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Taipei Puppet Theater

  • Date:2024-05-14
Taipei Puppet Theater

Chinese Name: 臺北木偶劇團

Establishment: 2010

Founder: Lin Yong-chih

Official Website:

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Did You Know That…?

Taipei Puppet Theater delivered their performances at Honda Theatre (本多劇場) in Tokyo, Japan, in 2023. It was the first time for a Taiwanese traditional performing arts group to perform in one of Japan’s most well-known drama and live theatre venues. The puppet show from Taiwan was well received and applauded by Japanese audiences.



The decline in the traditional performing arts and the difficulty of cultural transmission prompted the establishment of Taipei Puppet Theater in 2010. As one of the active puppet troupes among the new generation, the theater aims to preserve pò͘-tē-hì (布袋戲)—Taiwanese glove puppetry, raising the art form’s performing quality and bringing it onto the international stage. In recent years, the theater has continued to search for and explore traditions. With rich experiences accumulated by its puppeteers and musicians, the troupe presents more diverse and exquisite glove puppet shows, attracting more audiences to appreciate the art of puppetry. Taipei Puppet Theater has been recognized by the National Culture and Arts Foundation (國家文化藝術基金會) as one of Taiwan top performing arts groups for 11 consecutive years.


The theater consists of many talented puppeteers and artists, including its leader Lin Yong-chih (林永志) and the artist director Wu Shan-shan (伍姍姍). Lin, who is also the troupe’s founder, recruited a crew of outstanding performers from different traditional glove puppet groups. Recently, he has invited artists from various fields, including Beiguan music, Taiwanese opera, and Peking opera, to collaborate with his team, presenting the beauty of Taiwanese puppetry innovatively.


Graduated from the Ecole LASSAAD, a theatre school in Brussels, Belgium, Wu Shan-shan bases her performances on physical movements, voices, and languages. She is an expert in creating a theatrical vibe for the performance. Wu was nominated as the best director for the 32nd Golden Melody Awards for Traditional Arts and Music in 2021.


The theatrical productions performed by the troupe encompass traditional classics and modern adaptations. The classical dramas include “Chin Chiung Toppling the Bronze Flag (秦瓊倒銅旗),” “The Monkey King: Havoc in the Water Palace (西遊記大鬧水晶宮),” and “Splitting the Mountain to Save Mother (劈山救母).” The modern adaptations contain “Treetop Friends (樹上的朋友),” “Dream of Becoming (得時の夢),” and “Water Ghosts’ Theatre (水鬼請戲)”


“Chin Chiung Toppling the Bronze Flag” is one of the classic plays in traditional Beiguan glove puppetry, depicting how gallantly Chin Chiung, a Chinese general in the early Tang dynasty, fought on battlefields. “The Monkey King: Havoc in the Water Palace” is from an episode of the ancient Chinese novel “Journey to the West (西遊記).” Through the art of Taiwanese glove puppetry, the Monkey King’s adventure becomes more captivating and eye-catching. “Splitting the Mountain to Save Mother” is a representative piece in Beiguan pò͘-tē-hì. The Beiguan glove puppet show can be traced back to 19th-century Taiwan, and it was regarded as the best entertainment among the public at that time because of its unique music and dramatic effects. 


As for “Treetop Friends,” it was adapted from an eponymous picture book, portraying a little girl’s love for nature. “Dream of Becoming” presents Japanized pò͘-tē-hì in Taiwan under Japanese rule (1895-1945), satirizing historical events and figures through anachronistic juxtaposition of time and place. “Water Ghosts’ Theatre” is inspired by a story of water ghosts widely spread during the period of Japanese colonization in Taiwan. This play won the 34th Golden Melody Awards for Traditional Arts and Music in 2023.