November 5 & 6
11-12:00 p.m. Puppet & Its Double Theatre performs Mr. Ruraru
12:15-1:15 p.m. Happy Puppetry Company performs The Monkey King and The Love Story
November 6, 3-4 p.m.
Puppet & Its Double Theatre – November 3-4, 10 & 12:30 p.m.
Happy Puppetry Company – November 7-8, 10 & 12:30 p.m.
Following its first successful puppet festival in 2014, MOA is proud to announce the Taiwanese Puppet Festival happening November 5-6. MOA has invited The Happy Puppetry Company and Puppet & Its Double Theatre to Vancouver, where they will each showcase their traditional and contemporary approaches to puppet theatre respectively. The Taiwanese Puppet Festival is a featured event in Spotlight Taiwan, supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
How did this all happen? Dr. Jill Baird, curator of Education and Public Program at the MOA, was gracious enough to give me some time out of her busy schedule to shed a light on this question. She explained that it was a moment of chance in which she met the traveling Taiwanese puppet troupe who performed in Vancouver back in 2014 (not one of the two groups featured this time around). The troupe gifted some puppets to the museum and essentially opened a long-standing dialogue between the MOA and the world of Taiwanese puppetry. Dr. Baird met the Happy Puppetry Company and Puppet & Its Double Theatre while traveling to Taiwan and making connections. Well, it was a fruitful endeavour and one that audiences in Vancouver will remember for years to come.
The Happy Puppetry Company will be performing a double bill of classic Taiwanese tales The Monkey King and The Love Story with their use of colourful puppets featuring legendary warriors, spirits, and demons. Puppet & Its Double Theatre will perform a puppet-actor stage production of Mr. Ruraru, a non-verbal story of Japanese origins featuring puppets of all sizes, animated objects and even live actors.
On top of their November 5-6 performances, the two puppetry troupes will also showcase the techniques of their trade to schools in School shows. Puppet & Its Double Theatre will dazzle children of all ages November 3-4, the Happy Puppetry Company November 7-8. This is a wonderful initiative that I strongly encourage more institutions engage in! It is always a treat to allow children the chance to experience a part of a culture they may never have had the opportunity to stumble upon.
Another large component of this festival is the Cultural Exchange on November 6. The two visiting puppet troupes will spend two days in workshops with First Nations artist Connie Watts and will be performing an experimental work arising from their exchange. I am extremely excited to see what the three groups will create out of their whirlwind time together! Nothing like some improvised performing on the fly to really get the creative juices going!
I know it is this weekend but I really encourage any interested to take the trek out to the MOA and experience the Happy Puppetry Company and Puppet & Its Double Theatre! If you need more information, please visit the links below!
To learn more about the performance, please visit:
To learn more about the Happy Puppetry Company, please visit:
To learn more about the Puppet & Its Double Theatre, please visit: