Shadows, rods, masks combine in the Indonesian wayang where human actors emulate puppets. The solo performer-dalang is the center. Wayang has inspired numerous intercultural transformation, collaborations, and innovations including those of Julie Taymor (Lion King), Larry Reed (Feathers of Fire, Tempest), etc. An overview of Balinese/Javanese shadow puppets (wayang kulit) will be contrasted with doll rod puppets/mask of West Java (Sunda) (wayang golek/topeng).
Slide introduction and figure construction will lead into manipulation techniques and character voice/movement workshop, techniques which are easily adapted to Greek myths, fairytales, or Shakespeare.
Philosophical ideas of how imbalance in the world is “reset” by a puppetmaster who embodies the macrocosm through the microcosm (puppet theatre) via these different figures and energies will be clarified. Adaptability of the philosophical ideas as well as entertainment dimensions as laid out in the Dharma Pawayangan (Book of the Puppet Master) will be shared. Puppeteers read the “Book of the World” ( as Dalang Kanda Buana) giving them power over the cosmos. This workshop will explain, prepare, and invite American puppeteers to the April 2020 World Puppetry Festival in Bali.
Kathy Foley is Professor of Theatre at the University of California, Santa Cruz and President of UNIMA-USA, serving on the Publications and the Research Commissions of UNIMA-International. She is past editor of ASIAN THEATRE JOURNAL and trained in mask and puppetry in the Sundanese region of Indonesia performing in the prestigious all Indonesia National Wayang Festival and at the Smithsonian Freer Gallery. Puppet plays include Farewell to Manzanar (with Jeannie and Jim Houston), Baba (with Belle Yang) and Fox Hunts and Freedom Fighters (with Chan Park). She is also a Punch and Judy professor.
I Nyoman Sedana is a professor of the puppetry division at Institute Seni Indonesia (Indonesian Institute of the Arts) in Denpasar Bali and comes from a noted Balinese family of mask dancers. He trained in Bali both in academic and traditional and has performed internationally for many years. His PhD is from University of Georgia. He and his students do both traditional and experimental performance (including puppet Shakespeares. He has taught at UCSC, Brown, University of Georgia, Butler University, Univ. Essex and Royal Holloway (UK). He is on the planning committee for the upcoming World Puppetry Festival (April 2020) in Bali.