It seems that the school bus strike is affecting more than just the schools. Neighborhood marionette theater Puppetworks has lost an estimated 70% of its business to the strike and is now facing possible closure.
The theater, which hosts public shows on the weekend but relies on school trips throughout the week, has seen a drastic decline in attendance since the strike began. According to NY Daily News, “more than half of the income at Puppetworks … comes from the 10-15 weekly trips by public school students, aged 6-8 — but last week, there were only three school trips because of the strike that began Jan. 18.”
Michael Leach, chief puppeteer, tells us that though the weekend public shows are still selling out, the weekdays are suffering. They hope to add more public shows, and also encourage neighbors to use the venue for birthday parties and other events. Additionally, they’ll be presenting public shows throughout the mid-winter recess.
The business has risen up from slow periods before. After Sandy hit, the theater struggled from school closures but got back on their feet through private events and additional shows. Right now they’re presenting The Prince & the Magic Flute, which doesn’t just entertain the children but allows them a hands-on marionette experience. Each performance begins with a tutorial in which the children can take the strings themselves.
Public shows are presented Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 per child and $9 per adult. If you’re interested in booking an event at the theater, call the office at (718) 965-3391 or email [email protected]. More information, including pricing, is available here. Information on buying group tickets is available here.
Photo via Puppetworks