While we’re talking about amazing shadow puppetry, this is another company that I saw for the first time at the San Fransisco puppetry festival back in 1993. Larry Reed’s Shadowlight does really ground breaking work involving using full human figures and multiple projectors to play with scale.

This is a sample of their Monkey King

tempestMRKAt the SF Puppetry Festival I volunteered to help with whatever was needed and was lucky enough to be assigned to the Shadowlight production of In Xanandu. This mostly meant I was a runner if they needed anything, but the upshot as that I got to watch the show from backstage. As a young puppeteer, this had a huge impact on me. This photo is of Miranda and Ferdinand from the production of Tempest we did at McCarter theater. I think you can see the influence.

If it interests you, here’s Part 1 of a two part documentary about their work, including behind the scenes shots.

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One Response

  1. Kelvin Kao

    This is cool. I actually was fortunate enough to have seen the Monkey King thing live when I went back to Taiwan in 2005. It was performed as part of the puppetry festival, though most of the festival focuses on Taiwanese glove and TV puppets, rather than shadow puppets. I found it to be a very interesting take on shadow puppets, bringing a different dimension that is zooming/scaling. I haven’t seen shadow puppets done that way before.

    Oh, and we were quite amused by how whiny the monk (the master of Monkey King) is all the time.