OCTOBER 23, 2021
NOVEMBER 19, 2021
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (October 18, 2021) – ­ San Francisco’s ShadowLight Productions (Larry Reed, Founder & Artistic Director and Caryl Kientz, Managing Director) is pleased to announce the continuation of upcoming in-person Wayang Bali Balinese Shadow Theater performances for fall 2021:
Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
SF International Arts Festival
Fort Mason Parade Ground (Pope Rd. at Funston), San Francisco, CA 94109
Tickets $16 – $20 available here.
Saturday, November 19, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
Corin Courtyard, just north of the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre
(1 Shields Avenue, Corner of Mrak Hall Drive and Old Davis Road, Davis, CA 95616)
Mondavi Center, UC Davis Campus, Davis CA
FREE – All Ages
For more information, click here.
ALL EVENTS ARE OUTSIDE. Please dress appropriately. Bring blankets, chairs or pillows. Bring a picnic, if you wish! For more information visit
The creative team includes Larry Reed (dalang, or shadowmaster), Carla Fabrizio, Lisa Gold, Paul Miller, Sarah Willner (ShadowLight Gamelan musicians), Katie Harrell (Vocalist) and Fred C. Riley III (Assistant).
“I am excited to perform again locally, after a long hiatus,” said Founder & Artistic Director Larry Reed. “Our group will be performing an episode of the Indian Mahabharata myth cycle in the Balinese Shadow Theater style with live gamelan music. I began to study this form many years ago, when I was still in my 20’s. I have decided, as a tribute to my teacher, to go back to the first story I ever learned. The main characters all speak an ancient language,  which is translated by servants and clowns into the language of the audience. The comic figures are charged with bringing these age old stories into alignment with modern times. Demons, gods, heavenly creatures, and all sorts of humanity are featured in these myths.  The challenge as a performer is to find all of these beings within oneself, and to bring them to life. The Balinese consider performances as nourishment for the soul. The goal of a shadow play is to restore the balance of good and evil in the world at large and the world within.”
Wayang Bali, the Balinese Shadow Play, is one of the most revered traditional art forms in the world.

According to Balinese philosophy, a wayang performance is a symbol of the cosmos. The dalang (Shadow Master) represents God; the screen represents the world, including the atmosphere; the damar (oil lamp) is the sun and the banana log underneath the screen is the earth on which the creatures walk; the wayangs (puppet characters) are the creatures. The accompanying gender music represents irama djaman, which means in phase with the periods of history.

Plots for the shadow play are drawn from the Mahabharata myth cycle. Five brothers are pitted against one hundred jealous cousins in a struggle for power involving gods, demons, magical weapons, and the inevitable beautiful princess.
Wayang Bali takes place in two languages simultaneously: the ancient language and the language of the audience.
Larry Reed is a nationally and internationally acclaimed artist, and is a trailblazer in the contemporary shadow theatre. He is one of the first Westerners to have trained in the traditional Balinese shadow theatre (wayang kulitand is a “dalang,” or “shadow master,” who manipulates over 20 carved leather shadow puppets while simultaneously serving as the conductor of the accompanying gamelan orchestra, the director, and the stage manager. Over the years, he has performed over 250 shows in this tradition around the world.

In the early 1990’s, Reed entered a new phase of his career by inventing an ingenious shadow casting method, integrating traditional shadow theatre techniques with film, modern theatre and dance styles.

Truly a multidisciplinary artist, Reed has also written, directed and produced films in the US and Mexico. Shadow Master (1979), his unique “dramatic documentary” on the family of a Balinese shadow artist, has been shown on PBS and Discovery Channel. He also served as Assistant Director of National Theater of Costa Rica, and performed and choreographed with Anna Halprin and her SF Dancers’ Workshop in the 60’s. Fluent in five languages, his articles and translation have been published in Asian Theatre Journal and Shattentheater (Germany) among others. Reed has garnered numerous awards and honors, and was named one of Top 50 artists in the SF Bay Area by Metropolitan Magazine in 1995 and 1996.
Reed has collaborated with numerous artists and organizations from various disciplines and cultural background including: American Conservatory Theatre (The Tempest); Santa Fe and LA Operas (Orfeo); Minneapolis Children’s Theater (Whale); Mabou Mines (MahabharAnta); Mark Taper Forum (Freedom Song); Smuin Ballet (Ain’t Necessarily So); Ballet Austin (The Magic Flute); Lee Breuer (Peter and Wendy); Octavio Solis (7 Visions and Ghosts of the River); Puppet & Its Double of Taiwan (Monkey King at Spider Cave); Taiyuan Puppet Theatre Company and Cengiz Ozek (Silk Road); Karen Kandel, Coco Zhao, and Wu Na (The Good-for-Nothing Lover); OKI (Poro Oyna); and Hamid Rahmanian (Feathers of Fire) among others.

ShadowLight’s vision is to expand the scope of Shadow Theatre as an artistic expression and as a tool for cross-cultural understanding.

The mission of ShadowLight Productions is to expose the general public to the art of Shadow Theater. The means of providing such exposure includes but is not limited to live theater, film and other media. We strive to preserve indigenous shadow theater traditions, and to explore and expand the possibilities of the shadow theater medium by creating innovative interdisciplinary, multicultural works.
ShadowLight was founded in 1972 by filmmaker/theatre director/shadow artist Larry Reed. The driving forces were Reed’s interests in and appreciation of shadow theatre traditions, film and world cultures, and the passion to express them in an integrated fashion. He is one of the few Westerners to have trained in the traditional Balinese shadow theatre and is a dalang or “shadow master.” After over 15 years of studying and performing in this tradition, Reed began expanding the scope of ShadowLight’s artistic activities in order to create a deeper connection with contemporary American audiences. Through much exploration and experimentation, he successfully integrated traditional shadow theater techniques with modern theater and film styles. The outcome was a “live animation film” – a completely original way of using shadows in theatre that is not culture-bound. Performed behind and in front of a 15’x 30’ screen, these works orchestrate silhouettes of puppets, actors, and cutout sets illuminated by multiple electric light sources to create cinematic effects live on stage.  Each show features live music and is created by a collaborating ensemble of writers, choreographers, composers, designers, actors, dancers, musicians and puppeteers from various cultural backgrounds, artistic disciplines and styles. To better support the larger scale of productions, ShadowLight Productions was incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) organization in 1994.
Featured at:
Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater
Spoleto Festival USA
World Puppetry Festival
Huddersfield Festival in England
Walter Spies Festival in Bali
Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Puppetry Conference
Collaborations with:
American Conservatory Theatre
Santa Fe and LA Operas
Minneapolis Children’s Theater
Mabou Mines
The Karuk tribe of Northern California
Mark Taper Forum
Smuin Ballet
Lee Breuer
Gamelan Sekar Jaya
Puppet & Its Double of Taiwan
Octavio Solís
Wan-Chao Chang
Karen Kandel
Coco Zhao
Wu Na
Tetsuro Koyano
UNIMA/USA: Citation for Excellence from the International Puppetry Association American Theater Wing: Nomination for Theatrical Design Award
SF Bay Guardian: Most Memorable Productions in 2009
Isadora Duncan Dance Award in 2010: Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design by the
Schattentheater (Germany), 1st and 2nd volumes
Eileen Blumenthal’s Puppetry: A World History