Book of Songs (Premiere 2006)

Book of Songs presents poetry from across the span of China’s 3000-year literary history, interpreted through traditional Chinese and contemporary Western performing arts, exploring the tensions between ancient and modern, war and peace, sacred and profane, city and nature and woven into a visual and musical score that slides freely between genres of puppetry and performance as it turns smoothly from humorous to serious subjects. The poems used in Book of Songs include children’s songs, folk songs and “mountain love-calling” songs, works by the poets Wang Wei and Li Bai of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), and contemporary pop songs reflecting twentieth-century Chinese experience. Suitable for family or adult audience, the production encompasses a variety of puppetry techniques – traditional Sha’anxi style shadow, overhead projection, Taiwanese hand puppets, masks, and Western rod and toy theater – as well as Peking opera.

Book of Songs debuted in 2006 and has since been performed at venues including Harry De Jur Playhouse (NYC).

Production Credits:

Directors: Kuang-Yu Fong, Stephen Kaplin

Puppet Design: Stephen Kaplin

Performers: Patrick Fan, Jiyuan He, Jing Shan, Dong Xie, Kuang-Yu Fong, Stephen Kaplin

Music: Yukio Tsuji, Zhisheng Zhang