Abkar Knadjian’s Puppet Tribe

cast of Karagöz puppet characters

Abkar Knadjian’s Puppet Tribe (cast of Karagöz puppet characters) were born in Sanliurfa in the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century. They traveled and performed in coffeehouses throughout South East Anatolia with Abkar until calamitous events (it was a Genocide!) forced them to leave their home and migrate to Aleppo. After some time they dusted themselves off and continued to perform in the coffeeshouses of the Old City of Aleppo–always causing mischief and laughter in their wake. They lived in a trunk in an attic for a century, where they experienced the current Syrian war. Twice over survivor objects, they were relieved when Sona heard their call and showed up in 2019 to get them out. After decades of not performing, they made their comeback at Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies in September 2019 as part of a storytelling lecture Sona delivered. Since then, they have taken charge and led the way for the creation of Azad storytelling with performances as part of the cultural event “1001 Nights” in Los Angeles in August 2021, followed by a first iteration performance at The Pico Playhouse in Los Angeles April 2022. They are also major players in the multimedia theatrical experience Azad (the rabbit and the wolf), their international theater debut, with a development workshop at the Vineyard theater in NYC January 2023, University of Connecticut 2023, Harvard artlab 2023, and Wake Forest University 2024. Now the offers are flooding in!