Kwaidan is a haunting stage interpretation of three ghost stories from American writer Lafcadio Hearn, taking place both in ancient times and our modern world. Kwaidan's tales evoke a beguiled world, one far removed from our pragmatic one. Layered imagery and dazzling puppetry conjure up scenes of mystery, enchantment and fright where crabs with human faces haunt turbulent shores, dead lovers appear in a McDonald’s, a blind minstrel performs before assembled ghosts, and demons call to finish business.
Director: Ping Chong
Assistant Director: Ariel Goldberger
Writer: Ping Chong
Set Design: Mitsuru Ishii
Puppet Designer: John Ludwig
Lighting Design: Liz Lee
Sound Design: David Meschter
Voices Recorded by Brian Hallas
Projection Design: Jan Hartley
Stage Manager: John A. Scott
Production Manager: Liz Lee
Tour Management: Lisa Booth Management/Deirdre Valente
Performed by: David Ige, Pamella O’connor, Lee Randall, Fred C. Riley Iii, Don Smith
Narration by: Roger Babb, Christpher Caines, Ping Chong, Brian Hallas, Jeannie Hutchins
Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta, GA (June 1998)
The Jim Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater, La MaMa ETC, New York, NY (September 1998); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (September-Oct 1998); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (October 1998); Culver Academies, Culver, IN (October 1998); Hopkins Center at Dartmouth University, Hanover, NH (October 1998); Staller Center at SUNY Stony Brook, NY (October 1998); Duke University, Durham, NC (October 1998); Spoleto USA Festival, Charleston, SC (June 1999); Nikawa Mirage Hall, Toyama, Japan (November 1999); Helios, Toyama, Japan (November 1999); Shinminato Culture Center, Toyama, Japan (November 1999); Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta, GA (August 2000); Lied Center of KS, Lawrence, KS (August 2000); The Barbican Centre, London, UK (Sept-Oct 2000); New Victory Theatre, NYC (October-November 2000); Kennedy Center, Washington, DC (November 2000); Byham Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA (November 2000); Freud Playhouse, UCLA Performing Arts, CA (December 2000)
Ping Chong & Company, in association with Center for Puppetry Arts and The Jim Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater
Sponsored by AT&T; developed with the help of the ABSOLUT STAGES Grant Program, a collaboration between the Theatre Communications Group and Absolut Vodka.
Additional supporters include the Jim Henson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Delta Airlines, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Challenge Program, Asian Cultural Council, the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN Program, and Conversation and Co., Japan.
Japan Tour commissioned by the Japan/U.S. Friendship Commission
Photo Credit: Peggy Cozart