Larry Reed

Larry Reed is a nationally and internationally acclaimed theatre artist, and is a trailblazer in the contemporary shadow theatre field. In 1972, he founded ShadowLight Productions to nurture indigenous shadow theater traditions, and to explore and expand the possibilities of the shadow theatre medium. He is one of the first Westerners to have trained in the traditional Balinese shadow theatre (wayang kulit) and is a “dalang,” or “shadow master,” who manipulates over 20 carved leather shadow puppets while simultaneously serving as the conductor of the accompanying gamelan orchestra, the director, and the stage manager. Over the years, he has performed over 250 shows in this tradition around the world. 

In the early 1990’s, Reed entered a new phase of his career by inventing an ingenious shadow casting method, integrating traditional shadow theatre techniques with film, modern theatre and dance styles. In addition to creating original works Reed has collaborated with numerous artists and organizations from various disciplines and cultural background including: American Conservatory Theatre (The Tempest); Santa Fe and LA Operas (Orfeo); Minneapolis Children’s Theater (Whale); Mabou Mines (MahabharAnta); Mark Taper Forum (Freedom Song); Smuin Ballet (Ain’t Necessarily So); Ballet Austin (The Magic Flute); Lee Breuer (Peter and Wendy); Octavio Solis (7 Visions and Ghosts of the River); Puppet & Its Double of Taiwan (Monkey King at Spider Cave); Taiyuan Puppet Theatre Company and Cengiz Ozek (Silk Road); Karen Kandel, Coco Zhao, and Wu Na (The Good-for-Nothing Lover); OKI (Poro Oyna); and Hamid Rahmanian (Feathers of Fire) among others. Truly a multidisciplinary artist, Reed has also written, directed and produced films in the US and Mexico. Shadow Master (1979), his unique “dramatic documentary” on the family of a Balinese shadow artist, has been shown on PBS and Discovery Channel. He also served as Assistant Director of National Theater of Costa Rica, and performed and choreographed with Anna Halprin and her SF Dancers’ Workshop in the 60’s. Fluent in five languages, his articles and translation have been published in Asian Theatre Journal and Shattentheater (Germany) among others. Reed has garnered numerous awards and honors, and was named one of Top 50 artists in the SF Bay Area by Metropolitan Magazine in 1995 and 1996.