Chinese New Year Celebration
The Year of Tiger


Shadow Puppet Shows - Tiger Tales

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010

1:30pm  & 2:30pm

Hanlin Chinese Culture Association and Delaware Art Museum will hold a celebration of Chinese New Year of Tiger at Delaware Art Museum on Sunday February 14 by two performances of Shadow Puppet Shows of "Tiger Tales", at 1:30pm and 2:30pm.  The show will be performed by the prestige Chinese Theatre Works Company of New York (CTW) and Tiger Tales is a signature production of the company, drawing on China's two-thousand-year history of shadow puppertry. Tiger Tales is performed in English accompanied by traditional Chinese music.  It is suitable for audiences of all ages.


Tiger Tales is based in the popular wisdom of Chinese folktales and literature. The production deals humorously with issues of power and survival of the small and powerless in the modern jungle, in which the proverb that “working for the emperor is as dangerous as working for the tiger” still holds true.


Tiger Tales is narrated by a wise old rabbit, telling her grand-daughter some of the adventures of her eventful life, including her hair-raising encounters with Tiger, the reigning King of the jungle. Grandma Bunny recounts with verve and a sly, subversive humor some of the episodes surrounding Tiger’s rise to power, his abusive rule and ultimate downfall – illustrating through her trickster tales the power of the small and wily and the ways in which those who think themselves clever are caught in their own schemes.


The star performers of Tiger Tales are some of the exquisite, 100-year-old, leather shadow figures from CTW’s extensive collection. The figures were brought to the U.S. by Pauline Benton, founder of the first Chinese shadow theater in the country, and have appeared in exhibitions worldwide, most recently in the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center. CTW’s Stephen Kaplin, who made the shadow puppets for Julie Taymor’s Lion King, has created new acetate figures for Tiger Tales based on these antiques. The show is performed on an overhead projector (rather than behind an upright screen as in traditional shadow theatre), creating a cinematic projected image of up to 12’ square which allows the smallest details of the shadow images to be visible even in large venues. The OP format gives Tiger Tales the flexibility to play in any sized venue or adapt to any presenter’s needs - the only requirement is a screen or blank wall at least 12’ from the first row of the audience.

The admission is free  for the puppet show but the seating is limited.


To learn more about the shadow puppetry and Chinese Theatre Works, please visit their website, which is the major source of this article.


Delaware Art Museum is located at 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806. For more information, please contact 302-571-9590 or 886-232-3714, or visit the website at

( Please click here for the celebration pictures provided by Bill Tsai )

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