Thai Shadow Puppet Play

October 12, 2012

Southern Theatre
417.625. 9393

thai puppet picJOPLIN, MO (SNS) – Southern Theatre is proud to present Phra Abhai Mani: A Thai Shadow Puppet Play, based on an epic tale of magic and adventure by Sunthorn Phu, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1-3 in Bud Walton Theatre on the campus of Missouri Southern State University.

The play is directed by Jim Lile.

According to Sven Broman in Shadows of Life: "The popular shadow theatre Nang talung originated in the southern part of Thailand.   It made its first appearance . . . in the 17th or 18th century AD and represented a new form of Thai shadow theatre. In conformity with the classical shadow theatre, the Nang talung theatre companies perform episodes from the Ramakien or Ramayana epic and well-known folk tales."

Phu adds that southern shadow theatre is influenced today by the modern literature as well as by the film industry and television. Plays written by members of the company itself and based on modern life are now performed.  He says popular shadow theatre was introduced into Bangkok and its neighborhood at the end of the 18th century and performances were given both at the royal court and in public.

The Phra Abhai Mani cast includes: Devri Brock, Hunter Dowell, Taylor Haddad, Trenten Henderson, Christy Hernandez, Sam Hydar, Karsyn Ivy, Amber Julian, Dawn Leiser-Neubert, Karsten Nicholas, Ryan Odenbrett, Abigail Railsback, and James Zerkel.

Admission is free for MSSU Students and MSSU faculty and staff; $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for senior citizens and non-MSSU students.

The Southern Theatre box office opens on Monday, October 22 through Nov. 2. Box office hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. For reservations, call the Southern Theatre Box Office at (417) 625-3190.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting the MSSU Ticket Office  website:

For theatre production information, contact MSSU Theatre Department at 417.625.9393.

For accommodations related to a disability, contact Terri Spencer at 417. 625.9393 at least 72 hours before the program.

Photo: Phra Abhai Mani meets the lovely Suvarnamali in this scene from the play Inspired by the nang talung puppet tradition, this presentation is Southern Theatre's offering for the Thailand Semester. (Photo by Curtis Almeter.)

Karsyn Ivy
Abigail Railsback

Carl Junction
Devri Brock

Dawn Leiser-Neubert
Karsten Nicholas

Ryan Odenbrett

Amber Julian

Hunter Dowell
Taylor Haddad
Christy Hernandez
James Zerkel

Mount Vernon
Trenten Henderson

St. Louis
Sam Hydar