— Welcome the Year of the Rabbit with a family performance and workshop introducing audiences of all ages to Chinese New Year customs & traditions —

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

Lunar New Year events for calendar listings

“Thump Thump” Rabbit Coloring Workshop

Sat, Jan 21, 2023, 3 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: Sat, Jan 21 – Sun, Feb 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.


For the venue’s full schedule of 2023 events, visit: https://www.flushingtownhall.org/events

COVID Policy: 

Although as of March 7, 2022, New York City has relaxed its COVID policies for indoor arts and entertainment events, Flushing Town Hall will maintain its prior policy for the safety of its audiences, artists, and staff. This policy will remain in effect until further notice: Flushing Town Hall requires all visitors, performers, and staff to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 with matching identification. Additionally, masks will be required at all times. For more details on Flushing Town Hall’s Covid-safety measures and vaccine requirements, please visit: https://www.flushingtownhall.org/covid-safety.

Support Global Arts with a Gift Today!

All gifts of $50 or more give you exclusive Flushing Town Hall Circle of Friends membership benefits including a Smithsonian membership, ticket discounts, and more! Donations in any amount are appreciated to support the artists and the nonprofit cultural organization as they continue to provide programming and entertainment across New York and the world.


Flushing Town Hall is a not for profit organization and receives major support in 2022 from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim; The City of New York, Mayor Eric Adams; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Commissioner Laurie Cumbo; Queens Borough President Donovan Richards; The New York City Council, Speaker Adrienne E. Adams and New York City Council Members Sandra Ung, Tiffany Caban, Shekar Krishnan, Linda Lee, Vickie Paladino, Lynn Schulman, and Jessica Won; Howard Gilman Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, Guru Krupa Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.

To view current donor lists, please visit www.flushingtownhall.org/donor-listings

About Flushing Town Hall

Flushing Town Hall (FTH), a Smithsonian affiliate, presents multi-disciplinary global arts that engage and educate the global communities of Queens and New York City in order to foster mutual appreciation. As advocates of arts equity since 1979, we support local, immigrant, national, and international artists, developing partnerships and collaborations that enhance our efforts. As a member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), we serve to restore, manage and program the historic 1862 landmark on behalf of the City of New York. FTH celebrates the history of Queens as the home of Jazz, by presenting the finest in Jazz performance. We are committed to arts education and hands-on learning, for the arts-curious, arts enthusiasts, and professional artists. We serve one of the most diverse communities in the world and strive to uphold the legacy of inclusiveness that has defined our community since the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657.

Flushing Town Hall is a proud member of the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), a collective of 34 nonprofit museums, performing arts centers, historical societies, zoos, and botanical gardens across all five boroughs with a distinct private-public partnership with the City of New York and a commitment to serving all New Yorkers.

Land Acknowledgement:

Flushing Town Hall acknowledges that we are on the traditional land of the Matinecock People, one of the original tribes of New York, and the first people of Flushing, Queens. The Matinecock continue to live and work on this land to this day. Flushing Town Hall honors their elders who have stewarded this land throughout generations.