Cathedral of St. John the Divine Blog

Who Makes our Halloween Extravaganza? REBECCA MERRILL OCTOBER 23, 2017

We are less than a week away from one of our favorite festive events: the annual Halloween Extravaganza! In addition to showcasing our Great Organ, which will accompany this year’s screening of the silent film The Phantom of the Opera, the Halloween Extravaganza celebrates Cathedral Artist in Residence Ralph Lee and the puppets of his Mettawee River Theatre Company.

Ralph Lee and Puppet
Credit: Bernie Nunez

Ralph Lee became Artistic Director of the Mettawee River Theatre Company in 1976, two years after staging his first outdoor production featuring giant puppets and masked creatures. Since then, he has helped create productions based on performance myths, trickster tales, Sufi stories, and legends and folklore from many cultures.

Lee’s involvement in Halloween traditions in New York City also extends to the city’s historic Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, the first of which he organized in 1974. He directed the parade until 1985.

In addition to the Halloween Extravaganza, Mettawee also hosts an original production every summer on the Cathedral’s Close.

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