10. Puppetworks has been the premier spot for puppet performances for over three decades
When Nicolas Coppola, Artistic Director of Puppetworks, first saw a performance by Suzari Marionettes as a third grader at Brooklyn’s P.S. 200, it was love at first sight. Coppola went on to become a professional puppeteer, hired by the same company that changed his world at the age of 19. During a brief stint away from the company while serving as a soldier at Fort Dix in New Jersey, Coppola perfected his skills, performing puppet routines for injured troops in Army hospitals. Eventually, he would return to Suzari, being promoted to Artistic Director on his 27th birthday in 1962, renaming it Nicolo Marionettes. The company would continue to produce puppet shows while touring the country, even having the opportunity to do a production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” at Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian Museum. Eventually, as the economy began to turn downward during the 1980s, Coppola founded the non-profit organization Puppetworks Inc. in 1991.
Since its creation, Puppetworks has operated out at 338 6th Avenue, with its red, yellow and blue exterior beckoning all passersby to head inside. Continuing with its colorful outside theme, Puppetworks’ interior contains Kermit-green walls and red-and-green benches. Much of the establishment’s clientele arrive on field trips and class visits. For his work, Coppola was given the 2011 President’s Award for “Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Puppetry” by the Puppeteers of America. Upcoming performances at Puppeteers include an adaptation of “The Three Little Pigs” on August 7th & 8th, “Rumpelstiltskin” from the Brothers Grimm from August 14th to October 31, and “Beauty and the Beast” from January 23rd to April 10th, 2022.