Manteo family puppet theater



Example of a Manteo family notebook with scripts from the cycle of the Storia dei paladini di Francia:


Additional notebooks will be added in due course. I would ideally like to also include transcriptions (and translations) of the notebooks on this site since the increased legibility and the possibility of conducting word searches will make the scripts more accessible for scholarly research, coursework, and the general public. If you are interested in transcribing (or translating) any of the notebooks that are on-line, please contact me at




The Manteo family performs in a brief scene from Godfather II (1974):

A Mafia boss walking through the streets of New York City’s Little Italy looks upon an outdoor puppet theater performance and remarks that the action of two knights wielding swords is too violent for him. Short videoclip of the scene.


Papa Manteo’s Sicilian Marionettes Facebook group


Tony De Nonno’s prize-winning documentary It’s One Family: Knock on Wood (1982) features Agrippino’s son Michael Manteo both on stage and in the workshop along with his son Pino and sister Ida.


Related articles:

Lois Adler. “The Manteo Family’s Sicilian Puppets.” The Drama Review: TDR, Vol. 20, No. 2, American Theatre Issue (June, 1976), pp. 25-30.

Eleanor Blau. “Renaissance of Puppet Shows for Grown-Ups.” New York Times. May 14, 1982.

Jonathan Mandell. “Soap Opera of the Dolls. A Legacy of Wood and Blood.” New York Newsday. August 7, 1991, pp. 49, 56-57, 73.

Laura Caparrotti. “La dinastia dei pupari d’America.” Oggi. March 17, 1997. p. 27. Part of a larger article “Pupi a Manhattan.”

Literary Encyclopedia article on Agrippino Manteo (Jo Ann Cavallo)


Other Sicilian puppet theaters in New York City:

Star Theater (link to article in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York. December 3, 1899, p. 7)