The Manhattan Marionettes Project is an initiative devoted to exploring and preserving the history of puppetry in the greater NYC area, as well as documenting and supporting current puppet projects. Feel free to visit the About Us page for more information about the project and those involved.
Check out our Video page for all of the films we have made so far.
Our Calendar page includes an up-to-date listing of puppet events in and around NYC.
Puppetry and the LGBTQ Community
We are currently in preproduction for a short-form documentary called Pride and Puppetry looking at the relationship between puppetry and the LGTBQ. You can go to www.igg.me/at/PrideAndPuppetry to learn more about this project and, if you can, donate to help us explore this topic. If you are a gay/queer puppet artist, if puppets played a part in your own discovery of identity, if you have stories to tell about puppeteers we lost to AIDS, etc., we would love to hear from you. If you would like to a part of this project, please send us an email at ManhattanMarionettes@gmail.com.
Educating Children with Puppets
In 2014, we talked to a number of people who are involved with using puppetry in various educational environments. Visit our Video page to see some of the interviews we conducted. We are always happy to talk to more people, so if you are a puppeteer who works with school children, a teacher who uses puppets, an administrator, a child psychologist, etc. and would like to a part of this project, please send us an email at ManhattanMarionettes@gmail.com.
Robert Askins - Hand to God
In collaboration with Ecumenica: Journal of Theater and Performance, we interviewed Robert Askins, the playwright of the Broadway-bound play Hand to God. The following video features Robert talking about a number of different topics. If you woud like to skip to a particular topic, use this guide:
00:06 – Robert talks about his experience growing up with the church and what made him excited to attend services.
01:26 – Robert talks about why he currently is not connected to a church and where he now finds support and inspiration.
03:10 – Robert discusses the history of Hand to God from initial inspirations to the award-winning production at MCC Theater.
08:16 – Robert explores the question, “What is a puppet?”
11:50 – Taking a broader view of puppetry, Robert talks about how his writing can be considered a “puppet” and his responsibility to understand how to make his writing “move” in a certain way to reach his audience.
20:02 – To better understand the character of the Pastor in Hand to God, Robert provides his views on the role of religious figures, from prophets to contemporary preachers.
29:39 – Robert talks about the differences between how we perceive puppets and how we perceive live actors.
33:51 – Robert explains why they ended up using a sock puppet in Hand to God.
35:43 – Robert provides some thoughts on Tyrone, the puppet character in Hand to God, and the critical moment when the audience's perception of him gets questioned.
Nick Coppola and Noel MacNeal
A short video featuring Nick Coppola (Puppetworks, Inc.) and Noel MacNeal (Sesame St.).
Connecting and Supporting
If you would like to join our emailing list, send an email to ManhattanMarionettes@gmail.com with "Subscribe" as the Subject.
Our RocketHub campaign has just ended and we appreciate all the help we received! We will be posting about other ways you can support the project as they come available.
If you have any questions, would like to join the filmmaking, or have great stories about NYC puppetry to share, you can contact the team at ManhattanMarionettes@gmail.com.
Robert Askins - Playwright (Hand to God)