Coming Up!

Visit our Booking page to learn more about bringing Banners & Cranks to your community...

BANNERS & CRANKS TOOK A BREATHER after the hurricane and earthquake in Puerto Rico in 2018 and 2019, followed by the Covid epidemic  - but we bravely look towards 2024 and the return of the festival! Help us get there: bring Banners & Cranks to your community!

2017 Events:

BANNERS & CRANKS at ARTYARD in Frenchtown, NJ., November 17th-19th, 2017. Frenchtown's first ever cantastoria festival brought illuminating lectures, riotous tales, and beautiful banners to an enthusiastic audience of new cantastoria and cranky converts! The programs featured cantastoria and crankies by Lindsey McCaw, Gregory Corbino, Deborah Hunt, Meredith Holch, Jenny Romaine and Ben Kline, Clare Dolan, and the Boxcutter Collective: Sam Wilson, Jason Hicks, Joe Therrien, Lily Paulina, and Marlee Miller, with performance help from Jennifer Miller and Amelia Castillo and pre-and-post show music by Schuyler Thum.

Click HERE for photos


CLOSED CASKET  at LINKS Hall in Chicago, August 4th-6th, 2017 -  a marathon performance of  all of the poems of Charles Baudelaire's "Les Fleurs du Mals" made into crankies and performed by over 30 different musicians over 2 days in two languages created by Dave Buchen (co-curator of Banners & Cranks) and produced by Theater Oobleck. Over the past seven years Oobleck has produced 12 episodes of Baudelaire in a Box, each featuring hand-cranked boxed panoramas drawn and painted by artist Dave Buchen and scored with original music and performed by an ensemble of musicians and singers. Many of the compositions were set to original translations written expressly for this project. (see Theater Oobleck for more details about the shows.)

Click HERE for photos


BALLARD BANNERS & CRANKS  at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, Storrs, CT, April 14th & 15th, 2017. We brought more raucous, beautiful and incendiary cantastoria and cranky shows to Storrs, CT, plus a gaggle of family shows for children and the adults who love them. The programs featured cantastoria and crankies by Modern Times Theater, Jason Hicks and the Semi-Upright Puppet Company, Gregory Corbino, Sam Wilson and Joe Therrien, Meredith Holch, Anna Patton, Great Small Works, Clare Dolan and Erica Heilman, Felice Amato, Shane McNeil, David Buchen, and the Bread and Puppet Theater.

Click HERE for photos


also this past spring:

BANNERS & CRANK EXHIBITION at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, Storrs, CT, February 23rd - June 19th, 2017. (Opening Celebration February 23rd @5:00pm) Cantastoria and crankies are forms of sung picture story-telling, tracing their origins from 6th-century India. Paintings mounted on sticks, flipped over and revealed, or unfurled on scrolls and moved by means of a crank­ – these performing objects were precursors to the popular puppet traditions of many countries. Today, even as advanced electronic technology becomes more and more integral to popular media and culture, a new dynamic engagement with the simple mechanical cranky and cantastoria has blossomed among contemporary artists, activists, puppeteers and musicians, who infuse this old form with diverse new content and bold variations in technique. This exhibition features examples of a multitude of cantastoria banners and crankies from new young puppet theater companies, activist educators, folk musicians, visual artists, playwrights, and students.

Photo gallery and video coming soon...

In 2016:

BANNERS & CRANKS  in San Juan, Puerto Rico, April 15th-16th, 2016, San Juan's third Banners & Cranks featured performances by Deborah Hunt, Dave Buchen, Julio Cesar Morales, Colectivo Columpio, Melissa Rodrguez, Alfonzo Nieves, Clare Dolan with live music by La Exitosa!!

Photo gallery and video coming soon...

In 2015:

BANNERS & CRANKS in Detroit, November 19TH-22nd, 2015. Detroit experienced its first ever Banners and Cranks Festival, three days of raucous, beautiful and incendiary cantastoria and cranky shows at different locations throughout the city, plus an illustrated musical lecture on November 19th to introduce the uninitiated to this picture-and-music based performance form that has its roots in ancient India. The fest featured modern-day cantastoria and cranky artists from Michigan, New York, Vermont, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, & Canada.

Click HERE to see photos of the fest...