October 31 – October 31


@theater_for_the_new_city Theater for the New City is hosting the spooky, spectacular Halloween Ball and Costume Contest this Halloween, October 31st🎃 There will be shows the whole day going until midnight, but for now, enjoy this dance while you wait😈#theaterforthenewcity #TNC #theater #nyc #Halloween #costume ♬ original sound – Theater_For_The_New_City


NEW YORK, October 1 — Theater for the New City (TNC) will emphasize Covid safety in this year’s Village Halloween Costume Ball, presenting a hybrid (indoor/outdoor) celebration on October 31 to delight its community, young and old, and to celebrate the creativity that comes with the season.  A large outdoor frolic will be held from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM on East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues (or if it rains, in a big tent), featuring performances, a costume competition and dancing to swing and Latin bands. This will be followed by indoor performances from 8:00 PM to midnight in TNC’s large Johnson Theater. Admission will be free throughout the festival but donations will be gratefully accepted.

TNC has presented a Village Halloween Costume Ball annually since 1976. Traditionally, the celebration 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. In 2020, due to the Covid shutdown, TNC’s Halloween tradition was maintained by presenting the entire event virtually. Last year, it was mounted entirely outdoors.  This year, TNC aims to capture the event’s intensity and traditional magic by bringing some of it back inside while maximizing Covid safety for both performers and attendees.  TNC has installed Verve Filters in its HVAC system to maintain good air quality in the theater.

You’ve heard of The Twist, The Mashed Potato, The Loco-Motion, The Fly?  As part of the afternoon’s musical events, TNC artists, in collaboration with costumed revelers from the neighborhood, will create a new dance for Halloween called “The Spotted Lantern Squish.”

L-R: Asher Cohen, Terry Lee King and Danielle Aziza demonstrate new dance, “The Spotted Lantern Squish.” Photo by Jonathan Slaff

(as of September 27)


3:30 – 4:30 PM
Cobu Kids, Yip Harburg Rainbow Troupe, Glitter Kitty, Matt Angel & Rob Varkony, Whimsical Hips Belly Dance led by Carol Tandava, John Grimaldi (juggling with fire), Elizabeth Ruf.

4:30-5:45 PM
Dancing in the street with Art Lillard’s Heavenly Big Band, a 17 piece swing orchestra performing an extensive repertoire of songs from swing to samba to jazz ballad to bossa nova with a swinging singing soloist.

5:45-6:30 PM
Costume judging and prizes with the “Monsters and Miracles Costume Parade.” All costumed attendees are invited to march past a panel of celebrity judgesAdult winners will receive one-year passes to TNC and a bottle of Prosecco; children get candy. Attendees will be judged in such categories as “Most Booster-Shot,”  “Most Testosteroned,” and “Most Inflationed.”  Emceed by T. Scott Lilly.

6:30-7:45 PM
Dancing resumes with Mr. Pablo’s Latin Dance Band, a five-piece fusion band mixing Salsa, Samba and Flamenco with Rock, Reggae and Funk.

7:45 – 8:00 PM
“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.


A succession of free, live, 10-minute performances staged in TNC’s Johnson Theater.  The growing list of performers includes F. Murray Abraham, Phoebe Legere, Penny Arcade, Cobu (all-female Japanese Taiko drumming and dance troupe), Peter Dizozza, Vinie Burrows (performing “The Tell Tale Heart”), The Witcherly Sisters, Zero Boy, Bina Sharif, Flamenco singer/dancer Inma Heredia, Danielle Aziza (performance artist), TNC Street Theater Company in an excerpt from “Teacher! Teacher! I Love You!,” Carol Tandava (Belly Dance), Peter Dizozza, Star 69, Wise Guise, Elisa Blynn, Ellen Steier, William Electric Black, Lei Zhou, Lissa Moira Scream Contest, Richard West.

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.

Theater for the New City ( is located at 155 First Avenue, at the corner of East Tenth Street. Reservations are optional. The TNC box office number is (212) 254-1109.


COVID Protocol:
As of September 26th, 2022 , we are no longer requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for our audience upon entry.
Wearing of masks is suggested in the lobby, restrooms and performance spaces at Theater for the New City, but they are not required.