The Shadow Puppet Theatre of Malaysia

A Study of Wayang Kulit with Performance Scripts and Puppet Designs


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About the Book

This comprehensive book explores the Malaysian form of shadow puppet theatre, highlighting its unique nature within the context of Southeast Asian and Asian shadow puppet theatre traditions. Intended for a Western audience not familiar with Asian performance and practices, the text serves as a bridge to this highly imaginative form. An in-depth examination of the Malaysian puppet tradition is provided, as well as performance scripts, designs for puppet characters, instructions for creating a shadow screen, and easy directions for performance. Another section then considers the practical, pedagogical, and ethical issues that arise in the teaching of this art.

About the Author(s)

Beth Osnes is a professor and director of graduate studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She has published numerous articles on the traditional performing arts of Southeast Asia.

Bibliographic Details

Beth Osnes
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: 46 photos, 34 illustrations, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4838-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5792-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Preface      1

Introduction      7

One: The Shadow Puppet Theatre in Southeast Asia      13

Two: The Stories of the Malaysian Shadow Puppet Theatre      32

Three: The Shadow Puppet Theatre in Performance      51

Four: Five Scripts      94

Five: Teaching and Performing Malaysian Shadow Puppet Theatre      139

Afterword: July 2008      157

Appendix: Puppet Designs Used in Scripts      169

Chapter Notes      183

Bibliography      187

Index      193

Book Reviews & Awards

“Demonstrating the skills of a seasoned storyteller, Osnes weaves a heartfelt narrative with scholarly research into the cultural history of Wayang Kulit, attending to the technical details of its performance while observing the communal spirit and traditional values of the art form’s original practitioners”—Theatre Journal.