Leonidas Kassapides Bio

LK was born in Thessaloniki, Greece where he lived until the age of 19. He has a BA in theater from Berea College. His grandfather was also a Karaghiozopektis (Greek shadow master). His upbringing and his interest in Asian Theater laid the groundwork for his culturally rich career.

He has been performing shadow theater professionally, touring in museums, theaters, festivals and schools since 1989 in the United states and Europe. He teaches and directs shadow puppetry in schools of all levels in the Bay Area as an artist in residence. He assists Larry Reed for his Wayang performances (Balinese Shadow Theater) and has been a performer for Shadow Light Productions since the early nineties.

Leonidas Kassapides Shadow Theater Manifesto:

Before you enter the Labyrinth of the Shadows you have to focus.

You have to concentrate.

Remember the very old days when you first invented the fire? I am talking about a long time ago the first time you brought or lit fire in the cave?! You got very scared when you first noticed the shadows on the walls of your shelter. Those are not the day shadows that are glued on your feet. You are used to those. These night shadows from the fire are more mysterious more dangerous more flexible than the day shadows from the sun. They are more powerful because they come from the fire that you invented.”

The first time you felt like God was when you understood the shadow. You learned that with a single point of light the shadow can not only be primordial but also very specific. You invented Shadow Theater before you invented language. The need for verbal language was born from the ancient storytelling art of shadow Theater. But the biggest discovery came when you discovered the scientific implications of making gigantic shadows when you bring the puppet closer to the light.

Leonidas Kassapides leonidaskass@yahoo.com