Triple Zhongkui Pageant (Premiere 2021)

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.

Performance Requirements:

Triple Zhongkui Pageant can be performed inside or outside. Space requirements are a at least a 15'x20' performance space with a 12' clearance for large Zhongkui puppet. The show is performed in both English and Mandarin and runs approximately 20 minutes. Triple Zhongkui Pageant can also feature as a mobile part of street festivals, holiday parades, and other outdoors events.

Production Credits:
Puppeteers: Harrison Greene, Charlie Santos, Yixishan Ma, Yuer Liu

Peking Opera Performer: Jing Shan

Narrator: Stephen Kaplin

Puppet Makers: Harrison Greene, Stephen Kaplin, Neda Fini

Costumer: Bharat Parmar