MCC joined with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Bridging Cultures
Distinguished Lecture Series to present “Puppets,
Politics & Culture Wars in Southeast Asia,” a special program by Kathy Foley, professor of theater arts
at the University of California Santa Cruz.
Professor Foley demonstrated how Southeast Asia’s traditional puppet performance of wayang is used as a tool of courts,
presidents and political organizations. Calling on the long history of the
puppet master as a juru penerangan
(information officer) of the traditional Southeast Asian world, contemporary
artists are making new work to respond to current political crises.
In addition to
teaching at UC Santa Cruz, Foley is editor of Asian Theatre Journal, author of
the Southeast Asian material in “The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre,” and
Her exhibitions of Asian puppets and masks have been shown
at Hawaii’s East-West Center, the Northern Illinois Museum of Anthropology, the
National Geographic Society, and Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts.
The event was offered at MCC's Federal Building in collaboration with Bristol and Quinsigamond community colleges,
regional partners in the Asian Studies Development Program NEH
Bridging Cultures grant.
After the lecture, students and faculty were allowed to participate in a hands on experience with the puppets and Foley's collection. Photos via Alyce O'Connell at www.alyceoconnell.com