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I Wan Jan Puppet Theatre Tours in USA this Summer

  • Date:2019-07-02

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 Theater is an acclaimed hand puppet troupe that led the revival of Bu Dai Xi, a traditional folk art that had declined with the advent of movies and television in Taiwan. Founded in 1931 by the highly-respected Taiwanese puppet master, Li Tien-lu (李天祿), 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 (drama of the palm of the hand, 掌中戲) or Bu-dai-xi (cloth bag drama, 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