Wednesday, June 7, 2017

East River Iftar and Spaghetti Garden Party

East River Iftar and Spaghetti Garden Party

Thursday, June 15, 2017, 7:30PM
St. Ann's Warehouse
45 Water Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn
Admission: $15 sliding scale
No advance ticket sales.
Info:  917-319-8104

Outdoor performances at 7:30
Dinner after sunset at 8:30
Indoor performances at 8:45

In the Garden--Puppets and Poets
Daniel Rosza Lang/Levitsky
Erin Orr and Lake Simons
Kathleen Kennedy Tobin
Jason Hicks and Lily Paulina
Rachael Shane and friends

Miriam Bazeed
Ramadan-inspired poets grove with Sauli-Si, Eman A. and Hala

In the Warehouse--Music and Shadows
Karagöz Everywhere: "It's a Shadow Play: A Tradition of Ramadan"
Performed by Hayali Ibrahim Yazici, with introduction by Aysen Darcan, PhD

Original music by Emma Alabaster, Seradin Veonne, Hannah Temple, Theo Baer, Leo Ferguson (and Ora Batashvili in abstentia)

The new Veveritse
Balkan brass band:
Dr. Eva Boodman, Joe Correia, Sarah Ferhold, Jason Hicks, Quince Marcum, Lily Paulina, Nicholas Mauro, Chris Schroth (and Matt Moran and Luke Schneiders in absentia)

Heartfelt thanks to the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the HBH Fund for their support.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Spaghetti Dinner at Flushing Town Hall

Happy Collision:  Queens and Dreams

Friday, April 14, 2017, 7:30 PM
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY
$16/$10 students and members

Overhead projector shadows for dark times by CHINESE THEATRE WORKS
"Song from a Nomad Flute," excerpt from new work with original music by PHYLLIS CHEN and shadow landscapes by STEPHEN KAPLIN


Storytelling and Performance by
 Jackson Heights' own Cecilia Gentili 
beloved mentor and Translatina Network advocate for trans rights in New York City

 "The Holey Land" 
crankie (paper scroll picture performance) by VALESKA POPULOH with CHARLES GRAHAM, created as part of the Campaign for Fair Development in Baltimore. The tale of a community and the land they call home. 


Duet by composer/vocalist JUDITH BERKSON and choreographer/dancer ABIGAIL LEVINE.

A historically amazing and relevant Happening from SOMETHING POSITIVE PERFORMING ARTS COMPANYOld Carnival Mas specialists and preservers of the arts and culture of the African Diaspora and its cross-cultural influences.


Aftselokhis Spectacle Committee  "6 positions for engagement with the autocrat"  

Great Small Works Spaghetti Dinners are supported in part by a grant from the Puppet Slam Network, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

World Day of Puppetry Benefit for UNIMA-USA at Teatro SEA

Presented by Teatro SEA with Great Small Works and Chinese Theatre Works

March 21, 2017
Teatro SEA @ The Clemente
107 Suffolk Street, New York, NY
Admission:  $10.00
Information:  212-529-1545

6:30 PM doors open
7:00 PM celebrity puppet red carpet with live music
7:30 PM food and cash bar
8:00 PM welcome remarks and reading of Nancy Staub's World Day of Puppetry statement
8:30 PM puppet cabaret! Featuring:
     Chinese Theatre Works -- Hao Bang-ah! Rooster, handpuppet excerpts, with Stephen Kaplin, Kuang-Yu Fong and Harrison Greene.
     Great Small Works -- Ode to Common Things, a paper movie based on Pablo Neruda's poem, by Trudi Cohen and John Bell
     Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theater, excerpts from Three Golden Hairs of Grandfather Wisdom, with Deborah Beshaw, Michelle Beshaw,, Vit Horejs and Ben Watts
     Gregory Corbino -- Spectacular Superlativesa banner show
     Teatro SEA -- Excerpts from The True Story of Little Red
10:00 PM  Fiesta!!!

Monday, February 27, 2017

JEWS WITH THORNS: A Purimshpil and Masquerade Ball

The Aftselakhis Spectacle Committee, in cahoots with Jews For Racial and Economic Justice, excitedly bring you "JEWS WITH THORNS: A Purimshpiel & Masquerade Ball"

Saturday, March 4th, DOORS at 7:45, SHOW at 8:30

East Midwood Jewish Center
1625 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11230

>>> LA DAMA :
...& MORE TBA! 

>>> AKYNOS :

EVERYTHING IS KOOKOO BANANAS! The king has stolen Purim… Every day is like night and up is down and facts are fiction. The world is drunk and can’t tell the difference between good and evil. In this moment the Aftselakhis Spectacle committee takes a tiger’s leap into the present with JEWS WITH THORNS, this year's swirlon their annual Purim Shpil and Masquerade ball based on the traditional book of Esther.

From practical matters, Aftselakhis has shaped our carnival imaginings: resistance to fascism and authoritarianism, abolition and community autonomy, and the cultures of performance connected to and between Muslim and Jewish worlds.

We seek inspiration in the writings of current and ancestral Jewish sages like Masha Gessen, Irena Klepfiscz and Walter Benjamin. And harvest beautiful and protective wisdom from the venerable ghazal poet Hafez andjustice leaders of today: Red Power Activist Madonna Thunder Hawk, Crip Hop Nations Leroy Moore, human rights and sex worker organizer Akynos “The Beast of Burlesque,” and Dilar Dirik, a Kurdish activist and scholar who writes about Rojava and other small keys that unlock enormous doors.

Our message is plain, though our shpil is ornate: You are invited to march forth! Restore the balance of society through the ancient Purim rite of dressing up! And spread the word: the things we really love are an alchemical resource for conjuring strength.


THURSDAY, March 2nd, 8:00PM
THURSDAY PERFORMANCE: Just the Purimshpiel, 
a calmer experience where one can sit and hear all the words and still revel in the beauty, complexity and confusion. 

Special musical guest: GEOFF BERNER

SUNDAY, March 5h
Purim for the whole family!

Dear kids, youth, parents, stewards of the resistance, lovers of delirious fun, dreamers of new worlds, and everyone else!

Purim is coming, and we invite you to a sumptuous, topsy turvy, social justice-themed, Purim carnival. Featuring a direct action parade, exquisite hand-built carnival games, Jewish music from around the world, a sock puppet Purimshpiel, food, and other delights.

12pm-1:30pm: Carnival games
12:30pm: Workmen's Circle Shule Puppetshow
1:30pm: Jews With Thorns Shpil presented by The Aftselakhis Spectacle Committee
2:30pm: Children's Purim Parade for Immigrants Rights:

Sunday, March 5th 12-3pm
East Midwood Jewish Center
(1625 Ocean Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11230)
$5-$15 sliding scale.

No one turned away for lack of cash or costume.

Hamentaschen and water included in admission! Additional food will be available for purchase.
EMJC is a kosher space and any outside food must be kosher.

This year's festivities are sponsored by Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) with support from The Aftselakhis Spectacle Committee (TASC), the Workmen’s Circle, Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives! More sponsors pending!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Year-End Spaghetti Dinner


Friday, December 30, 2016
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South, NYC

Spaghetti-eating at 7:30
Shows at 8:00
donation $15, no one turned away for lack of funds

Lush Tongue: interactive, improvisational vocal performance led by Onome and Bonita Oliver

Puppet show The Sad True Adventures of President Punch
by Joe Therrien and Tom Cunningham
When Punch wakes up to find the country has elected him as their new leader, he quickly deports his wife, starts a fan club, and sets the proletariat against each other so he can rule the world without interruption. (Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.)

Supruli is a NYC-based choir devoted to the traditional folk and liturgical polyphonic singing from the Republic of Georgia.

Junken Master Part I
Great Small Works and friends in jaw-dropping action scenes with soon-to-be de-accessioned junk from our studio.

And... Music to kick up your heels!!!
Some of New York City's finest musicians, offering their original, uplifting, beautiful music, and some much-needed hope as the New Year approaches.
The world's first Yiddish-Punjabi-bhangra-funk-klezmer party band
Led by trumpeter Frank London and percussionist Deep Singh
With Yoshie Fruchter, Damon Banks, Michael Winograd, Sarah Gordon, Dan Blacksberg, + guests

Thanks for support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the Puppet Slam Network.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Post-Show Discussions at La MaMa

Announcing -- Post-Show Events:
Friday October 28th

Opening night post show talk and reception with Dr. Edward Portnoy

Eddy Portnoy received his Ph.D. from the Jewish Theological Seminary. His dissertation was on cartoons of the Yiddish press. He also holds an M.A in Yiddish Studies from Columbia University, and is Senior Researcher and Exhibition Curator at the YIVO institute for Jewish Research.  His articles on Jewish popular culture phenomena have appeared in The Drama Review, Polin, and The International Journal of Comic Art. His investigations into the lives and work of Zuni Maud and Yosl Cutler were the seed of this production.
Thursday November 3rd
Jews For Racial and Economic Justice night
Post show discussion with the scintillating and subtle Irena Klepfisz
Irena Klepfisz is a poet, Yiddish translator, and teacher of English literature, Yiddish language and literature, and Women’s Studies. She is the author of the poetry collection A Few Words in the Mother Tongue and Dreams of an Insomniac: Jewish Feminist Essays, Speeches, and Diatribes. Klepfisz is additionally a co-editor of The Tribe of Dina: A Jewish Women’s Anthology and Jewish Women’s Call for Peace: A Handbook for Jewish Women on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict, and served for many years as Yiddish editor for Bridges magazine. She has been a long-time activist whose work has addressed homophobia in the Jewish community, women and peace in the Middle East, and secular Jewish identity. Klepfisz teaches at Barnard.

Saturday November 5th

Post show Dazzle Camouflage book celebration!
with Ezra Berkley Nepon

Dazzle Camouflage: Spectacular Theatrical Strategies for Resistance and Resilience, a new book by Ezra Berkley Nepon, offers two profiles of contemporary theater artists, Jenny Romaine and the Eggplant Faerie Players, generating analysis about their shared transformative theatrical strategies. Using oral history, archival research, and experiences working with these artists, the author tells their stories and identifies the roles of Dazzle Camouflage, Re-Mixing History, and Rehearsing Resistance in their work. Both profiles are interwoven with progressive Jewish and Queer culture and politics. More info at

Opens this week!
See you there!

Muntergang and Other Cheerful Downfalls at La MaMa

La MaMa presents
G R E A T   S M A L L   W O R K S

October 28 - November 06, 2016

Thursday to Saturday at 7:30PM
Saturday and Sunday at 2PM
First Floor Theatre | 74a East 4th Street
$20 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors

Buy tickets here:
There are still some $10 tickets available! Act fast! 

Great Small Works revisits the work of radical 20th-century New York City puppeteers Zuni Maud and Yosl Cutler. In a bilingual Yiddish-English play that uses Maud and Cutler's satirical puppet scripts and original graphics, together with Great Small Works' own puppets and projections, and appearances by demented dybbuks and Mae West, Muntergang is a meditation on historical (and applicable) models for changing power relationships.
Created and performed by Great Small Works members John Bell, Trudi Cohen, Stephen Kaplin, Jenny Romaine and Roberto Rossi, in collaboration with the archive of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research With puppeteers Joseph Therrien and Sam Wilson

Music by Jessica Lurie and Hannah Temple

Lights by Meredith Holch; sound by Akeyjoa Ando

Script by Jenny Romaine