'Puppetworks' Says It Cannot Survive Financially Without A Bused-In Audience

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The impact of the New York City school bus strike, which will soon be entering its fourth week, is not just hitting parents, children and bus drivers.

As CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported Thursday, it’s now impacting those who help make a city school field trip a lasting childhood memory.

After nearly 40 years as a great Park Slope tradition for kids city-wide, it may soon be curtains for Puppetworks.

Field trips to the marionette mecca from all five boroughs have become a casualty of the city school bus strike that just won’t end. Representatives of Puppetworks said it’s still booking plenty of birthday parties and private shows on the weekends, but can’t survive without all the school field trips that kept the tiny theater busy seven days a week.

“With 70 percent of the school groups gone, the public schools, it’s tough,” said Michael Leach of Puppetworks.

On Thursday, preschoolers from nearby Prospect Kids Academy walked to the theater to see an adaptation of the “Prince and the Magic Flute.”

But without buses to bring students from beyond the immediate area, the cord has been cut on what was always a booming and beloved business.

“I know it’s a great resource for the community. I know a lot of parents who love it here. I know a lot of school trips come here,” parent Matt Levy said.

If the puppet theater could pull strings in the school bus strike, who would it pressure to settle? Puppetworks is taking no sides.

“We have bus drivers who’ve been taking kids to us for 20 years. We love our bus drivers. I understand the money problems with the city,” Leach said.

It appears this beloved theater and the people who love the shows it showcases are the latest victims of labor pains.

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