The Birth of Monkey King (Premiere 2004)

Two overhead projectors and a live storyteller vividly bring to life one of the great characters of Chinese literature and stage. Based on the 17th-century novel, Journey to the West, The Birth of Monkey King tells the story of Sun Wu Kung, a.k.a. Handsome Monkey King, and follows his exploits as a powerful nature spirit, a shape-shifting martial artist and a cosmic prankster. As he gathers enormous superpower and shakes the foundations of Heaven he becomes such a menace that the Buddha finally must trick him into submission. The production features dozens of figures based on antique Chinese shadow puppets, projected into brilliant, cinematic imagery.

The Birth of Monkey King debuted in 2004 and has since been performed at venues including Santa Fe Opera (NM), International Children’s Theater Festival (WA), and Children’s Museum of Richmond (VA).

Production Credits:

Writers, Directors: Kuang-Yu Fong, Stephen Kaplin

Puppet Design: Stephen Kaplin

Performers: Jiyuan He, Jing Shan, Jin Shan, Kuang-Yu Fong, Stephen Kaplin