The string puppet troupe known as Hunsaisema was founded by several puppeteers and artists from the Black Sheep Group, including Nimit Pipitkul, Thailand’s National Artist for Performing Arts in 2006.
Hunsaisema’s specialty is the adaptation of Western string puppets, or marionettes, into Thai productions. This means changing not only the look, the clothes and locations of the puppets and the sets, but also adapting their characters and their movements. Most of the plots they act out, though, are traditional tales from Thai literature and Siamese folklore.
The troupe’s debut performance was titled “Sattamahaburut,” which was a fictional piece played to the background of Buddhist philosophy. The plot was about a young boy’s adventures on his journey to Kushinagar where he wants to be ordained by the Lord Buddha.
Apart from puppets, the team offers its audiences other genres of performance to enjoy, such as short movies, kids TV programs and school workshops. They frequently lace their productions with subtle messages for youngsters about the dangers of alcohol, and aspects of human rights and sexuality. They work closely with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation.
Those who would like to view a performance of Hunsaisema’s string puppet show should get on down to the ASEAN Puppet Festival.