New York | 1h 15m | Already closed

Ship of Fools

From 6 critic and 2 member reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Funny, Confusing, Quirky, Thought-provoking

About the show

HERE Arts Center presents a multi-disciplinary theater piece examining the age-old practice of pathologizing women. More…

In this experimental performance, audiences travel through re-imagined moments in history that are interrupted by flashes of jarring fantasy which turn the narrative on its head. Fusing live music, puppetry, and movement, and drawing inspiration from poignant sources like Marilyn Monroe’s diary and speeches by female celebrities, 'Ship of Fools' is an intimate, topsy-turvy journey that spotlights women’s voices. Part of HARP, the HERE Artist Residency Program. Note: Only 20 seats available per performance!  


“Visual artist and puppeteer Jessica Scott navigates through a satiric and fascinating new media ‘seascape’ with a dysfunctional ship’s crew, albeit all women. ‘Ship of Fools’ uses nightmare structure, intentionally drawing from Book VI of Plato’s ‘Republic’ (from whence its title came), Bosch imagery and other surreal allegories, depicting the fine line between heroines and madness. Scott tackles misogyny in a multimedia tour de force where past issues are not so different from ones today.” Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"An expansion of what theatre and performance can be. Using live music, spoken word poetry, puppetry, movement and a unique visual design, we travel through re-imagined moments in history...The ideas, images, and concepts floated before us are sometimes obscure and others more straightforward. Some are powerfully clear and some sailed over my head...We leave after our voyage with a wider world view, surviving the journey, and better for it." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Because 'Ship of Fools' is such a sensory overload of media, the takeaway is more experience-based than story-centric...While it’s difficult in the production’s 75-minute run time to fully wrap one’s mind around some of the very profound and important statements being made, the means of delivering the message is impressive. Scott has done innovative work with her puppetry and imaginings...It’s a stimulating piece that throws so many elements at us...We’re left with a lot to think about." Full Review

NY Theatre Guide

"Following days after Michelle Obama’s emotional condemnation of sexual and verbal harassment, the timing of 'Ship of Fools' couldn’t be better...'Ship of Fools' isn’t a linear history of feminism. It explores perceived concepts of female madness and illness...The 'fun house' concept is extremely effective, causing its desired disorientation...'Ship of Fools'' most powerful moments are contemporary...But Scott and her colleagues do not end their journey in despair." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"This immersive piece explores society’s misconceptions of women and 'madness' in ways so new and so overwhelming it makes the entire audience spin...Sometimes there is so much going on that it borders on sensory overload. Certain scenes try to feature words over visuals, but because there is still so much movement around the space, words can get lost in the commotion...Structurally, 'Ship of Fools' may be imperfect. But it’s impossible to ignore how much this show accomplishes." Full Review

Off Off Online

"On the one hand, it is a unique combination of original music, puppetry, video, and live action, yet on the other it comes across as disjointed and meaningless...The audience is seated on a platform that moves left or right, and sometimes rotates completely, giving the performers time to set up the next vignette on the perimeter. The challenge of this production is that it is a series of quirky, random scenes with little, if any, cohesiveness." Full Review

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if you like puppetry, don't need straight story, you are open to feminism. show is pretty strange, about women and labels of madness in history

Don't see it if you are an misogynist, you dont like experimental theater or puppets

Ambitious, Confusing, Dizzying, Great acting, Funny

See it if you wanna laught a lot

Don't see it if you're looking for serious stuff

Cast & Creatives (14)