About Catherine Diamond
Participants will be introduced to the process of creating new works from old stories. This method is practiced by the Kinnari Ecological Theatre Project which combines famous legends and performance styles from the Southeast Asian region with local environmental problems. We will study the play based on Puteri Gunung Ledang as a model. After a discussion of possible stories and environmental issues, the participant will be encouraged to begin their own scenarios.
About Kinnari Ecological Theatre Project (KETEP)
KETEP stages new plays based on local legends in Southeast Asia to highlight current environmental issues. KETEP creates, rehearses, and presents the plays in the local language. The performances incorporate local songs, dances, puppetry, and traditional theatre styles to address a particular ecological problem chosen by the participants. Rooted in well-known folk stories, the performances present them with a new twist to offer alternative perspectives informed by 21st century science and global conservation efforts. KETEP was started by Catherine Diamond in 2010 at the Theatre of the Disturb’s iUi#02 Theatre Festival in Yangon, Myanmar.
“Kinnari” are mythical bird-women deities whose story is told in the Buddhist kinnari jataka of Southeast Asia. They appear in the region’s literature, dance and drama presentations, and temple decorations. They were chosen to KETEP’s symbol to represent the imaginative connection between humans and the natural world.