The Finger Players x Joe Louis Theatre Company Puppetry Season 2023: Masterclass

International Collaboration

The Finger Players x Joe Louis Theatre Company Puppetry Season 2023: Masterclass

Limited slots available. Full attendance is compulsory.


In addition to the WIP presentation, The Finger Players x Joe Louis Theatre Company Puppetry Season 2023 will also launch an exclusive 2-day Puppetry Masterclass. This will be jointly led by The Finger Players and Joe Louis Theatre Company.

Artistic Director Oliver Chong will impart The Finger Players’ distinctive techniques of manipulating contemporary rod puppetry, while Joe Louis Theatre Company will focus on teaching the fundamentals of traditional Thai puppetry and the traditional Thai dance form, Khon–Thai Mask Dance.

This Masterclass is open to all dedicated and enthusiastic practitioners. Limited slots are available.

ABOUT THE LECTURER (Oliver Chong, The Finger Players)

Oliver Chong is a multi-award-winning and published playwright, director, actor, and designer. Some of his memorable works include Every Brilliant Thing, A Fiend’s Diary, Roots, I’m Just A Piano Teacher, Cat, Lost & Found, The Book of Living and Dying, Citizen Pig and Citizen Dog. His numerous nominations at The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards include Production of the Year and Best Director for I’m Just A Piano Teacher, Production of the Year for Off Centre, Best Director and Best Script for Citizen Pig, Best Director and Best Actor for Every Brilliant Thing, Best Actor for Roots, Invisibility/Breathing and Art, Best Supporting Actor for Itsy, the musical, Flare, Best Ensemble for Senang, Shit Hole, First Family, Rashomon, and A Cage Goes in Search of a Bird respectively, and Best Set Design for Twisted, Citizen Dog and A Fiend’s Diary.

In 2011, he won Production of the Year for A Cage Goes in Search of a Bird with A Group of People. In 2013, he won Production of the Year and Best Script for Roots. The production has since toured Hong Kong and Taiwan to critical acclaim. Roots was also read and staged in New Zealand by Proudly Asian Theatre. In 2016, he was invited to perform in a site-specific, 108-hour durational one-man show Time Between Us at the Singapore International Festival of Arts. In 2017, he was selected to perform in the international premiere of Blood and Rose Ensemble in Taipei, directed by Shakespeare’s Wild Sisters Group’s Director Wang Chia Ming, a co-commission by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and Taiwan National Performing Arts Centre Innovation Series Theater Festival. In 2020, he won Best Actor for A Fiend’s Diary.

To date, Oliver has performed at international arts festivals with touring productions in Paris, Myanmar, Barcelona, Budapest, Ankara, Bangkok, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. He has conducted playwriting, directing and acting Masterclasses in Hong Kong and Singapore, and has been committed to helping practitioners fine-tune their crafts since 2014.

Oliver was the Resident Director of THE FINGER PLAYERS (2004 – 2018), currently the Artistic Director of the company. He is also the founding member of A GROUP OF PEOPLE (2008 – 2012) and the founder of ODDCROP Productions (2019 – present). His published works include Roots, The Book of Living and Dying, I’m Just A Piano Teacher and Cat, Lost & Found.

ABOUT THE LECTURER (Joe Louis Theatre Company)

Joe Louis Theatre Company, also known as the Traditional Thai Puppet Theatre, is a puppetry troupe in Thailand that serves to preserve and propagate the art form of the Thai Classical Small Puppet theatre (Hun Lakhorn Lek) within and beyond Thailand. 

The company creates diverse classical stage shows and musical performances, both traditional and contemporary in nature. It is founded by Master Sakorn Yangkhiawsod who inherited, revived, and innovated the art form of Hun Lakhorn Lek in 1995.

Hun Lakhorn Lek was first invented by Master Krae Saptawanit in the reign of Rama IV (1910-1926). He established a troupe, where Master Sakorn Yangkhiawsod’s parents performed as puppeteers. From there, Master Sakorn grew up with the art form. After the Second World War, the art form was banned, and thus disappeared from Thai society for almost 50 years. Master Sakorn revived it in 1995 by innovating it to suit the modern era and passing on the techniques to his direct descendants.

Thus began the conservation and propagation of Hun Lakhorn Lek by Joe Louis Theatre Company. Master Sakorn was later honoured as a National Artist in Performing Arts in Thailand in 1996. In the 2000s, the company received Royal Patronage by the late Royal Highness Princess Galvani Vadhana, who later named the company the Traditional Thai Puppet Theatre (a.k.a. Joe Louis Theatre Company).

Today, Joe Louis Theatre Company’s influence reaches far within and beyond the country. It is widely known and admired amongst its Thai audience and foreign visitors to Thailand, and has also been honoured to perform on significant occasions for various organisations in government and private sectors. Abroad, the company has received international acclaim from The World Festival of Puppet Art in Prague for The Best Traditional Performance Award (2006) and The Best Performance Award (2008).


You should attend this Masterclass if you wish:

  • To be introduced to Traditional Thai and Contemporary Rod Puppetry 
  • To learn fundamental techniques of puppet manipulation, such as Breath, Vision and Movement
  • Deepen understanding of how puppetry relates to your craft as a performer 


  • At least 2 years of professional experience in theatre or dance; experience in Meyerhold’s Biomechanics, Viewpoints, Suzuki Method of Actor Training; OR have attended Oliver Chong’s Acting Masterclass previously.
  • Full attendance is compulsory.
  • Please attend the Masterclass in comfortable clothing. 


16 – 17 September 2023
2pm – 11pm (inclusive of 1 hr break)


Arts Fission Garden Studio, ONE-TWO-SIX Cairnhill Arts Centre, 126 Cairnhill Road #01-07/08, S229707

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This masterclass will be conducted in English.


$250 nett per person

This course is pending confirmation for possible SkillsFuture credits claim.


Limited slots available