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Get Ready for Chinese Shadow Puppet Theatre!

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One thing that makes a visit to The Children’s Museum so extraordinary is the chance to immerse your family in new ideas through hands-on adventures—all guided by our incredible actor-interpreters! This fall in Take Me There:® China, your family can experience China in a whole new way in Play a Part: Chinese Shadow Puppets.

In this engaging, hands-on program, children go behind the scenes of a Chinese shadow puppet theater show, helping the puppet master and his apprentice create and present a lively performance—complete with sound effects! Children will be part of the adventures of Monkey King as they learn about creating characters’ voices and movements, developing and playing sound effects with musical instruments, and manipulating puppets. After putting the finishing touches on the show, families will help perform the complete puppet show in People's Park for everyone to enjoy!

The Details

  • The “Play a Part: Chinese Shadow Puppets” program will be offered in fall 2014 beginning Sept. 9.
  • Tickets are free but space is limited. Tickets are available 5 minutes before the program begins.
  • The program last 35 minutes. For daily times, visit the museum’s website or check the sign at the front of the Take Me There gallery.

What Is Shadow Puppet Theatre?
Shadow puppetry is a popular type of storytelling that began in China 2,000 years ago and has spread to many other places around the world. Shadow puppets are flat figures cut from paper or another material. They usually have moving parts like heads, arms, and legs, which the puppeteer controls with sticks. Puppeteers work behind a translucent screen (a kind of fabric that lets light pass through). The screen is lit from behind, allowing the audience to see the puppets from the other side of the screen, but not the puppeteer.

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Who Is Monkey King?

Get ready to meet a star of stage, screen, and scroll! Monkey King is one of China’s most beloved fable characters—smart, fast, strong, and a little rebellious, he is a favorite of children and adults alike. Monkey King knows many spells and his powers include the ability to travel hundreds of miles in one somersault, to
magically transform his hairs into animals or objects, and the ability to instantly change his size. Monkey King first appeared in the 1500s in the classical Chinese novel Journey to the West. His adventures have been adapted into Chinese opera and shadow puppet productions, stage plays and musicals, animated and feature films, comics, manga, anime, and even video and arcade games. Monkey King is busy!

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Categories: China, Family Learning,
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