Sichuan Shadow Theater: Messages from Hell Courts 2 December, 2017 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Join First Saturday PDX for an illustrated lecture and demonstration of Sichuan Shadow Theater, a rich and multi layered art form combining story telling with intricate puppetry, enchanting both adults and children.
Shadow Theater is a type of regional opera once popular throughout China. With brilliantly colored puppets backlit on a screen, troupes of puppeteers set up stages and performed fantastic tales accompanied by singers and musicians. In Sichuan province, traditional shadow shows entertained both rural and urban audiences well into the 20th century, encouraging them to do good and avoid evil. Of the hundreds of plays, many popular ones involved journeying through Hell, envisioned as a bureaucratic court system that was amazingly similar to the imperial administrative structure for enforcing social justice. A unique shadow theater collection from Chengdu exemplifies this journey, revealing how popular beliefs intersect with traditional entertainment. To gain a sense of this art form, Mary Hirsch will bring a selection of puppets to life during the program.
Mary Hirsch is an independent scholar, translator of Chinese shadow theater, and former Curatorial Assistant at the Seattle Asian Art Museum
(For an enlarged view: click on image on PC, or pinch to zoom on mobile devices)
Our educational program series has been developed in collaboration with PSU’s Institute for Asian Studies, and is free and open to the public. First Saturday PDX full season schedule and descriptions available HERE