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Why we started:

In the Past, Myanmar Puppetry was not only for entertainment, but also a high art held in much esteem by all classes. Marionettes were a means of making people aware of current events, a medium for educating the people in literature, history and religion, display of lifestyles and customs. At the same time, they functioned as mouthpieces for the people in the days of royalty, tiny hands in state and social affairs.
Nowadays, the old traditional marionette generation has almost faded away. This is simply due to the lack of patronage required during the last few decades. Therefore, it has come to pass that the art of marionette is referred to as a dying art that was rapidly disappearing with the advance of modern entertainment. The same story is applicable to the artists.

So we, a private team of professional artists, like to restore this folk art and have arranged a special marionette show for visitors to Mandalay, the centre of Myanmar arts and culture. We consider that this show would be of great interest to tourists and also a good help to give them an idea of ancient Myanmar and Myanmar culture.
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How we started:

The two female founders who were sincerely interested and focused on the discovery of puppetry have organized the Mandalay Marionettes Theatre since 1986. The first one is Mrs. Ma Ma Naing (left), who is a daughter of U Thein Naing, the writer of Burmese Puppet Theatre published in Yangon in 1966. The other one is Mrs. Naing Yee Mar (right), who had a chance to learn about Myanmar Puppetry from the researcher Dr. Tin Maung Kyi. The aims of his research are to rediscover and preserve Myanmar anatomical science relating to puppets and to help future scholars who opt to preserve and further promote this science.

Luckily these two young ladies have discovered the two old puppet players U Pan Aye and U Mya Thwin (passed away in 1995) and could start the theatre with a higher level of attraction for visiting tourists. They are the former pupils of the Marionette artist Shwe Bo U Thin Maung, one of the remaining descendents of the ancient professionals. They have gradually built up their team by experienced artists as well as young artists (puppet players, musicians and a human dancer). Our artist team is supervised by Dr. Tin Maung Kyi, U Pan Aye and U Shwe Nan Tin who is also the former pupil of the Marionette artist Shwe Bo U Thin Maung.
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What we have been through:

Owners of the Theatre and formed a management team
- 1986-
Founded by two ladies, Ma Ma Naing and Naing Yee Mar, focussed on tourists in Myanmar.
- 1992-
First Local performance at the Shwei Por Kyung meditation centre for a week, sponsored by
the meditation center.
- 1993-
Performance for the International School in Yangon sponsored by the school and invited by
MRTV, Yangon for the television program.
- 1994-
Participation in the hundred-anniversary celebration of the Mandalay Moat. And started to
perform the overnight entertainments for the local people at the pagoda festivals in Mandalay.
- 1995-
Master U Pan Aye won the first prize for his individual manipulating talent in the whole
Myanmar-performing-art-competition in Yangon.
- 1996-
Daw Ma Ma Naing won the first prize at the PAC in Yangon.
- 1997-
The whole troupe won the second prize for the Widura wise-sage Buddha story in the PAC in Yangon.
- 1998-
The whole troupe won the first prize for the "Sambula" Buddha story in the PAC in Yangon.
Daw Ma Ma Naing Participated in the trade fair in 1998 in Singapore as a puppeteer. Daw Ma Ma Naing and Shwe Bo Tin Saung (Vocalist) participated in the flying Circus Project, 1998,
for a month sponsored by the Theatre works in Singapore.
- 1999-
Participated in the AIDS educational Programs, Performance by the title of, Shame and Caution Leads to Safety.
- 2000-
After we have set up our theatre as a company limited, Ma Ma Naing and Ko Kyaw Myo Ko became equal owner of the theatre and formed a meangement team.
- 2000
in France -
- Participated in the Worldwide Festival of Puppet Theatres in Charleville Mezeries in
France for 10 days.
- Performed at the Maison des Cultures du Monde Theatre in Paris for 3 days.
- 2000 in The Netherlands -
- Performed in the Soeterijn Theatre of the Tropen Museum in Amsterdam
(including the workshop and lectures)
- Performed at the Utrecht University and The Hoge School in Utrecht (including the
workshop and lectures)
- Performed in the Rasa Theater in Utrecht (including the workshop and lectures),
- Performed at an old people's institute in The Hague
- 2000 in USA -
- Performed at the East West Centre in Honolulu, Hawaii, for a week (including the workshop
and lectures),
- Performed at the National History Museum in New York for 3 days (including the workshop
and lectures),
- performed at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco for 3 days (including the workshop and lectures),
- performed for the University students at Santa Cruz in Calfornia, for a week(including the
workshop and lectures),
- 2001-
The troupe won the second prize at the PAC in Yangon for the "Buridat" Buddha story.
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What we are aiming for:

Our private team of professional artists has been trying to preserve our Myanmar puppetry which still holds its own national characteristics and the original Myanmar tradition as it includes all the artistic works such as Myanmar dancing and music, sculpture, sequin embroidery and painting. Therefore, we have been searching for talented young puppeteers. We let them present their talent on our stage and let them convey this talent to the next generation as well as to the world.

Our theatre team is also taking an active part in social welfare of the locals. As an Example of currently collaborated with 'Care' (a Non Governmental Organization in Myanmar) to improve the awareness of AIDS through puppet plays among the Myanmar people.

In order to carry out the above mentioned tasks and to be more efficient in exchanging ideas with other cultural counter parts from abroad, Mandalay Marionettes, which was an ordinary family entertainment group, has formed itself as a company limited. ..........................................................................................................................................................................

Advisory Group
 
U Shwe Nan Tin
Theritrical Advisor
 
U Pan Aye
Puppet Master.
 
Dr.Tin Mg Kyi
Reseacher
 
U Thein Naing
Advisor and Literature of
Myanmar Puppetry
 
Daw Naing Yee Mar
Co-founder and External Relationship.
 
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Management Team
 
Daw Ma Ma Naing
Co-founder and
Managing Director

 
U Kyaw Myo Ko
Creative Director
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Production Team
 
U Ohn Maung
Manager of Professional
Puppets Production

 
U Than Nyunt
Manager of Performance
 
Ko Bo Thin
Manager of Thereter
 
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