for all generations, silly puppets, avant garde puppets, puppets honoring the elders, puppets for the future, puppets help build this place," Guerra said.

This year's festival honors puppet master and creator of the iconic village Halloween parade Ralph Lee. 

"We are delighted to welcome back the International Puppet Fringe Festival, which this year will honor New York City’s most renowned puppet master and founder of the Village Halloween Parade, Ralph Lee, who passed away in May," Del Castillo said. 

Participating venue puppetry groups include:

  • Teatro SEA (USA)
  • Yael Rasooly (Israel)
  • Puppet Beings Theater (Taiwan)
  • Maskhunt/Deborah Hunt (Puerto Rico/New Zealand)
  • Scapegoat Carnivale (Canada)
  • Lumiato Teatro de Formas Animades (Brazil)
  • Treasure Chest Theatre (Hong Kong/USA)
  • Fernán Cardama (Argentina)
  • Tholpavakoothu & Puppet Centre (India)
  • Junktown Duende (Puerto Rico/USA)
  • Boxcutter Collective (USA)
  • Wonderspark Puppets (USA)
  • Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre Mobile (USA)
  • Nappy’s Puppets (Jim Napolitano) (USA)

Other events include:

  • Cabaret nights hosted by Great Small Works and Punto SEA
  • Puppet Open Mic Nights
  • Film screenings provided by Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams film series
  • Roundtable discussions by the Mettawee River company
  • Master-class workshops in puppetry and puppet crafting
  • A weekend of MicroTheater performances (guerilla-style theater in unorthodox venues)
  • Gala closing party featuring an incredible salsa band.

"With a captivating ‘Halloween in August’ theme, we will take our audiences on a mesmerizing journey into a realm brimming with wonder and enchantment, as we pay tribute to the remarkable Ralph Lee," Dr. Morán said.