Gareng and Limbuk from the production “Jester Kings of Java” to be held at Denmark Arts Center on Aug. 30. Mike Dana photo

DENMARK — The Denmark Arts Center will present “Jester Kings of Java” for the final Family Fun Friday performance at 7 p.m.  Friday, Aug. 30.

American audiences are in for an exotic treat with the Figures of Speech Theatre production of “Jester Kings of Java.” Hand-crafted puppets made from gilded water buffalo hide portray the heroes, villains and lovers from the ancient Ramayana, who dance across the 8-foot-wide shadow screen to mesmerizing Indonesian gamelan music.

The story follows King Rama, who wants to marry Princess Sinta. However, Sinta is in no mood for romance because an evil giant has dog-napped her precious pup, Furri-Furri. All is in chaos, for there can be no harmony in the Kingdom when the King’s heart is not at peace. To restore equilibrium and win Sinta’s heart, Rama enlists the help of his overly chatty servant Gareng, Hanuman the White Monkey, a giant Garuda Bird and even the heavenly lord Bathara Guru. Wild battles, strange adventures and outrageous humor promise to entertain audiences of all ages.

Figures of Speech Theatre Director of Education Ian Bannon assumes the traditional role of the dalang, or puppeteer, animating a wide array of characters on their whirlwind quest through this one-man show. The performance features museum-quality authentic Indonesian puppets donated by Mari Hook of Denmark as well as a few surprising contemporary additions.

Figures of Speech Theatre was founded in 1982 to explore the interplay of puppets, actors, shadows, music, movement and masks. The company has performed throughout Japan, North and South America and Europe with performances enjoyed equally by adults and young people. Figures of Speech Theatre is a four-time recipient of the coveted UNIMA Citation of Excellence, the “Oscar” of American puppet theater.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Concessions will be available. Tickets are $15, adults; $12, seniors; $8, under 18; and $35, families.

The Denmark Arts Center is located at 50 West Main St. To purchase tickets or find more information, visit www.DenmarkArts.org/events (events or calendar) or call the box office at 207-452-2412.

Jataya from “Jester Kings of Java.” Mike Dana photo


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