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~Wellesley College To Host Free Tonda Puppet Performance and Workshop~

For immediate release:
September 29, 2003

Arlie Corday,

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- The Tonda Puppet Theater of Japan, under the direction of Hidehiko Tonda, seventh generation head puppeteer of the Tonda Puppet Theater, will perform at Wellesley College Thursday, Oct. 16 from 7-9 pm in Jewett Auditorium. The troupe will also offer a workshop that day from 10 am to noon in Alumnae Hall Auditorium. Both events are free and open to the public. Those interested in the workshop should sign up ahead of time by calling 781-283-3226.

This is a unique opportunity to see the Japanese puppet theater (bunraku), which dates back to the late 16th century when the various arts of puppet manipulation, oral narration and samisen music were combined in a dramatic stage art that came to be one of the most popular entertainments in Japan. The four-foot high puppets require three people to operate them; puppeteers train from childhood in the art. The stories are taken from a repertory of puppet plays from the 17th and 18th centuries, illustrating such themes as the conflict between personal desire and duty (love vs. loyalty to family).

The events are sponsored by Wellesley College's Japanese Department, the Kathryn Wasserman Davis '28 Fund for World Cultures and Leadership, the Committee on Lectures and Cultural Events and the Mayling Soong Committee.

For more information, call the Wellesley College Japanese Department at 781-283-3226 or visit the web site, click on Events and then Tonda Traditional Japanese Bunraku Puppet Troupe.

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries.


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