Watch Leonardo! Trailer
Get a sneak peek at the show.

Leonardo! A Wonderful Show About a Terrible Monster

Manual Cinema
from Chicago, Illinois

June 4 – 26, 2022
Recommended Ages
For ages 4 – 7
All tickets $25
What Kind of Show?
Puppetry with live music; silly and clever
Running Time
60 minutes with no intermission
The New Victory Theater 209 W 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036

Also available on demand.
The show will be available to rent as of the first performance.

Select a Performance


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  • Audio Described Performance

    Live audio-description provided

  • Audio Described Performance

    Relaxed performance adapted for sensory sensitivities

  • Audio Described Performance

    Live Sign-Interpretation provided by partner organization Hands On.

  • Audio Described Performance

    Get to know the performers and creative team at a Talk-Back!

About the Show

Leonardo tries so hard to be scary. But… he just isn’t. When he searches far and wide for a friend to frighten, he discovers Sam, who is scared of anything and everything! With puppets, projections, live music and a story by none other than Your Pal Mo Willems, this performance will surprise you with its cinema-sized story about fright, feelings and friendship. See how multimedia movie magic gets made when Manual Cinema presents Leonardo! A Wonderful Show About a Terrible Monster.

Puppets and projections bring Mo Willems’ tale of a bungling monster to life.

Did You Know?

  1. Leonardo! received its virtual world premiere on March 15, 2021, via the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The stage production will come to life through live actors, 3D puppets, DIY cinema and immersive sound.
  2. Manual Cinema’s marriage of live feed cameras, projection screens and puppetry brings stories to life in real time at different scales, with all the intricate handheld work visible onstage combining in the projection above.
  3. Another show based on a beloved Mo Willems book—Elephant & Piggie’s We Are In a Play!—made its Off-Broadway premiere as part of our 2016-17 season.

About the Company

Manual Cinema combines handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques and innovative sound and music to create immersive stories for stage and screen. Using vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors and live feed cameras, the artists of Manual Cinema cross moviegoing with theatergoing, remaking the cinema experience with liveness, ingenuity and theatricality for the stage.

Creative Team

Inspired by the books Leonardo, The Terrible Monster and Sam, The Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World by Mo Willems

Sarah Fornace

Sarah Fornace and Drew Dir with Ben Kauffman

Drew Dir

2D Puppetry
Lizi Breit, Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace and Julia Miller

Costume Design
Maddy Lowe

Props Design
Lizi Breit and Julia Miller

Original Score and Sound Design
Ben Kauffman and Kyle Vegter

Megan Alrutz