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I Wan Jan Puppet Theatre Tours in USA this Summer

Internationally acclaimed Taiwanese puppetry company - I Wan Jan Puppet Theatre 亦宛然掌中劇團 – tours to Boston, New York, Detroit and Ann Arbor this summer.

Supported by Ministry of Culture, Taiwan and presented by Puppet Showplace Theater (Boston), Flushing Town Hall (New York), Detroit Institute of Arts and Ann Arbor District Library, I Wan Jan will perform Cave of Fire and Cloud (火雲洞), A Chance Encounter (巧遇姻緣) and Wu-Song Fights A Tiger (武松打虎) with intricate puppets, expert manipulation, and lively music and will take your breath away

The traditional Cave of Fire and Cloud story is adapted from Journey to the West (西遊記). The high-energy, non-verbal episode includes exciting martial arts scenes. A Chance Encounter is puppetry version of a hero rescued a beauty drama with exquisite traditional hand puppet techniques. Wu-Song Fights A Tiger is a chapter in Water Margin (水滸傳), a Chinese novel considered one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.

I Wan Jan Puppet Theatre will host puppetry workshops at Sandwich Public Library (Boston) and Flushing Town Hall (New York), as well as participating in the Ann Arbor Art Fair. Puppeteers from I Wan Jan will demonstrate basic techniques of manipulating hand puppets for maximum drama. Participants will have a chance to use intricate hand puppets belonging to the troupe.

I Wan Jan Puppet Theatre is an acclaimed hand puppet troupe that turned a declining traditional folk art into a popular art form in Taiwan. Founded in 1931 by the highly-respected Taiwanese puppet master, Li Tien-lu, the fourth-generation Taiwanese hand puppet company is best known for its intricate puppet manipulation, which incorporates Peking opera-style techniques and lively classical Chinese music.

In addition to promoting hand puppetry in Taiwan, I Wan Jan also developed a storytelling style without Taiwanese dialogue. This has helped to make hand puppetry more accessible for global audiences, and I Wan Jan has performed in China, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, and the United States.

Hand puppet shows, also known as Zhan-zhong-xi (掌中戲) or Bu-dai-xi (布袋戲), have been a tradition in Taiwan for centuries. Traditional hand puppet performances are conducted by two teams: the “front stage” team, who operate the puppets, and the “back stage” team, who perform the music. The plays are typically adaptations from classical novels that incorporate history, mythology, and folk heroes.


July 13, Sat., 19:00
Puppet Showplace Theater
32 Station St, Brookline, MA 02445

July 14, Sun., 15:30
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY 11354

July 20, Sat., 14:00
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202

July 21, Sun., 14:00
Ann Arbor District Library
343 South Fifth Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104

Family Workshops

July 10, Wed., 18:30
Sandwich Public Library
142 Main Street Sandwich MA 02563

July 14, Sun., 16:30
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY 11354

Read more.

Four Taiwanese Films Not to Miss from the 2019 New York Asian Film Festival

The Taipei Cultural Center in New York is partnering with the essential annual  New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) to celebrate its 18th edition with a four-film selection that shines a bright light on Taiwan’s comedy cinema and genre output during the festival’s run from June 28 to July 14, plus audience Q&As following the shows.

Described by the NYAFF as “resolutely pop, accessible, and unapologetically fun in a way not normally associated with productions from the island better known for its art-house and experimental output,” this year’s Taiwan Cinema section will unlock the audiences’ imagination with heartfelt laughter and tears.

Highlight includes Huang Chao-liang’s Taipei Film Award-nominated HAN DAN, starring Cheng Jen-shuo (Gatao 2: Rise of the King); Hung Tzu-hsuan’s action genre circuit hit THE SCOUNDRELS; the madcap comedy based on the popular theater piece with the same title IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD SHOW; and the romantic tale SOMEONE IN THE CLOUDS, featuring a story of searching for the meaning of true love. Director Huang Chao-liang and co-director Mitch Lin and Gary Tseng will appear in person for HAN DAN and SOMEONE IN THE CLOUDS respectively to discuss their films.

As North America's leading festival of Asian cinema, the New York Asian Film Festival is presented by the New York Asian Film Foundation in collaboration with Film at Lincoln Center. This year’s Taiwan Cinema section takes place from June 30 through July 4 at FLC’s Walter Reade Theater and July 13 at SVA Theater, presented with the support of the Taipei Cultural Center in New York. For the full lineup and schedule, please visit

Screening Schedule and Film Description

Han Dan (寒單) | North American Premiere
Sunday, June 30, 3:30 PM @ Film at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater
* Q&A with Director Huang Chao-liang

Taiwan | 2019 | 125 Minutes | In Mandarin, Taiwanese w/English subtitles
Director: Huang Chao-liang   

An upstanding young man commits a reckless act that ends in life-changing tragedy. His doomed rival becomes his friend, only to become his rival again. Set against the tradition where men seek atonement by submitting themselves to ritualized firecracker attacks (as effigies of the deity Han Dan), this film not only reveals unique aspects of Taiwanese culture but its complex psyche as well. Featuring stunning cinematography and nuanced performances, Han Dan weaves universal themes into a novel, eye-opening moral tale.

The Scoundrels (狂徒) | North American Premiere 
Monday, July 1, 6:00 PM @ Film at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater

Taiwan | 2018 | 104 Minutes | In Mandarin w/ English subtitles
Directors: Hung Tzu-hsuan
Promising basketball star Rui lost it all when he beat up a spectator in a fit of rage. Now he barely gets by working shady part-time jobs. One night while trying to help an injured woman, he is hijacked and framed for robbery. Inextricably entwined with the real culprit, and haunted by a public that thinks he’s to blame, Rui falls into a downward spiral of crime, treachery, and violence. Known for his intricately choreographed short films, Hung Tzu-Hsuan makes his electrifying feature debut with this taut, action-packed thriller, marking him a talent to watch.

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Show (瘋狂電視台瘋電影) | North American Premiere 
Thursday, July 4, 12:30 PM @ Film at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater

Taiwan | 2019 | 103 Minutes | In Mandarin w/ English subtitles
Directors: Hsieh Nien-tsu 
Mr. Lo, the unscrupulous owner of Crazy TV, sets out to lower the channel’s ratings so he can sell it to mobster Mr. David for cheap and count his losses. He promotes failing producer Yeh to program director, and fires the staff. Yeh, his best friend, an aspiring actress, and a team of interns create inventive DIY programs, from weird kiddie shows to offbeat celebrity homages. Surprisingly viewership grows, but Mr. Lo has something else up his sleeve. And then things get really crazy in this madcap farce, a glorious tribute to the spirit of creativity.

Someone in the Clouds (真愛神出來) | International Premiere 
Saturday, July 13, 5:30 PM @ SVA Theater
* Q&A with Director Mitch Lin & Gary Tseng

Taiwan | 2018 | 100 Minutes | In Mandarin, Taiwanese w/ English subtitles
Directors: Mitch Lin and Gary Tseng 
Hsiao-pei carries on her family’s fortune telling tradition, almost exclusively giving young women love advice. She also runs her college’s tarot club through which she meets the playfully cocky Chiung-nan, who uses the cards to ask her out. A hilariously rocky romance ensues, replete with a clumsy seduction, an unexpected fire and both figurative and literal ball busting. A host of characters around them add to the fray on their search for the meaning of true love in this hysterical upheaval of the romcom where things are not always as predictable as they may seem.

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