TNC’s NYC Village Halloween Costume Ball Continues in 2021 Outdoors

    Theater For The New City’s Village Halloween Costume Ball Moves Outside October 31

    Sunday, October 31

    East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues

    NEW YORK — Theater for the New City (TNC) has presented its Village Halloween Costume Ball annually since 1976. With safety paramount this year, the fete will take place October 31 as an open-air celebration outside the theater, on East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues.  A large tent will provide rain protection.  Performances, a costume competition and dancing to the music of swing and Latin bands are planned.  Events are scheduled from 2:00 PM to 11:00 PM.  Admission is free but donations will be gratefully accepted.  No reservations are necessary.  The entire public is invited.

    2:00 PM

    A sizzling hour of entertainment begins with Cobu, the all-female Japanese Taiko drumming and dance troupe led by Yako Miyamoto with Ayaha Otsuka, Mayu Yamashita, Micro Fukuyama and Kana Matsui.  Also: musical selections from this summer’s TNC Street Theater; juggling by John Grimaldi with clubs, rings and fire; Yip Harburg Rainbow Troupe; Glitter Kitty, Justine J. Hall; Elizabeth Ruf, Laraine Goodman and her Mad Tappers.

    A table of face-painting by Litza Colon will be provided to keep the children happy from 2:00 to 7:00. Trick-or-treaters will receive wrapped candy.

    3:00 PM-4:30 PM

    Dancing in the street with Art Lillard’s Heavenly Big Band, a 17 piece swing orchestra.

    4:30-5:30 PM

    Costume judging and prizes with the “Monsters and Miracles Costume Parade.” All costumed attendees are invited to march past a panel of celebrity judgesWinners will receive one-year passes to TNC and a bottle of Moet Chandon champagne. Attendees will be judged in such categories as “Most Booster-Shot,” “Most Stimulus Packaged,” “Most Flood Controlled,” “Most Welcoming,” “Most Ozoned,” “Most Demilitarized,” “Most Solar,” “Most Herd Immunity” and “Most Economical.”  Emceed by T. Scott Lilly.

    5:30 – 7:00 PM

    Dancing resumes with Mr. Pablo’s Latin Dance Band.


    “The Red and Black Masque,” an annual Medieval ritual show written by Arthur Sainer, scored by David Tice and directed by Crystal Field which is performed by torchlight.  The audience will be invited to participate.7:30 to 11:00 PMChop Shop Theater– a succession of free, live, 10-minute performances staged in the theater’s set shop for audiences outside who watch through an open garage door on East Tenth Street.  The theater’s set shop is outfitted with an elaborate set by Mark Marcante and Litza Colon, full stage lighting by Alexander Bartenieff and a four-mic sound system.  This attraction was invented last year for TNC’s Halloween celebration and played 23 weekly installments throughout the winter.  The growing list of performers includes F. Murray Abraham, Cobu, the all-female Japanese Taiko drumming and dance troupe; Peter Dizzoza, Vinie Burrows (reading “The Tell Tale Heart”), Zero Boy, James Rado and David Lewis, Lei Zhou, Yip Harburg Rainbow Troupe, Bina Sharif, Flamenco singer/dancer Inma Heredia, Ian Gordon, Katherine Adamenko, David Lewis, a Halloween Horror Montage starring William Broderick and Lissa Moira, Carol Tendava Belly Dance, Zero Boy, Danielle Aziza.  Production director is Mark Marcante.


    From 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM, attendees can enjoy libations of beer, wine, cider and water (with or without chips) from an inside bar that will be selling through doors on East Tenth Street to the sidewalk, where a section will be roped off with chairs for revelers’ seating.Neighborhood bars and restaurants are devising new original drinks–$3 to $5 TNC Halloween Specials–for patrons who can show a TNC Halloween Program.  TNC’s neighbors are always in the mix!


    Neighbors will display objects to be given away free, including children’s toys, baby clothes and household items.  Donations optional. TNC will have its own giveaway table.  Donations are always appreciated.


    Since its beginning in 1976, TNC’s Halloween extravaganza has been a point of origin for many of the City’s most original entertainers. Six full-length plays have grown out of playlets written for the fest and it is probable that the theatrical movement in Performance Art began there. It has been a launching pad for such formative artists as Paul Zaloom, Alice Farley, Bloolips, The Red Mole, Penny Arcade, Basil Twist and Alien Comic Tom Murrin.  Each year, many acts, skits, sketches, and skadoodles go on to become the basis of larger theater works. It is also interesting to note that TNC originated the Village Halloween Parade as part of its annual Halloween Ball. The procession wound its way through the Village from TNC’s second home at the corner of Jane and West Streets to Washington Square Park. Traditionally, the Village Halloween Costume Ball takes up every available inch (both floors) of TNC’s multi-theater complex at 155 First Avenue (the former First Avenue Retail Market building) and adjoining outdoor spaces. Last year, due to the Covid shutdown, it was only presented virtually.  This year, TNC transitions to live performances using the outside portion of its building on E. 10th Street, on the road to next year when overflowing inside performances will return.Theater for the New City is located at 155 First Avenue, at the corner of East Tenth Street. Reservations are not necessary. The TNC box office number is (212) 254-1109.