Theatricality in Old and New Indonesia

October 8
6:50 AM 2012


In Indonesia, theatrical arts had found many use, not just for entertainment purposes.

Like in Jakarta, theatrical  communities often adapt stories based on ongoing social issues. Such as corruption. Corruption ha captured the eyes of many playwrights and had been told in many ways, comedic acts, or a more serious ones. There are also many plays adapted from Indonesian many collections of folklores, which usually told in form of dance, or plays, or even, the infamous Indonesian puppet theatre.

The puppet theatre is usually backed with the traditional Javan music which called the gamelan. The dalang, or the puppet master, would sing the lines through in Javanese. Until now, the traditional puppet theatre still liked by Indonesians and tourists.

Theatrcal arts also used in many street protests. In major scaled protests, mostly. This would usually consists the protesters act out a portrayal of the issues in their own context. Usually in a very, very dramatic ways to make a lasting impacts on the peoples' minds.

The third function, and the newest one, is for promotion. And this one I actually witnessed firsthand. So in the beginning of the school year, perhaps a few weeks or a month after the beginning of school year, my school held an extracuricullar activities demo for senior club members promote their club to the freshmans.

And there's this one club, the Teens' Red Cross, they made an one-act play to promote their club. It was quite entertaining and educating. They managed to slip informations in between the stories. Like there's a shooting scene and then there's a scene where one of the members tending the wounds. So it was very creative of them to do so.

Well, that's it from me and I do hope I will be able to share more information with you. So, au revoir for now, goodbye!

Indonesia THEATER Stories | Shows

About the Author

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Salsabila Khairunisa Gunadi Salsabila was born in Jakata and has been actively writing since she was four. At first, she was just writing sequels to stories she's read before. But as time progressed, she actually started writing her own stories and plays. Her involvement with theatre began when her teacher assigned Think of Me from Phantom. And then, she looked up the song and actually found a lot. She never once thought that she would actually enjoy that. Since then, theatre has became an essential part of her life.


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