Alumna Performs Puppet Show at Downtown Center in Celebration of Diwali


Alumna Performs Puppet Show at Downtown Center in Celebration of Diwali
The Ramayana, a dramatic story about Indian Prince Rama and the loss of his throne, provides insight into many aspects of Indian culture, politics and religion.

Penelope Torribio, a Cal Poly Pomona alumna and professional puppeteer, will perform Friday, Nov. 8, 6 p.m., in the Studio Theatre at the Cal Poly Pomona Downtown Center, 300 W. Second St. in Pomona. Her performance will include a shadow and marionette puppet show of the Ramayana to celebrate the Diwali, a festival of lights commemorating the Ramayana hero?s homecoming.

Using marionettes from Burma and India, and shadow puppets from Indonesia, Torribio presents an original, yet accurate, up-tempo adaptation of the great Hindu epic, the Ramayana.

The Ramayana, a dramatic story about life in India around 1000 B.C., describes the royal birth of Rama and the loss of his throne. He is banished to the forest with his wife, Sita, and his half-brother, Laksmana, where he spends 14 years in exile. When a demon king carries off Sita, Rama solicits the help of a monkey general who helps him rescue her. Rama regains his kingdom, Ayodhya, but Sita is banished when her chastity is questioned. To prove her innocence, she is swallowed by the earth.

This epic poem provides insight into many aspects of Indian culture and continues to influence politics, religion and art of modern India. In North India, Rama?s return to Ayodhya and his coronation as king is still celebrated with a festival of lights, known as Diwali.

Torribio spent nearly seven years researching the Ramayana, culminating in a trip to India. She has read many interpretations of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, another Hindu epic she is currently working to recreate through a puppet show.

People of all ages are invited to attend Friday?s free puppet show.

For more information about Torribio and her work, visit her Web site at www.1worldmusicandpuppets.com. For more information about the performance, call the Downtown Center (909) 469-0080.