Triple Zhongkui Pageant is a unique piece of theater that blends several CTW performance styles. This production is at once a lively piece of bilingual street theater, a demonstration of a 500 year old performance tradition, and a slice of ridiculous political satire.
Zhonkui is a mythic Chinese deity who purges evil spirits from homes, temples, and palaces. We present this popular archetypal folk character on 3 different scales– as a Chinese opera performer (in full stage costume and face-painting), as an 12’ tall backpack rod puppet, and as a 10” tall “Budaixi” traditional hand puppet. In this production, Zhongkui calls out pressing issues confronting neighborhoods in Manhattan and Queens including gentrification, the plans for a monstrous high rise prison in Chinatown, and the rising levels of anti-Asian violence throughout the city.
Triple Zhongkui Pageant debuted in 2021 as part of the 2nd NYC International Puppetry Festival at the Clemente Soto Velez Center in Manhattan. We have also performed this production at “Puppets Come Home” at the Coney Island Museum, the Museum of the City of New York in Manhattan, Opus 40 Sculpture Park, and as a lively part of various community street festivals throughout NYC.