Papermoon Puppet Theatre started staging performances in April 2006 at Yogyakarta, Indonesia and is being managed by Director Maria Tri Sulistyani and Director Iwan Effendi. Aside from performances, they also hold installation arts, festivals, and workshops on puppet making using found objects, fruits, vegetables, or anything under the sun!
Yogyakarta experienced an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 last May 27, 2006. It killed 6,234 people and destroyed over 60,000 houses in central Java. This was the turning point for Papermoon Puppet Theatre to adjust their mission and provide free performances to their fellow countrymen, especially those affected by the earthquake. They also started creating stories about their community and their daily lives, and most of it was focused on children’s stories.
Papermoon Puppet Theatre went through a crisis in finding its identity as a company. There were uncertainties when it came to conceptualizing new stories and finding unique attacks. During this dilemma, a German puppet theatre group inspired them to try puppetry performances for adults and this paved the way for them to find their calling.
It was challenging to create mature and daring characters, especially in puppetry. This made them the first company in Indonesia to ever venture into puppetry for adults. Their target audience is 17 years old and above because they wanted to discuss plays with themes on sexuality and politics, written by Joned Suryatmoko.
Papermoon Puppet Theatre’s primary mission is to make the objects around us come to life and use them in their full potential as a different being. For Papermoon Puppet Theatre, this is another way to be grateful for the living or non-living things around us that help sustain our needs. Aside from making us more aware of our surroundings, their goal is to do collaboration works using puppetry.
One performance that is very personal to the company and their country is the Mwathirika.
Mwathirika is about the Indonesian genocide in 1965 that lasted for several months killing thousands of Indonesian communists. This performance was dedicated to the family and members of the community victimized by this unfortunate event.
Another performance is entitled Scavenger which talks about 2 old scavengers who collect garbage from people’s houses.
Before Sunrise talks about the life and conditions of Indonesian farmers.
Surat Ke Langit has a unique concept that invites people who lost their loved ones and are pushed to write letters.
Papermoon Puppet Theatre is one of the theatre companies that took a risk in finding their own identity. They serve as an inspiration to the many puppet theatre companies who are still struggling to find their own unique identity.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Papermoon-Puppet-Theatre-Indonesia -249980071701169