Flushing Town Hall Celebrates Lunar New Year With Chinese Theatre Works’ Hao Bang-ah, Rabbit!
Welcome the Year of the Rabbit with a family performance and workshop introducing audiences of all ages to Chinese New Year customs & traditions
(Flushing, New York) — On Sunday, January 29, Flushing Town Hall welcomes Chinese Theatre Works to its stage for two family-friendly performances at 1 PM and 3 PM to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with Hao Bang-ah, Rabbit!, featuring traditional budaixi-style puppetry and live music. Both performances will be followed by hands-on workshops for children.
Lunar New Year, the most important traditional festival in Asian cultures, marks the start of a new year following the moon cycle. Each year is represented by one of twelve zodiac animals and 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, commencing January 22. The Rabbit is known to be the luckiest out of all twelve zodiac animals, symbolizing such character traits as creativity, compassion, and sensitivity.
“Hao Bang Ah!” is a common Chinese expression meaning “Great!” or “Well done!”
Each year, Chinese Theatre Works celebrates the Lunar New Year season with an original “budaixi,” which is a traditional Chinese glove-puppet production that features the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. This year’s show stars the Rabbit, who will preside over a jolly selection of wild puppet skits, dances, popular songs, and well-known Chinese sayings that celebrate the wit and wisdom of the zodiac animals.
Special guests include the Jade Rabbit on the Moon and other all-star members of the zodiac puppet ensemble. Sing-alongs, games, and hands-on post-show demonstrations will make the Chinese bilingual cultural experience accessible to even the youngest audience members.
Queens-based Chinese Theatre Works (CTW) was created in 2001 out of the merger of two nonprofit institutions with long histories of bringing traditional and innovative, contemporary Chinese performing arts to local New York City, national and international audiences. CTW has won the highest honor in U.S. puppetry, a Citation of Excellence from UNIMA-USA for their show Toy Theater Peony Pavilion. The company has also been featured at many festivals and conferences across the world, including the Puppeteers of America’s National Festival; Puppet Power in Calgary, Canada; the DALA Festival in Seoul, South Korea; Taipei Children’s Theater Association’s Festival in Taiwan; and the Puppeteers of America’s Northeast Regional Festival.
The play Hao Bang-ah, Rabbit! was written and directed by Kuang-Yu Fong and Stephen Kaplin, and Stephen Kaplin was responsible for puppet design and construction. You can see a parade of their zodiac animals here.
“We are excited to welcome Chinese Theatre Works’ talented team to Flushing Town Hall to teach our young audiences about Lunar New Year traditions as we ring in the Year of the Rabbit,” says Flushing Town Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek. “Flushing, home to diverse Asian American and immigrant communities, is the best place in New York to celebrate one of the most joyful Asian holidays first-hand, and we highly recommend eating at one of the outstanding local Asian restaurants while you are in the neighborhood.”
Flushing Town Hall will be celebrating the Lunar New Year all month long. Additional programs preceding Chinese Theatre Works’ presentations earlier this month include the “Thump Thump” Rabbit Coloring Workshop on Saturday, January 21 at 3 PM and a special Lunar New Year Photo Exhibition which opens which a reception on January 21 and is on display until February 26.
Chinese Theatre Works will present two 40-minute performances of Hao Bang-ah, Rabbit! on Sunday, January 29 at 1 PM and 3 PM. Each performance is followed by a 45-minute post-performance workshop at 1:45 PM and 3:45 PM. Tickets (Performance ONLY) are $15/$10 for members, seniors, students, and children under 12. Tickets (Performance PLUS Workshop) are $22/$17 for members, seniors, students, and children under 12. All ages are welcome. Workshop space is limited (25 participants max). Tickets can be purchased here.
Other Related Events:
“Thump Thump” Rabbit Coloring Workshop
Saturday, January 21, 2023, 3:00 pm
In-Person Tickets: $12/$7 Members, Seniors, & Students w/ID
In celebration of the year of the rabbit, participants will color a rabbit painting together! During this family-friendly workshop, artist Stephanie Lee will guide guests step by step toward a finished rabbit painting. The artwork will be inspired by 19th-century Korean folk art depicting rabbits making medicine of immortality, under a cinnamon tree on a full moon.
Lunar New Year 2023 Photo Exhibition
Exhibition: Saturday, January 21 – Sunday, February 26
Opening Reception: Sat, Jan 21, 12 PM – 2 PM
Gallery Hours: Mon – Fri, 12 PM – 5 PM
Free Admission to Art Gallery
The 2023 Lunar New Year Photo Exhibition will feature work from Janice Chung, Cindy Trinh, and An Rong Xu.