Vietnamese Puppetry


Travel Beat’s
Featured Artist-

Catherine Thúy Ái


Lilli Belle (left), professional makeup artist,
Catherine Thuy Ai with hand puppet, Jenny (right)

  Santa Ana, Ca.  –
Catherine Thúy Ái, Vietnamese Actress known for her film roles in The Green Dragon, Heaven and Earth and Spirit, took on the challenge of hand puppetry and ventriloquism. 
Thúy Ái plays two women, one with her long red hair and the other, a hand puppet Cockatoo named Jenny, with glamorous big eyes, hysterically staring down the audience at opportune moments.  The two enjoy banter back and forth gossiping about men.  The performance was hosted by the Vietnamese Arts & Letters Association (VAALA) Center, located at 1600 North Broadway. Thúy Ái joined her fellow artists in a three-month learning process conducted by Artist Tran Tuong Nguyên, a Vietnamese puppet master and teacher.

The bi-lingual Vietnamese and English program included characters such as a monkey that gets his hand stuck while trying to get sweet rice, a snake at the dawn of time that is actually a good friend of humans, a group participation with colorful fish swimming about in a large aquarium and an BlindSkitelephant and blind man skit.  Thúy Ái, a versatile actress, participates in several of the skits as do others in the ensemble.  The stories and characters were all original and performed by the students of the Puppetry Class.  The students include Catherine Pham, Catherine Thúy Ái, David Pham, Diane Pham, Dr. Yêu, Etcetera  Nguyen, Vincent Vu, and Vivian Vu.Teacher_students  The puppeteers used different techniques such as hand puppetry, string puppetry and ventriloquism.  Thúy Ái has received the distinction of being the first Vietnamese Ventriloquist. Thúy Ái plans to perform for Vietnamese children, seniors homes and join the ranks of the International Ventriloquist Association performing in Las Vegas.

Giant_SnakeVAALA is still recruiting more students for the class.  Sponsored by the Kenneth Pierne Foundation and VAALA, the Puppetry Class is free and open to everyone in the community.  The class is conducted every Friday, from 6:00pm-9:00pm and every Sunday, from 3:00pm-6:00pm at VAALA Center.  The Viet Weekly newspaper reports news and posts photos of the class every week.  For more information on the Puppetry Class, please call VAALA at (714) 893-6145.


Last Updated (Sunday, 10 July 2011 15:01)

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