Tiger Tales

Drawing on China’s two-thousand-year history of shadow puppetry, Tiger Tales, features an artful blend of Eastern and Western, ancient and contemporary techniques that are the hallmark of all CTW productions. It is one of our most popular family shows that excites audiences of all ages.

Tiger Tales contains a rich mix of Chinese cultural wisdom and language. A wise old rabbit recounts stories from her eventful life to her young granddaughter– including how she came to be the Prime Minister to Tiger, the ever-hungry jungle king. Four linked tales, using a live storyteller and images based on antique Chinese leather shadow figures, trace Tiger’s sudden rise and disastrous fall and impart humorous lessons on survival for the small and powerless in today’s modern jungle. The stories are based on various old Chinese idioms such as, “ little doesn’t mean weaker” (以小制大), “A turtledove takes over the nest of a magpie” (鳩佔鵲巢), “Creating disaster by raising a Tiger”;(養虎為患), and “Escaping from the Tiger’s mouth” (虎口餘生).

It has been widely acclaimed and performed in many cities across the United States, South Korea, Taiwan and China including at the 2005 First International Shadow Play Festival in Tangshan, China (Best Performance, Best Short Plays, and Best Voice-Over Narration) and at the 2009 Shanghai International Puppet Festival (Best Directing, Best Puppet Design and Arts Innovation).

Program Requirements:

Tiger Tales is suitable for just about any size theater or performance space. It is played on an overhead projector, which creates large colorful moving images upon any white wall or media screen. The show is performed in English accompanied by traditional Chinese music. The complete “Tiger Tales” program runs an hour including a short introduction to shadow puppetry and a post-show Q&A. The program can also be shorten to meet any presenters needs. Tiger Tale can also be presented as a school program for grades 3 and up.

Production Credits: 

Writers: Kuang-Yu Fong, Stephen Kaplin and Ron Sopyla

Director: Kuang-Yu Fong.

Designed by Stephen Kaplin- Based on figures from the Pauline Benton Collection

Storyteller:  Stephen Kaplin

Puppeteers: Jing Shan, Harrison Greene, Kuang-Yu Fong, Charlie Santos