Josh Rice

JOSH RICE is a multidisciplinary theatre artist specializing in puppetry & improvisation. He makes work that is at once playful, absurd, and tragic, incorporating simple performer-driven spectacle, puppetry, live music, improvisation, and audience interaction. His work is heavily influenced by his life-long fandom of professional wrestling, comedy, and his training as an improviser. Kayfabe is the recipient of a 2024 Jim Henson Foundation Production Grant, a 2023 Jim Henson Foundation Workshop Grant, a 2023 Arts Council for Wyoming County (ACWC) Flash Grant, a 2022 New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Grant, and 2022 ACWC Community Arts Grant. Original puppetry work includes The Marooned at New York State Puppet Festival and Dixon Place Puppet BloK; The VaudeVillains and Composite Portrait at La MaMa Puppet Slam; The Tempest, directed at Shake on the Lake and Sarah Lawrence College. He adapted, designed & directed Shake on the Lake’s puppet-infused A Christmas Carol.

Puppetry Performance Credits: Chimpanzee by Nick Lehane (Flipside Festival, Singapore); Akutugawa by Tom Lee & Koryu Nishikawa V (Japan Society NYC, Chicago Puppet Festival, U.S. Tour, Japan Tour); Dan Hurlin’s Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed (Bard SummerScape, Holland Festival); Shank’s Mare by Tom Lee & Koryu Nishikawa V (NYSPF, Paris, Chicago Int’t Puppet Festival 2019, La MaMa, Japan tour, Hawaii tour, U.S. tour); Petrushka with the NY Philharmonic Orchestra (The Barbican) The Scarlet Ibis (Prototype, HERE Arts); and Janie Geiser’s Reptile Under the Flowers (St. Ann’s Warehouse). Josh is the Founder & Producing Artistic Director of the New York State Puppet Festival (NYSPF). Since 2018, the biennial festival of puppetry in his rural hometown of Perry, NY has programmed national and international artists for performances, exhibitions, film screenings, and workshops, including Bread & Puppet Theater, Dan Hurlin, Koryu Nishikawa V, Tom Lee, Jeghetto, Sifiso Mabena, Leah Ogawa, Trusty Sidekick Theatre Co, Concrete Temple Theatre and Andy Manjuck & Dorothy James, among others. Additional curating credits include NYSPF@Home Streaming Puppetry Series and Puppet BloK at Dixon Place. He is the founder and host of The Puppet Pod!, an interview- based podcast with puppetry artists.  Josh is full-time Faculty at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, MFA, Sarah Lawrence College. More at

Playhouse Engagements

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