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Kathy Foley

Distinguished Professor Emerita, Theater Arts
Asian theater, Southeast Asian Studies, Performance Studies, Mask, Puppetry, Multicultural Theater

Kathy Foley is a Distinguished Professor Emerita of Theatre Arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has also taught at University of Malaya, University of Hawaii, Yonsei University (Korea), and Chulalongkorn University (Thailand). She is author of the Southeast Asia section of Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre (Cambridge, UK, 1993) and was editor of Asian Theatre Journal from 2005-2018. She received the 2019 Association for Theatre in Higher Education award for Sustained Excellence in Editing.. Her articles have appeared in TDR, Modern Drama, Asian Theatre Journal, Puppetry International, and other publications, nationally and internationally. Recent chapters in various books. Include “Her Story in Indonesian Dance." In Dance and Narrative, ed. Barbara Sellers-Young and Jade McCrutheon, (Palgrave-McMillan, 2018); “Silencing the Wali" in Marionnettes et pouvoire, ed. Raphaele Fleury et al. (Montpelier, France, 2019). "Environmental Theatre: Selected Asian Models" Routledge Companion to Scenography, ed. Arnold Aronson (Routledge, 2018) and “The Woman Thing: Issues and Advances for Women in Sundanese Performance," in Routledge Guide to Women in Asian Theatre, ed. Arya Madhavan (Routledge, 2017). She wrote or edited over two hundred articles for the World Encyclopedia of Puppetry Arts (WEPA, general editor Karen Smith) published online in English, French and Spanish in 2017 by UNIMA-International.

Foley trained in mask and puppetry in the Sundanese region of Indonesia and was one of the first non-Indonesian invited to perform in the prestigious all Indonesia National Wayang Festival. She performs and directs/choreographs frequently in the US as well as Indonesia and has curated exhibitions of puppets and/or masks of India, Korea, and Southeast Asia the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, the East-West Center in Honolulu, Northern Illinois Museum of Anthropology in DeKalb, the National Geographic Society in Washington DC, Whitney Humanities Center/Yale University in New Haven, and other in institutions. Her research has been supported by Fulbright, East-West Center, Asian Cultural Council, Soros Foundation, Hewlett-Packard, Foundation, Yale Institute of Sacred Music, World Wood Foundation, National Philanthropic Foundation, and National Endowment for the Humanities, among others. Plays include Farewell to Manzanar (adapted from Jeannie and Jim Houston), Baba (adapted from Belle Yang) and Fox Hunts and Freedom Fighters (with Chan Park). She has served as President of Union International de la Marionnette [UNIMA]-USA sits on the Research Commission and the Publications Commissions of UNIMA-International. She was a founding member of the Association for Asian Performance (AAP) and is head of UCSC ArtsBridge which sends UCSC students to teach arts in local K-12 public schools.

Recent Review Work:

  • Fulbright-Hayes Group Projects Panelist 2009
  • Fulbright Senior Scholar Panelist 2006-2008 (Southeast Asia)
  • MacArthur Award Reviewer 2007
  • Guggenheim Award Reviewer, American Academy (Berlin) Reviewer 2007
  • American Academy (Berlin) 2006
  • Reviewer for Univ. of Hawaii, Univ. of Mich., Univ. or Hong Kong, and other University/ Academic Presses
  • Reviewer for Theatre Journal, ATJ, RIMA, Crossroads and other scholarly journals.
Education and Training: 
1979 Ph.D., University of Hawaii at Manoa
1976 M.A., University of Massachusetts at Amherst
1969 B.A., Rosemont College, Pennsylvania
Selected Performances: 

Recent Performances or Lecture Demonstrations:

  • 2019 “Topeng Damar Wulan” East West Center, Honolulu HI

  • 2019 "Panji" East West Center Gallery, Honolulu, HI

  • 2018 "Eight Sided Diamond Case" Colorado College 

  • 2016   "Sunan Kalijaga." Hofstra University, with the Wesleyan Gamelan 

  • 2015 "Sunan Kalijaga," Asian Art Museum 

  • 2014 "Birth of Hanuman" [Smithsonian Institution, Freer Gallery]

  • 2012: Barnard College, Yale University, East West Center Hawaii
  • 2011: University of Colorado (Boulder), Southern Methodist University, Asian Art Museum (S.F), 2010 Crocker Museum (Sacramento) ,UC-Santa Barbara, International Museum of Folk Art (Santa Fe), Asian Art Museum (S.F.)
  • 2009: Theatre of Yugen (S.F.)
  • 2008: Bainbridge Arts Center, Bainbridge, Washington.
  • 2007: Palo Alto Arts Center, University of Ohio.
  • 2006: University of Washington and North West Puppet Center (Seattle); Steinbeck Center, (Salinas); KQED-TV "SPARK" program; University of Redlands.
  • 2005: Cowell Theatre, Fort Mason, San Francisco; Guilford College; University of California, Santa Cruz; East West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii; Community TV, Honolulu, Hawaii; Asian Art Museum (SF0; Royal Hollaway University of London and other UK venues.
  • 2004: Ewha University (Seoul Korea); Sunaryo Gallery (Bandung, Indonesia); Frick Gallery, University of Pittsburgh; Guilford College; SPECTRA Artists in the Schools, Santa Cruz, CA; AAP Conference (Toronto, Canada); Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand).
Selected Publications: 

Sample Catalogues/ Dissertation/Edited Books or Journal Special Editions:

  • 2007: Issue editor Kyôgen Special issue, Asian Theatre Journal 24,1.
  • 2005: Editor and a major author of the issue on Asian Mask including “Balinese Mask Dance from the Perspective of a Master Artist: I Ketut Kodi,” by Kathy Foley and I Nyoman Sedana, Asian Theatre Journal 22, 2.
  • 2001: Editor and major author of the issue on South and Southeast Asian Puppetry with my translation of “The Origin of Kala,” (1-59), “Burmese Marionettes: Yokthe Thay in Transition,” (69-81) and co-authored “Hun: Thai Doll Puppetry,“ with Surapone Virulrak (81-87). Asian Theatre Journal 18,1.
  • 1992: Essays on Southeast Asian Performing Arts: Local Manifestations and Cross-Cultural Implications 18. Berkeley: UC Southeast Asian Monograph.
  • 1990: The World of Wayang: Puppetry of Indonesia, catalog for Center for Puppetry Arts (Atlanta, Georgia) touring exhibit for the project funded by the NEA, Georgia Foundation for the Arts and Rockefeller Foundation
  • 1979: "The Sundanese Wayang Golek”(Dissertation), University of Hawaii.

Sample Journal Articles:

  • 2019: "Voice of the Puppet" Moin-moin: Revista de Estudios Sobre Teatro de Formas Animadas [invited, in Portuguese and English] (Spring): 104-132
  • 2019: "Why Wayang" Kathy Foley Storytelling Magazine [“Puppetry in Storytelling ed. Mindy Donner] 31, 2: 28-29.
  • 2019: "Intangible Cultural Heritage and American Puppetry" Puppetry International 45 (Spring): 5-7
  • 2018: "Tradition and Post-Tradition: Four Contemporary Indian Puppeteers" [Karen Smith first author]. Asian Theatre Journal 35, 1: 70-84
  • 2018: "Ancestral Deliverance and Puppet Performance: Mulian Rescues his Mother and Bima Goes to Heaven" [I Nyoman Sedana, first author]. Asian Theatre Journal 35, 1: 85-98
  • 2017: "Debate on Tall tree, nest of the wind by Bernard Arps," Helen Creese, Matthew Isaac Cohen. Kathy Foley, and Bernard Arps, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land-, en Volkenkunde, 173: 115-131
  • 2017: "Modern Teater and Traditional Genres in Malaysia and Indonesia." [with Zainal Abdul Latiff] Asiatic 11, 2. [Journal of International Islamic University Malaysia]
  • 2016: "Judy Mitoma: Dancing on the Rim of the Pacific." Asian Theatre Journal 33, 2: 474-490
  • 2016: "Diane Daugherty" Asian Theatre Journal 33, 2: 459-473
  • 2016: "The Road from and to Bali," Puppetry International 40 (Fall/Winter): 16-18
  • 2016: "Little Blue Moon Theatre: un teatro de juguete sin ataduras" Paso de gato, Jan-Mar [reprint]
  • 2016: "Acting Training in Indonesia: Arifin C Noer and Putu Wijaya." Special Issue. Ed. Phillip Zarrilli, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (2016) 7, no. 3: 472-484
  • 2016: "Pesquisa transcultural: experincias com o golek wayang sudanes de Java Ocidental." [Cross Cultural Research: Experiences of Su[n]danese wayang golek of Java East]. Moin-moin: Revista de Estudios Sobre Teatro de Formas Animadas 12, no. 16: 138-149.
  • 2015: "Wayang Kelantan beyond Borders," Puppetry International 38 (Fall): 36-38 [peer reviewed].
  • 2015: "In Memorium: James R Brandon." University of Malaya Cultural Centre Journal, (Dec.)[invited].
  • 2014: “No More Masterpieces: Intangible Cultural Heritage in Bordered Worlds,” Asian Theatre Journal 31, 2: 369-398
  • 2014: “The Ronggeng, the Wayang, the Wali, and Islam: Female or Transvestite Male Dancers-Singers-Performers and Evolving Islam in West Java,” Women in Asian Theatre (special issue), Asian Theatre Journal 32, 2 (Spring 2015)
  • 2011: “Introduction to Southeast Asia, ” “Melvyn Helstien”, “Roger Long,” “ John Emigh,” “Fredrik deBoer” Asian Theatre Journal 28, 2.
  • 2011: “James Brandon” (with David Jortner as the first author) Asian Theatre Journal 28, 2.
  • 2011: “Shakespeare-Asian Theatre Fusions: Globe-"alization" of Naked Masks (Bangkok), Shadowlight (San Francisco), and Setagaya Public Theatre (Tokyo)” Asian Theatre Journal 28, 1
  • 2011: “Introduction to Kumi-Odori “ Kathy Foley and Nobuko Ochner, Manoa: Okinawan Literature Issue (Summer)
  • 2011: Magical Moonshine (Toy Puppet Issue) Puppetry International 26 (Spring)
  • 2010: “Lou Harrison: Sounding the Puppet Art,” Puppetry International 25 (Fall)
  • 2008: “The Voice in Sundanese Wayang Golek,“ Puppetry International 23 (Spring-Summer 08): 33-34
  • 2006: "Puppets and Politics: UNIMA Symposium 2005," Puppetry Journal 57: 20-25.:
  • 2006: "Exorcism and Puppetry," PUCK 14, 1.
  • 2005: "Introduction to Kumi Odori" Shushin Kan'iri with Nobuko Ochner, Asian Theatre Journal, 21, 1:1-44.
  • 2005: “Wayang and Gamelan as a Tool of Cultural Leaning,” In Learning through the Arts
  • 2004: "Puppetry in Islamic Culture," Puppetry Journal 56, 1: 26-27.
  • 2004: “Wayang Wong Priangan: Dance Drama of West Java.” By Yus Rusliana, trans., ed., and augmented by Kathy Foley. Balangan: 13-26.
  • 2003: “Contested Ground: Reflections on Convergence and Ruptures in Contemporary Asian Performance,” In Korea/Asia and America: Convergences and Ruptures. 38th American Studies International Conference Seoul:, Korea, 63-72
  • 2003: “Bangkok: An Epic Show in Honor of the King,” Puppetry Journal 55: 29
  • 2002: "Aspects of Ritual in Puppetry," Puppetry International 11:37-41.
  • 2001: "Reflections on Southeast Asian Theatre," pt 5:6-11 (In Japanese).
  • 2001: "The Metonymy of Art: Vietnamese Water Puppetry, " TDR 45,4:129-141.
  • 2001: "Dancer and the Danced," Puppetry International 8: 14-28.
  • 2000: "Semar in Sunda: The Southeast Asian God-Clown in his Sundanese Embodiment," RIMA 33, 2:87-115.
  • 2000: "The Dancer and the Danced," Puppetry International 8:14-28.
  • 1990/95: "My Bodies: The Performer in West Java," TDR 34, 2: 62-80.
  • 1988: "Hanako and the European Imagination," Asian Theatre Journal 5,1:76-85.
  • 1988: "Tibetan Opera Music and Dance from Lhasa," The Drama Review 32, 3:131-14.
  • 1987: "Tree of Life in Transition: Images of Resource Management in Indonesian Theater," Crossroads 3:2-3.
  • 1985: "Dancer and the Danced: Trance Dance and Theatrical Performance in West Java" Asian Theatre Journal 2:28-49.
  • 1985: "The Clown in the Sundanese Wayang Golek: Democratization of a Feudal Ethos," Scenarium 9:88-99.
  • 1982: "Of Dalang and Dukun - Spirits and Men: Curing and Performance in the Wayang of West Java," Asian Theatre Journal 1, 1:52-75.

Sample Contributions to Books:

  • 2019: "Wali(saints musulmans) reduit au silence: les marionettes wayang en Indonesie et en Malaisie.” Marionnettes et pouvoir, ed. Raphaele Fleury et Julie Sermon, 150-170. Montpellier: Institut International de la Marionnette et Deuxieme Epoque
  • 2018: "Her Story in Indonesian Dance." In Dance and Narrative. Ed. Barbara Sellers-Young and Jade McCrutheon, NY: Palgrave-McMillan
  • 2018: "Environmental Theatre: Selected Asian Models" Routledge Companion to Scenography. Ed. Arnold Aronson, 283-289, NY: Routledge
  • 2017: “The Woman Thing: Issues and Advances for Women in Sundanese Performance." In Routledge Guide to Women in Asian Theatre. Ed. Arya Madhavan, 15-27. NY: Routledge
  • 2016: "Who's Watching? Spectatorship in Wayang Golek Purwa," International Puppetry Research: Tracing the Past and the Present, ed. by Cariad Astles and Ida Hledikova, 125-137, [UNIMA Research Commission Publication for 22nd Congress in San Sebastian-Tolosa], UNIMA Slovak Centre
  • 2016: "Indonesia: Traditional Theatre" [co-author with I Nyoman Sedana]. In Routledge Handbook of Asian Theatre. Ed. Siyuan Liu, 71-94. NY: Routledge
  • 2016: "Southeast Asia" [Modern Theatre and Tradition]. In Routledge Handbook of Asian Theatre. Ed. Siyuan Liu, 472-480 NY: Routledge
  • 2016: "Lion Dancing in Asia" The 21st UNIMA Congress and World Puppetry Festival Thesis Compilation, Chengdu, UNIMA China, 348-359 Chengdu: Chengdu Times Press [Chinese and English] [peer reviewed conference proceedings from 2014 conference]
  • 2013: World Encyclopedia of Puppetry Arts [editor, translator and or author] Country, artist and company entries for: Tajikistan, Burma, China [25 articles with Fan Pen Chen], Himalayas, Indonesia [16 articles], Iran [11 articles] Israel, Japan [19 articles], ,Kazakhstan, Korea [18 articles], Kyrgyzstan, Palestine, Pakistan. Philippines [2 articles], Pakistan [2 articles],Turkey [15 articles], Turkmenistan, Nepal [2 articles], and Uzbekistan.
  • 2012: “Odalan Bali: An Offering of Music and Dance by Gamelan Çudamani.” In Greatest Show on Earth, ed. John Freeman, Middlesex: Libri.
  • 2011: “Ben Go Tun or the Five Rupiah Band” by K.M Saini translated by K. Foley. In The Lontar Anthology of Modern Indonesian drama Volume 3: New Directions 1965-1998. Jakarta: Lontar [Change of Status]
  • 2010: “Recycling Rama: The Ramayana and Symbols in Puppetry and Mask of West Java. In Ramayana in Focus: Visual and Performing Arts of Asia. Edited by Gauri Krishanan. Singapore: Asian Civilizations Museum [NEW]
  • 2009: “Indonesia,”“Wayang,” “Dalang,” I Wayan Wija,” “Narto Sabto”, “Asep Sunandar Sunarya,” “STSI-Surakarta,” “IKI-Denpasar,” “Shadow Theatre of the East,” “Aesthetic Ideas on Puppetry in the East.” “Thailand,” ”Joe Louis,” ”Chakraphand,” “Nang Nai,” “Vietnam,” “National Puppet Theatre,” In World Encyclopedia of Puppetry Arts. Ed by Thieri Foulc Paris: UNIMA International (Also credited as Southeast Asia Editor)
  • 2008: “Dance and Performing Arts In Southeast Asia.” In Encyclopedia of the Modern World. Ed by Marc Gilbert et al. N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
  • 2008: “Sushin Kaniri’iri: Possessed by Love Thwarted by the Bell” (with Nobuko Ochner) in Ryukyu Geino: the Legacy of Kin Ryosho by Jimpu Kai USA, 44-57. Honolulu: Jimpu Kai USA Kin Ryosho Ryukyu Geino
  • 2007: Multiple Entries in Encyclopedia of Asian Theater, edited by Samuel Leiter. Westport: Greenwood Press.
  • 2007: Multiple entries in Encyclopedia of Modern Drama and Southeast Asia editor NY: Columbia University Press.
  • 2006: (Translator) "The President and the Prostitute" by Ratna Sarumpaet. In Indonesian Women's Plays. Jakarta: Lontar Press.
  • 2002: "First Things: the Murwa in Sundanese Wayang Golek." In Wayang. Ed. by Jan Mazrek. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan
  • 1993 [1986]: "Burma," "Cambodia," "Indonesia," "Laos," "Malaysia," "Oceania," "Philippines," "Thailand," "Vietnam" (articles with additional genre and biographical entries), Cambridge Guide to Asian Theater, ed. by James Brandon. Cambridge: Univ. Press: 13-18; 19-25; 118-141; 190-192; 193-200; 203-210; 214-221; 234-244; 245-250.
  • 1993: "Sundanese Artists Linking Past and Future," Balungan: 5, 2, author of article and editor of magazine issue.
  • 1992: "South East Asia" and "Pacific," in Blackwell's Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre, ed. by Colin Chambers, Oxford: Blackwell,
  • 1987: "The Clown Figure in the Puppet Theatre of West Java: The Individual and the Ancestor," in Humor and Comedy in Puppetry, ed. by Diana and Joel Sherzer, Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Popular Press
  • 1986: "At the Graves of the Ancestors: Javanese Chronicle Plays in Cirebon, Indonesia," Themes in Drama: Historical Drama, ed. by James Redmond, Cambridge University Press: 31-49
  • 1986: "Giri Harja," "Sinar binangkit," and "Theatre in Indonesia," Theatre Companies of the World: Selected Profiles, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press
  • 1986: Essay/Overview and bibliographical entries for the "Southeast Asian Performance," Theatrical Movement: A Bibliographical Anthology; ed. by Bob Fleshman, Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press

Plays, Scripts:

  • 2011: Arjuna’s Meditation (May 21, UCSC Music Center)
  • 2010: Rengganis produced at UCSC with theatre 22 students (May 27),
  • 2009: Fox Hunts and Freedom Fighters (with Chan-Eung Park) Sept, 14-15 Theatre of Yugen (S.F), Feb. 2010 at UCSB (on Korea’s last empress and national heroine Yu Kwan-Sun)
  • 2008: Princess Pari and her Daughters, with Chan-Eung Park (Korean Shamanic Narratives in pansori singing style), produced at UCSC (April 16), Ronggeng, produced at UCSC with Theatre 22 students.
  • 2007: Before Becoming Buddha: Jataka Tales of the Previous Lives produced at UCSC with Theatre 151 students May 31- June 3
  • 2006: Churning the Sea of Milk, produced at UCSC with Theatre 22 students (Fall)
  • 2005: Road to Kyoto (revival) produced at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, directed by Holly Blumner (April 21-23) (revival of kabuki written in conjunction with James R. Bandon)
  • 2003: The Ghostly Goddess and the Sinner
  • 2002: Pancatantra: Animal Tales of India, produced at UCSC with Theatre 151 students.
  • The King of Bali (with music by Vincent McDermott), an opera on the Panji cycle revised and published in preparation for the 2003 performance in Indonesia (Jogyakarta, IKI, July 15-16), the work was originally developed for performance in l990 at Lewis and Clark College (April 22-23) with funding from the NEA. Revived in Indonesia in 2007
  • 2001, 1998: Baba/The Flight of the Monkey King. Adaptation of the work of Belle Yang and Journey to the West.
  • 1997: Farewell to Manzanar. (Adaptation of Jeanne and Jim Houston's Farewell to Manzanar, interviews, and transcripts of Japanese-American Reparations Hearings, and Chushingura)
  • 1990-91: Road to Tokyo, a modern kabuki by James Brandon and Brian Shaughnessy. The material was from Road to Kyoto, which I authored with James Brandon in 1976. The production played at the University of Hawaii, toured the Hawaiian Islands and was selected to go to the American College Theatre Festival and has had a number of productions at U.S. colleges. Death of Karna (with Vincent McDermott) libretto for an opera
  • 1990: Orpheus Ascending. Script commissioned by Magical Moonshine Theatre, project funded by Skaggs Foundation, Henson Foundation, Puppeteers of America and Napa County Arts Council (Jun. 29-30)
Honors and Awards: 
  • 2011: Yale School of Music and Divinity School, Institute of Sacred Music Fellowship
  • 2006: Alumni Association 'Teacher of Year" honorable mention Academic Senate.
  • 2003: Association for Asian Performance Invited Lecture at ATHE Conference.
  • 2002: Fulbright (Indonesia), Pacific Rim Grant (UCOP), Packard Foundation
  • 2001: Asian Cultural Council, Packard Foundation
  • 1999: Soros Foundation, Chandra Bhandari Endowed Chair of South Asian Studies
  • 1998: Asian Cultural Council, East-West Center Asian Studies Development Program
  • 1997: Korean Cultures Grant (East West Center ASDP), Hewlett Foundation
Selected Presentations: 

Sample Exhibits:

  • 2018: Indian Puppets (Porter Faculty Gallery, UCSC, Sept.-Dec.)

  • 2017: Thai Puppets and Masks, Porter Faculty Gallery, UCSC (Jan.-March) Indian PuppetsGreat Stories and Dancing Dolls, Center for Puppetry Arts,           Atlanta (Nov. 2017-July 2018)  

  • 2010-2012: Korean Mask and Folk Arts Exhibit UCSC (Fall 2010), Northern Illinois University (Winter 2012) and East-West Center Hawaii (Fall 2012)
  • 2004-2007: Gods, Demons; Monkeys and Kings: Mask Theatre of Southeast Asia, UCSC, Oct.-Dec, 2004; East West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, Dec-Mar 2005; Northern Illinois University, Mar.-Sept. 2006, Guilford College, Oct-Dec2006.; Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta, July 2006-2007.
  • 2006: Epic Narratives and Puppet Traditions of Asia: Ramayana, Mahabharata and Other Stories, Porter Faculty Gallery.
  • 1999-2004: From the Microcosm to the Macrocosm, South and Southeast Asian Puppets, Faculty Gallery UCSC, Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts, East-West Center Hawaii, Lyman Museum, Maui Cultural Center, Northern Illinois Museum of Anthropology, Frick Gallery University of Pittsburgh.
  • 1990: The World of Wayang: Puppetry of Indonesia, catalogue for Center for Puppetry Arts (Atlanta, Georgia) touring exhibit for project funded by the NEA, Georgia Foundation for the Arts and Rockefeller Foundation and touring to National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. SF Airport Galleries, East-West Center, Northern Illinois Museum of Anthropology.