Thursday, December 16, 2010

Steven Ritz-Barr film screening


a film by Steven Ritz-Barr

Don Quixote by Cervantes is one of the funniest and most touching stories ever written. Told here in the language of film by puppeteer Steven Ritz-Barr, with Michael York as the voice of Don Quixote, QUIXOTE is the story of an aging Spanish gentleman who reads so many books about chivalry that he imagines himself to be a knight. Accompanied by his faithful squire Sancho Panza, he embarks on a series of absurdly fantastic adventures across 16th century Spain.

Marionettes, exquisitely hand crafted by Russian Puppet artist Eugene Seregin, are remarkably brought to life by master puppeteer Steven Ritz-Barr and co-director Hoku Uchiyama.

Produced by Classics in Miniature, Inc. Music by Jeremy Yeremian.

One showing only at Great Small Works’ Studio. FREE!
Friday, Dec. 17, 2010, 8pm

45 Main Street, Studio #303 (betw. Front & Water Sts.)
F Train (York Street Station), A/C (High Street/ Brooklyn Bridge), 2/3 (Clark Street)

Meet the Artist! DVDs on sale at 25% off for your holiday delectation.
Interested in coming? RSVP Stephen Kaplin

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
New York, New York
Doors open at 7:30

Featuring the Golden Angel Waltz Orchestra for your dancing pleasure!

The Golden Angel Waltz Orchestra will be hosting a "Waltz Ball", which is a ball filled with the most intensely beautiful Waltzes. Waltzes that are from all over the world, dense in sound, seemly sweet but sometimes chaotic and always in three. Yes it is a ball as well, so everyone is required to be in their most flamboyant, most dazzling, most Victorian, most risqué garments. We believe that people these days need a little encouragement for those romantic couples dances so we have also hand-made 19th century dance cards that will facilitate budding waltz enthusiasts to share in the joys of waltzing with all on the dance floor. We also are bringing in four of the most cutting edge dance instructors, who are charming yet slightly twisted in the dance instruction. You see, they are really clowns, the charmers, the instigators, the fashion consultants and yes the dance instructors as well. We have a quite a show that will engage even the most curmudgeon of a fella to experience the joys and silliness of our waltz ball. Everyone will have the opportunity to wear your most beloved fancy party dress that you never get to wear, to share your secret waltz obsession, and most of all to share in a silly night of delightful music and clowning.

Stay tuned for more details.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Great Small Works seeks partner for new space


SHARE OUR EXPANSIVE studio/office/workshop/rehearsal space


Just an office if that is what you need…

Great Small Works seeks a partner for our new studio. The u-shaped space could include an office, storage, and shared workshop and rehearsal space. 24 hour access, elevator, windows, view of the Brooklyn Bridge.
If you just need an office (in a very creative environment) we would consider renting that to you/your business as well!
The Office/Workspace is 120 square feet $750
The office/workspace plus storage and shared workshop/rehearsal space $1,100
The rehearsal space foot print is 18 wide by 36 long

45 Main Street, Room 303
DUMBO, Brooklyn

Monday, September 27, 2010


The Sukkos Mob has been hitting the streets of greater New York City, disrupting the capitalist landscape, flipping the script on who is “normal,” expanding the notion of who gets to talk to who, making it possible for the streets to belong to us.

Update on Sukkos Mob schedule for this week:
9/27 Show at Sarah Lawrence college cancelled due to rain
9/29 9pm Sarah Lawrence College, Andrews Lawn
9/30 noon Columbus Circle/Central Park (look for us just inside the park)

If it is raining enough to damage cardboard the Mob will perform noonish in the lobby of the
Manhattan JCC
334 Amsterdam Avenue
1, 2 and 3 go to 72nd street
a/c to 59th and change to 1 train
HOTLINE 917.727.0662

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


sukkos mob2

returns to the streets and sukkahs of New York City with their latest production

“Don’t Let the Sheep Get in Your Eyes!”
an intimate science fiction story knit together with authentic sheeps' wool and music.

You’ll smell the MOB before you see them!
You’ll hear them before you bump into them. How great!

This year’s production features:

-- New compositions by Jessica Lurie
-- Mind expanding sound beds by Wollesonic Labs
-- Spectacle design by Alessandra Nichols, Jennifer Harris, Abigail Miller, and Gaby Cryan, Celia Hart Caro
-- Yiddish translation by Itzik Gottesman
-- Choreography by Abigail Levine
-- Directed by Jenny Romaine

The amazing cast and band includes:
Alicia Gerstein, Joe Dobkin, Gaby Cryan, Daniel Lang-Levitsky, Shane Baker, David Mandelbaum, Amy E. Alterman, JR Hankins, Avi-Fox Rosen, Tina Richerson, Jessica Lurie, Kenny Wolleson, Abigail Miller, BUGZ, Rabbi Alissa Wise (not performing), Sarah Bendix, and Jenny Romaine.

The Sukkos Mob will play exclusively during the holiday of Sukkos from September 23 to September 30.

This year's show is an homage to film maker Alex Rivera.
The Sukkos Mob is a Jenny Romaine/Great Small works production sponsored by Tablet Magazine, The Sonya Staff Foundation
and Grilli Earth Walls.

Schedule of performance times and locations:

Sept 23 SUNY PURCHASE sukkah - 7ish
Sept 24 Union Square Square - 9:30
Sept 25 Dumbo Arts Festival - 7:30 as a prelude to GSW Spaghetti Dinner in front of 10 Jay Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn
Sept 26 3 shows!
12 noon in Prospect Park in the Nethermead near the music pagoda
Enter the Park through the Willink Entrance at Empire Boulevard and Ocean Avenue, and follow the Blue Trail directional signs.
4 PM Flushing Meadows Park in front of the Queens Museum of Art, near the Unisphere.
7:30 PM Bronx Sukkah 3338 Bainbridge Ave (for Bronx directions 917.930.0295)
Sept 27 Sarah Lawrence College sukkah 7ish
Sept 29 open looking for nyc club
Sept 30 noon, tba Manhattan

Call Hotline for Rain/ Location Updates (917) 727-0662.

Friday, September 17, 2010



Come to an Open House at Great Small Works' new studio:
45 Main Street, Suite 301-303, DUMBO, Brooklyn

Sunday, September 26, 2010, from noon to 5 PM
Come lift a glass with us and check out the new space--
We are still looking for partners to share it with us!!



Saturday, September 25, 2010
during the DUMBO Arts Festival
tickets: $15 (no one turned away)
info: 917-319-8104

we begin with a PROCESSION through the streets of DUMBO!
starting at 7 PM in front of 45 Main Street

The spoon will be delivered! Illumination! Color! Music!
Featuring Brooklyn’s all-volunteer luminary-studded
Greatest Smallest Street Band!

Procession ends in front of 10 Jay Street, at 7:30 PM
Intimate street performance by the SUKKOS MOB
in their latest sci-fi harvest vehicle, Don’t Let the Sheep Get in Your Eyes.

In the year 2010 the Sukkos Mob was too panicked to feel joy. They did not know how to protect themselves. The earth was bleeding. They knew their strategy of non-engagement was not a strategy. So, once again, as they had so many times before, the Yiddish Mob left their homes and set out wandering in the desert of the human spirit for 40 years. They left home to find home again, to find an enhanced idea of the human spirit, to find solutions to take care of each other and the planet…
Stay tuned for the full Sukkos Mob show schedule which will be posted on GSW's web site blog and on Tablet Magazine's Facebook page. The Sukkos Mob is a Jenny Romaine/Great Small Works production sponsored by Tablet Magazine and Grilli Earth Walls.

AND THEN, indoors at

ONE ARM RED, 10 Jay Street on the 9th floor,

followed by PERFORMANCES:

David McDonough and Adda Birnir of PAPER TIGER TELEVISION will present images and video from the Gulf, which is part of a new Paper Tiger Television production focusing on the BP Oil Spill. In the DIY spirit of Paper Tiger Television, the piece focuses on how individual, private citizens employed whatever tools they had at their disposal to respond to the BP Oil Spill.

The latest installment of the news-based serial
“Toy Theater of Terror As Usual, Episode 12: Desert and Ocean”
A response to the Gulf oil spill, drone warfare in Afghanistan, and immigrantophobia.

Emma Alabaster – bass, Emily McCabe – cello, Laura Vuksinich – drums,
Cassandra Burrows - alto sax, and Erin Bell - tenor horn.
They really, especially like it when people have a good time at a show. Their musical brains are coming from some of the branches of American folk music, mostly jazz and the occasional nod to southern hymns and ballads. They also like experimenting. Frankly, they poke around in puddles of dissonance. But, sometimes they just care that their music sounds beautiful. At the end of the show, if you've squinted your eyes to better see if they are making those notes on purpose, thought about dancing even a little bit, and laughed with your teeth showing, they would feel like they've done a good weird deed for the day.

Motley Holler of How Do You Do

Tanya Solomon, Rebecca Heinegg and Billy Schultz bring their clown, ballet and eccentric dance backgrounds together to form this evening’s work. Individually they have performed on variety stages the western world over and are happy to come together for this evening. The piece was ensemble generated and directed by Billy Schultz.
Performed with The Curious Shape of Hens.

The Motley Holler of How Do You Do is a motive agent used to increase the volume and diversify the texture of spectacles such as weddings, funerals, religious ceremonies, walks through the park, poker games and North American shopping holidays.

Special guest vocalist XAVIER will sing songs of uncertainty.

His vocal skills have received uncoerced praise from the some of the music industry’s best including TV on the Radio, Mary J. Blige, The Rapture, Pete Tong, D’Angelo, Ashford & Simpson and Lena Horne, as well as a Diesel U Music Award nomination. He’s hollered on records with Scissor Sister Del Marquis, Basement Jaxx vocalists Vula Malinga and Sharlene Hector, Stephin Merritt, and LL Cool J. UK-based music magazine NME calls his music “glorious” and Billboard magazine contends he’s “pure magic.” His recent collaboration with the late Arthur Russell’s bandmates and vocalist Nomi Ruiz is set to be released this fall.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Saturday, September 25th, 8 PM

One Arm Red

10 Jay Street, #903

Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY 11201

$15.00 (no one turned away)

Great Small Works will present its first Spaghetti Dinner of the season at the beautiful One Arm Red during the weekend of the Dumbo Arts Festival. An evening of music, puppetry, performance, pasta, and glimmering vistas of Lower Manhattan and the East River. Program includes music by The Curious Shape of Hens, and the latest in Great Small Works' news series "Toy Theater of Terror As Usual." Let us talk about oil...

Stay tuned for more program info!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Toy Theater Festival a Huge Success! Still needs help.

Great Small Works' Ninth International Toy Theater Festival is now ended, and words of praise and thanks are coming in from around the globe. But--time is running out for us to meet our Kickstarter goal. Please make a contribution now and help us fight back the forces of Being-in-the Red! Go to:

We thank you!

Here are some unsolicited comments from our friends:

"Just wanted to congratulate on the fantastic breadth and scope of the 2010 Toy Theater Festival so far and the whimsical variety, ingenuity and glorious playfulness of the Temporary Toy Theater Museum. .. I know I speak for many in sharing with you our gratitude for the conscientiousness, coordination and thoughtfulness that is evident in the design, direction and presentation of this outstanding theatrical event."
----Carol Sterling, Brooklyn Arts Council

"I can't thank you enough for your valor, expertise and patience with the students and me throughout the experience. You should certainly consider this one of your resounding successes."
----Robert Tomlin, Queens High School for Arts and Business

"The festival had such a positive and affirming air. .. I am perpetually struggling to reconcile my belief in the importance of art with a sense of extreme urgency about the myriad social and ecological crises we face... Thank you for all of your immense work to continue the Toy Theater Festival, for bringing so many people together, celebrating the small and the intimate, portable, home-made and historic..."
----Valeska Populoh, Puppeteer

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

coming up at the Toy Theater Festival!

Program 3--
Wednesday, 6/10 and Thursday, 6/11 at 7:30 PM
Dan Froot (L.A.) and Dan Hurlin (NYC) team up to present "Who's Hungry - West Hollywood," a full-length Toy Theater production based on personal stories from West Hollywood's homeless.
Marsian (also from L.A.) presents "Fudgie's Death"
and local puppeteers Concrete Temple Theatre present "Hudson to China"

Program 4--
Thursday, 6/10 at 10 PM and Friday, 6/11 at 7:30 PM
Renowned puppeteers from all around the country!
Bread and Puppet Theater (VT)
Clare Dolan (VT)
Kyle Loven (Seattle)
Open Eye Theater (Minneapolis)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Opening Reception for Temporary Toy Theater Museum and Greatest Smallest Parade

GSW TTF poster

The Great Small Works
Ninth International Toy Theater Festival

opens the

Temporary Toy Theater Museum

with a

Reception & Parade!

Come to St. Ann's Warehouse and see the finest examples of historical and contemporary Toy Theaters, with works by collectors and
visual artists reinterpreting the Toy Theater form, including a group of
classic Spanish stages. (FREE!)

Greatest Smallest Parade • 3:00pm
The Opening Reception will be heralded by the first-ever Greatest
Smallest Parade! Tiny floats accompanied by a full-force marching
brass band will wind through the sidewalks of DUMBO and finish at the
Warehouse, where all the shoebox-sized rolling masterpieces will be
displayed. (FREE!)

Reception • 4:00 to 7:00pm
Meet the artists and view the expansive exhibition!

Sunday, May 30th, 2010
St. Ann's Warehouse
DUMBO, Brooklyn

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Great Small Works performs at Queens Museum of Art

On June 6th Great Small Works will perform a brand new episode of their signature photomontage news serial, The Toy Theater of Terror as Usual (their first since 2002).  The performances will take place at the Queens Museum of Art as part of their “First Sunday” event.  The live shows are part of a “Terror As Usual” retrospective included in the Curse of Bigness Show currently running at the QMA.

    An extra special attraction of the premier will be a co-performance with a team from The High School For Arts and Business in South Corona Queens.  The students have been working with Great Small Works teaching artists all spring to devise their own news based, montage, toy theater shows. 

     The Terror As Usual series began in the fall of 1990, during the countdown to the first Gulf War, as a way to respond to the everyday terror of reading about current events in the newspaper. Come out on June 6th 2010 to see how 3 generations of politically engaged artists turn the news of the day into prismatic useful and entertaining spectacle.  Get inspired to re-mix the images and tell your own story! 

Great Small Works will perform at 1:00 and 3:30.


Great Small Works Toy Theater Festival in the Schools and at the Queens Museum of Art


During the Spring of 2010 fifty five students from The High School for Arts and Business in South Corona Queens began working with Great Small Works teaching artists to create photo montage news based toy theater shows.  The project was inspired by a retrospective Great Small Works was asked to create by Larissa Harris as part of the Curse of Bigness Show at the Queens Museum of Art.  While preparing the 13 stages that would be installed around the Panorama of New York City at the museum, and by looking at old video footage and piecing together an historic timeline we remembered how useful these mysterious little news shows actually were for collective thought.  In the twilight of the newspaper era we thought it would be very cool to share the tools we had learned for responding to the news with a younger generation of artists. 


We are grateful to Robert Tomlin, the students, and the principal of the High School for Arts and Business for dedicating classroom time to critical thinking and writing about the news.  Also, for allowing messy processes like puppet building, rehearsing and the collaborative work that goes along with this art form to take over for a while.



Great Small Works, and students from the High School for Arts and Business will present three premier  Toy Theater of Terror As Usual shows during the Festival.  We hope you will attend!  


June 6th Queens Museum of Art

1:00pm--Great Small Works and students

3:30 PM-- Great Small Works 


June 6th 8PM St Ann’s Warehouse 

Toy Theater Festival Cabaret--Great Small Works 


June 8th 5:30 PM at St Ann’s Warehouse

with students 


GSW Teaching artists: Jenny Romaine, Laura Ayers, Stephen Kaplin, John Bell and Sam Wilson

Faculty partner at High School for Arts and Business: Robert Tomlin

Special Thanks: to the staff of the Queens Museum of Art--Laura Groskinsky and the education department, Larissa Harris, and many others. Also to the Emily David and Joseph S. Kornfeld Foundation for their generous support of this project.  



Opening Reception for Temporary Toy Theater Museum and Greatest Smallest Parade

GSW TTF poster

The Great Small Works 
Ninth International Toy Theater Festival 

opens the 

Temporary Toy Theater Museum 

with a 

Reception & Parade!

Come to St. Ann's Warehouse and see the finest examples of historical and contemporary Toy Theaters, with works by collectors and
visual artists reinterpreting the Toy Theater form, including a group of 
classic Spanish stages. (FREE!)

Greatest Smallest Parade • 3:00pm
The Opening Reception will be heralded by the first-ever Greatest 
Smallest Parade! Tiny floats accompanied by a full-force marching 
brass band will wind through the sidewalks of DUMBO and finish at the
Warehouse, where all the shoebox-sized rolling masterpieces will be 
displayed. (FREE!)

Reception • 4:00 to 7:00pm
Meet the artists and view the expansive exhibition!

Sunday, May 30th, 2010
St. Ann's Warehouse
DUMBO, Brooklyn

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"Toy Theater of Terror as Usual" at Queens Museum of Art

In the mid-19th century, home entertainment often involved toy theater: a mass-produced proscenium theater performed on a living room table with flat cut-out characters and scripts based on the popular hits of the day.  The tradition thrived in Europe and the United States until it was superseded by film and television (a different kind of box that sits on the living room table). In the early 1990s, an experimental theater group now known as Great Small Works rediscovered the medium as a tool to address major contemporary events shaping New York City and the world. Using excerpted philosophical works and cut-out images from newspapers and magazines glued to stiff backing, moved expressively and given voice by five visible puppeteers hovering around a tabletop proscenium stage, The Toy Theater of Terror as Usual (1991- 2002) satirized with Dada-inspired photomontage the run-up to the first Gulf War, the L.A. riots, and intersections of art, AIDS, and real estate that characterized New York in the Bush Sr. and Clinton years. For the Curse of Bigness, the group restages selected scenes as tableaux in 13 rudimentary theaters installed on the walkway surrounding the Panorama of the City of New York, in a dramatic juxtaposition of miniature spectacles. Recreated scenes include a moment from Episode 7: Metro Section, in which Olympic athletes soar above a two-level backdrop of New York City's skyline while at ground level a recumbent skeleton marks the 1991 discovery of the African Burial Ground and the final scene from Episode 9: Doom, which illustrates an urban utopia as described by downtown artist and visionary Jack Smith, with a chorus of Greek women atop an old Bronx bank building rebuilt as a cultural center; a gaggle of naked babies and yellow baby chicks; two giant hands with crossed fingers for luck framing the top of the stage opening; and a herd of cows draped with dollar bills. "I can imagine a million ways," Smith writes, "for the world to be completely different."

Although most New Yorkers now associate the word terror with the September 11th attacks, the majority of these works were created before that date.  The title and content of the series were inspired by anthropologist Michael Taussig’s essay “Terror As Usual,” which drew on Walter Benjamin’s 1940s idea that “‘the state of emergency’ in which we live is not the exception but the rule."  Great Small Works combined this concept with the group's own perception of the media complicity in the run-up to the first Gulf War, and discovered that re-using images and texts from the daily news on a toy theater stage allowed them to articulate and communicate their own sense of what was taking place all around them.

Video footage of performances at venues such as P.S.122, the Bread and Puppet Museum, the Henson International Puppet Festival, and 1991 anti-war events will also be on view. The group’s reinvention of the toy theater form spurred a world-wide revival, which Great Small Works showcases bi-annually with an International Toy Theater Festival, the ninth iteration of which will take place at St. Ann’s Warehouse from May 30 – June 13th 2010. Great Small Works will create first new episode of the Toy Theater of Terror as Usual since 2002, to be performed at both QMA and St. Ann's Warehouse on June 6th.

Larissa Harris
Queens Museum of Art