1. Giant mole costumes + a punk rock band = PARTY
2. Get your mole on with our pre-show activities, before the Saturday matinee. Learn more about moles and make your own animal mask to more fully experience the world of the show. Kids of all ages are welcome!
3. Quesne gives us a playful rendition of Plato’s infamous cave – and reminds us that the theatre is already a kind of cave. “The cave is a place of dreaming, open to the fantastical, but also ideal for reflecting on the darker and more mysterious aspects of the human.” Something to think about as you descend into the underground, down the grand staircase in the NYU Skirball lobby…
4. At the end of the show, get a sneak peak at whatever’s coming next from this inventive powerhouse – Quesne’s works function with a domino effect, and always end with a teaser for the next project, à la Marvel. Audiences first got a glimpse of the moles at the end of Swamp Club in 2014.


French theater director and visual artist Philippe Quesne invites you into a parallel universe where there are no humans and no words. In this mysterious underground world, larger-than-life moles are not solitary creatures, but the architects of something between a utopian community and a punk rock band.

“Mr. Quesne specializes in finding the marvelous in the minor, the awesome in the resolutely everyday.” — The New York Times


In this free event, the Moles will venture forth from NYU Skirball to explore the great outdoors and Greenwich Village landmarks. The public is invited to join in this informal parade as the Moles explore the NYU neighborhood.

Night of the Moles
FRI, SEP 13 & SAT, SEP 14 @ 7:30PM

A burrow. Seven giant moles emerge from cardboard tunnels. They dig, cook, draw, copulate, give birth, and even form a punk-rock band. A disconcerting microcosm that could only have come from Philippe Quesne’s imagination. Wordless theater of the ecological and philosophical underground, this is an improbable journey to the center of the earth.

Appropriate for ages 16+.

Afternoon of the Moles
SAT, Sep 14 @ 3PM

In this family-friendly performance, seven giant moles emerge form a cardboard tunnel, dig, cook, draw, fight giant earthworms, and form a punk band that rocks their underground world. There will be a pre-show activity for children and their families. Join us from 2pm to make animal masks!

Philippe Quesne studied fine arts, visual design, and stage design in Paris. In 2003, he founded Vivarium Studio. His many works, which have been presented to great acclaim internationally, combine scenography with visual art and performance. Since 2014, he has been artistic director of the Nanterre-Amandiers theatre in France. In his work, Quesne creates spaces that function like ecosystems, where the performers explore the dynamics within a community. In addition to his work for the theater, he creates performances and interventions in public spaces or natural sites and displays his installations in the context of exhibitions. In 2019, he was named artistic director for the Prague Quadriennal. nanterre-amandiers.com
Show More


The Moles is presented in cooperation with France’s Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers.

This project is supported by FACE Contemporary Theater, a program developed by FACE Foundation and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States with the support of the Florence Gould Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Institut français-Paris, the French Ministry of Culture, and private donors.

NYU Skirball’s educational and enrichment programming is made possible in part with generous support from Con Edison.

Show Less
The Moles
The Moles
The Moles
The Moles

Go Beyond

The Book of Delights by Ross Gay

Get ready for the NYU Skirball Book Club: Friday, Sept 13, 2019.

Prep School: The Moles

Readings, videos, interviews and more.