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Shadows + Strings Puppet Festival

UPDATE: This program is fully booked for September 2019. 

Back by popular demand—MOA’s Puppet Festival returns this September for one week only!

Puppets come to life at MOA for live, multicultural performances for school groups of all grades.

At the Shadows and Strings Puppet Festival, students enjoy a two-hour show that includes live theatrical acts with shadow, string and hand puppets from all over the world. Students will have the opportunity to engage with professional puppeteers who will share their rich knowledge of diverse puppetry traditions.

The show features marionette, Javanese shadow and hand puppet performances by local puppeteers Viktor Barkar, Sutrisno Hartana and Kellie Haines. Following a question-and-answer session, students will be able to interact with puppets firsthand to learn more about their histories and movements. Then, join the performers on a guided tour through MOA’s new exhibition—closing October 14—Shadows, Strings and Other Things: The Enchanting Theatre of Puppets.

Space is limited so book soon to guarantee your spot.

  • $10/student
  • Dates + times:
    • September 24 – 27, 2019 | 10 am – 12 pm

Teacher Resource Guides

The teacher and student resource guides for Shadows, Strings and Other Things: The Enchanting World of Puppets were created in collaboration with undergraduate and graduate students in Anthropology 518: Museum Methods, under the direction of the exhibition curator Dr. Nicola Levell and Curator of Education Dr. Jill Baird.

Teachers Resource Guide: Opera dei Pupi

Teachers Resource Guide: Punch & Judy

Teachers Resource Guide: Sri Lanka Puppets

Teachers Resource Guide: Museum Methods

Teachers Resource Guide: Portuguese Puppets

Teachers Resource Guide: Wayang kulit


About the Artists + Performances


Viktor Barkar was born and raised in Minsk, Belarus. He became interested in puppetry at the age of nine when he attended the State Puppet Theatre of Belarus for the first time. Ever since he has been captivated by this art form. Viktor is constantly looking for a new forms in puppetry. He has designed and made over 35 puppets for his own puppet plays.

Viktor will perform his marionette play, Four Sisters, about four  characters who grow up in a musically inclined family. Despite growing up together all four are quite different from each other. Each sister performs a musical number that reflects her personality, accompanied on her favorite musical instrument.

Sutrisno Hartana is a wayang kulit puppeteer, composer and arts educator. Wayang kulit is one popular performance tradition in Indonesia and other countries of Southeast Asia also known a shadow puppetry. Its roots are from India drawing from the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Plays are drawn from two very popular epic stories the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Puppets are created from buffalo hide, and painted on both sides. The puppeteer, called a dhalang, holds the intricately carved leather puppets up against a white cloth screen in front of where he sitting, and a bright light that is burning above his head forms shadows of the puppets on the screen.

Sutrisno, who is also known as dhalang Mas Lurah Lebda Swara, will present some important elements of wayang puppets performance including puppets’ character, how to manipulate and share the story for the puppets. Students will be given opportunities to interact with the puppets.

Kellie Haines started talking to her puppets at the age of eight and when they started talking back, she knew she was hooked. “Puppets have stories to tell,” she says, “and they can bring out voices and characters from inside us that we didn’t know were there.” Kellie’s love for storytelling and different types of puppets from across the world has brought her to Shadows, Strings and Other Things at MOA.

Kellie will be will be working with students to show puppets from different traditions. She will demonstrate how the puppets move, teach some basic puppetry techniques and provide students with hands-on experience with the puppets from MOA’s teaching collection.