A puppet shadow demonstration followed by an excerpt from Tall Keyaki Tree, a multidisciplinary shadow puppet show inspired by the Japanese novella “The Five-Storied Pagoda” written by Koda Rohan. This is a story about a highly skilled but unsuccessful carpenter Jubei who, because of his spiritual bond with the Kayaki tree, builds a five-storied pagoda that withstands typhoons and earthquakes. It is a shadow puppet piece which combines music, shadow puppets, projections, and dance, “it feels like a theatre version of an art house silent film…” The show is directed by Watoku Ueno, with music by Shu Odamura; and features puppeteer Christopher Ignacio.
WATOKU UENO is a New York based theatre artist, living in the Bronx. Since creating a shadow puppet show for his daughter’s 4th birthday, shadow puppet theatre became his profound love, as he is drawn to the world of light and shadow. Even though his daughter is now a college student, he still creates a show every year regardless of how many birthdays pass, and as he loves his daughter more and more...he continues this tradition….his next show The Tall Keyaki Tree received supported from The Jim Henson Foundation.
Watoku started his career at La MaMa, working as a technician and stage hand. He has travelled with Yara Arts group, La MaMa’s resident company, in Eastern Europe, Kyrgyzstan and Siberia to collaborate with local artists. Watoku is also the recipient of the NEA/TCG design fellowship, and was nominated, with Ping Chong + Co. for the American Theatre Wing award( presently the Henry Hewes Design Award) in Production Design and the second time for Notable Effects for his production of After the Rain at La MaMa.
La MaMa Kids
La MaMa Kids Online presents kids performances and hands-on workshops online, timed especially for “after school” viewing! La MaMa will continue to use emerging technologies to create a new venue for artistic expression that questions how art can function and how we as a society can survive challenging periods of history.
Presented by La MaMa and CultureHub, La MaMa is exploring ways to respond creatively to a situation that is potentially changing how we gather as a community in our theatres. La MaMa is working with CultureHub to provide online streaming of select productions and events on Howlround Theatre Commons.