The kayonan represents the tree of life in Balinese
shadow theatre. Its twirling dance opens and closes each performance. Without the
kayonan, there is no theatre. Douglas Fowley Jr. chose this symbol for his
Desirous of exploring beyond the allegorical approach to theatre developed
through his work with mask and shadow play, and to deepen his experience as a stage
actor working with written text, Douglas Fowley Jr. founded Theatre Kayonan in Paris
in 1987. The first production was an original performance inspired by Charles Dickens’
A Christmas Carol, created in collaboration with the Lebanese-American actress/storyteller
Amoon, French dancer and actress Paty
Soegeng, and actor Daniel Limoges from Quebec.
Douglas relocated to Geneva, Switzerland in 1990 where Theater Kayonan
presents works by English-language authors such as Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare,
John Steinbeck, Oscar Wilde, William Yeats and others. The plays are presented in
French and/or English to the international audience. Theatre Kayonan has toured Switzerland,
France, the United States and Canada.
It creates intimate theatrical events and plays close to
the audience. One-man shows, small casts, minimal décor… the success
of Kayonan’s work hinges on the actor’s presence and performance, the
director’s vision, musical composition and interpretation, and of course, the
author’s words. Be it comedy, tragedy or both, this simplicity of approach provokes
a strong actor-spectator relationship and enhances both audience pleasure and its
perception of the theatrical arts.
Theatre Kayonan works with a variety of directors, writers, actors and
actresses, depending on the nature of each project.