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Two shadow puppets looking across at one another, with red text in the middle that reads Chinese Shadow Puppetry Workshop with Annie Katsura Rollins.

Chinese Shadow Puppetry Workshop

Simplified Chinese (简体中文) | Traditional Chinese (繁体中文)

Chinese Shadow Puppetry Workshop

With Annie Katsura Rollins
Did you know? Chinese shadow puppetry dates back more than a thousand years. Through a trick of the light, this ancient practice can pique your curiosity, promote cultural values, and entertain whole communities. Embrace a time-honoured artform this Lunar New Year—join our online workshop to discover magic in the shadows.


A Peek Behind the Shadow Screen

Uncover the mysteries of this ancient artform. With artist and researcher Annie Katsura Rollins as your guide, you’ll learn about the origins of Chinese shadow puppetry, discover how these extraordinary puppets are made, and catch a glimpse of their intricate
details up-close.



​Bring Your Own Shadows to Life 

Keep this beautiful tradition alive! Annie will lead you
step-by-step in creating your very own shadow puppet using common craft supplies.




Workshop Outline

Materials You'll Need

  • Chinese shadow puppetry origins (~20 minutes)
  • How shadow puppets are made / up-close look (~20 minutes)
  • Short break
  • Making Your Own Puppets (~1 hour)
You will need the following materials to create a shadow puppet at home. We recommend visiting your local office supply or craft store to grab supplies:
  • Coloured markers
  • Brass fasteners
  • Hole punch
  • Disposable chopsticks or bamboo skewers (two per puppet)
  • Masking tape or similar tape
  • Scissors
  • Optional: A shadow screen to tell stories with your puppets! Use the following materials and tutorial linked here:
    • Large piece of foam core or
      cardboard box
    • Large white sheet of paper
    • Masking tape
    • Glue
    • Light source

A PDF template of the puppets will be emailed to you prior to the workshop. You will need access to a black and white printer to print these out.


Register Now

Deadline to register: two days before the session offered.

Session 1

via Zoom | 1:00-3:00PM PST Saturday, Feb 13 2021
Offered in English with a focus on children and families.
Recommended for ages 8-12, but all ages are welcomed.
Non-refundable registration fee: $5 per household
Register by Thursday, Feb 11 2021 at 3:00PM

REGISTRATION CLOSED - please select from our other session dates.

Session 2

via Zoom | 1:00-3:00PM PST Monday, Feb 15 2021
Offered in English with a focus on children and families.
Recommended for ages 8-12, but all ages are welcomed.
Non-refundable registration fee: $5 per household
Register by Saturday, Feb 13 2021 at 3:00PM 

SOLD OUT - email to be added to our waitlist.


Session 3

via Zoom | 1:00-3:00PM PST Sunday, Feb 21 2021
Offered in English with a Mandarin interpreter.
Non-refundable registration fee: $5 per household
Register by Friday, Feb 19 2021 at 3:00PM

SOLD OUT - email to be added to our waitlist.
When you register, please share any information that will assist us in making your experience as successful and safe as possible. If you have registered but are unable to attend, kindly email us at to make room for other attendees. Please note the registration fee is non-refundable. 

Missing out on these wonderful workshops?

If you are interested in future events and workshops at Gateway Theatre, be sure to sign up for our newsletter. Though you're missing out on workshops, you can still join in the Lunar New Year fun!  Once you sign up, you'll receive a video tutorial and printable templates for creating shadow puppets at home.

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About Annie Katsura Rollins


Annie Katsura Rollins is a researcher, theatre and puppetry artist, and practitioner of Chinese shadow puppetry, studying as a traditional apprentice since 2008. Rollins has received a Fulbright Fellowship, the Confucius Institute Joint PhD Research Fellowship and a Canadian SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship for her research. She was recently named valedictorian for her dissertation at Concordia University’s Interdisciplinary Humanities PhD program on the precarity of safeguarding traditional puppet forms. Selected venues for exhibitions, lectures and performances include The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Montreal Botanical Gardens, and The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. |

A big thank you to our Chinese Shadow Puppet Workshop Series Sponsor: Anna’s Cake House! With their support, we are able to keep these workshops accessible and affordable for you. 


Questions? Email us at
First image: 
Chinese shadow puppet from the Yutian Wenhua collection. Photo by Annie Katsura Rollins. ​Second image: Chinese Shadow Puppetry Forum at the University of Connecticut. Photo provided by Annie Katsura Rollins. Third image: Chinese shadow puppet from the Yutian Wenhua collection. Photo by Annie Katsura Rollins. Fourth image: Annie Katsura Rollins. Photo by Abby Bosley 2019.