September 04, 2012

Papermoon Puppet Theatre presents 'Mwathirika'

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Papermoon Puppet Theatre will present "Mwathirika" Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the Harvey Powers Theatre in Coleman Hall at Bucknell University.

Papermoon Puppet Theatre is a new type of performance art that blends fine arts and theater into one show. "Mwathirika" is set in 1965, when thousands of Indonesians were jailed and murdered for allegedly embracing communism. The performance is intended for mature audiences.

Kathryn Maguet, executive director of the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, says, "The remarkably gifted Papermoon Puppet Theatre shares the story of Indonesia's 'Year of Living Dangerously' through imaginative Indonesian puppetry traditions, combined with bunraku and kumura ningyo traditions of Japan, to produce a richly expressive theatrical experience which is enchanting, magical and beguiling."

She continues, "This is truly a rare opportunity to experience this powerful work that explores Indonesia's recent past. We are excited to be a part of the first U.S. tour by this world-renowned company and hope that audiences take this opportunity to experience firsthand the work of these imaginative artists."

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 62 and over, and $5 for children 18 and under and are available at or by calling the box office at 570-577-1000.

Straddling two art forms
Using experimental media, the husband and wife team of Maria "Ria" Tri Sulistyani and Iwan Effendi reaches out to wider audiences, by not only exploring deep and controversial themes but also portraying problems children and adults face in their everyday life.

Straddling two art forms has given the artists the opportunity to explore arts without limits. Indonesia's Papermoon Puppet Theatre has transformed puppets the way graphic novels changed comics: taking a popular form too often dismissed as child's play and making it intellectually challenging, emotionally chilling, and visually bold. Sulistyani was awarded the Empowering Women Artist Award from Kelola, Hivos and Ford Foundation in 2010 and 2011.

Papermoon Puppet Theatre is on tour as part of Center Stage, an initiative of the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts, in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations, with additional support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the Asian Cultural Council, and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

The next event in the Weis Center's performing arts series is Cajun band BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. at the Weis Center. Garrison Keillor, the host of National Public Radio's popular show Prairie Home Companion, calls them "The best Cajun band in the world." Tickets for the Sept. 21 performance are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 62 and over, and $15 for children 18 and under and are available at or by calling the Box Office at 570-577-1000.

For more information about this event, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach coordinator, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at

For more information about future programming at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to or

Contact: Division of Communications