About

About

Aya Nakamura’s passion for puppetry developed while she was studying theatre design in London. Since then she has studied further at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Insititut International de la Marionnette (France) under acclaimed German Puppeteer, Ilka Schonbein.

Aya is very interested in exploring the deep dialogue that can be shared between a puppet and its puppeteer, weaving this relationship into the story, often employing human-sized puppets that share a similar face with its puppeteer.

She is an associate artist of Rouge28 Theatre, where she created both the award winning Urashima Taro and Kwaidan alongside long-term collabrator Paul Piris. Recently she was awarded Best Puppeteer at the International Puppet and Animation Festival for Adutls in Warsaw 2017. 

Aya is very interested in exploring the deep dialogue that can be shared between a puppet and its puppeteer

Aya has performed and puppeteered with many other companies and has been commissioned to build puppets for many productions.

Workshop leading is another side of her interest. Leading workshops for drama, puppet making and puppeteering for children to adults as well as various ability participants.

Aya is originally from Japan, having spent her teens in Singapore before arriving in London in 2000. She has been happy based here ever since.


Performance History


2019-20All Wrapped Up (Oily Cart)
UK National Tour.
Director: Ellie Griffiths
Techinique: Object Manipulation, Shadow Puppet, Direct Manipulated Puppet.
2019Twirlywoos Live! (MEI Theatrical)
UK National Tour.
Director: Roman Stefanski.
Technique: Table-Top Puppet.
2018The Frog and Princess (Norwich Puppet Theatre / Rene Baker)
UK National Tour,
Director: Rene Baker
Technique: Table-Top Puppet, Physical Theatre, Puppet with Speech
Urashima Taro (Rouge28 Theatre), Flipside Festival, Singapore
Director: Paul Piris
Technique: Life-sized Puppet, Pupp-Acting, Singing, Paper Theatre, Shadow Puppet
2017-18Sarah and Duck’s Big Top Birthday (Polka Theatre/MEI Theatrical)
UK National Tour and Edinburgh Fringe Festival      
Director: Roman Stefanski
Technique: Table-Top Puppet, Rod Puppet, Singing, Manipulation with recorded voice
2017The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare The Freak (Wattle and Daub Figure Theatre)
Tobacco Factory, Bristol and Wilton Music Hall, London.
Director: Sita Calvert-Ennals.
Technique: Lip Synch Puppet, Operatic Singing, Rod Puppet.
Kwaidan (Rouge28 Theatre)
UK and European Tour (Denmark, Poland and Greece).
Director: Paul Piris.
Technique: Life-sized Puppet, Pupp-Acting, Humanette.
2017R& D: The Dong with a Luminous Nose (Peter O’Rourke)
Devising, testing the puppets and ideas
Director: Peter O’Rourke
Technique: Rod Puppet, Multi-puppeteer Manipulation, Object Manipulation
2016Hansel and Gretel (Horse+Bamboo Theatre)
The Citadel, St Helens and Norwich Puppet Theatre.
Director: Alison Duddle.
Technique: Table Top Puppet, Paper Theatre, Storytelling.
Newzoids Series Two (ITV, Citrus TV and Factory)
Director: George Kane and Dominic Brigstocke.
Technique: TV Puppetry, Rod Puppet, Manipulation with Recoded Voice, Green Screen.
Daedala (Oliver Hymans)
Director: Oliver Hymans
Technique: Object Manipulation
Meadow (Handbendi Brúðuleikhús, Formerly know as Old Saw)
Hvammstangi Community Theatre, Iceland and UK National Tour
Director: Greta Clough
Technique: Rod Puppet, Object Manipulation
Duvet Day (Handbendi Brúðuleikhús, Formerly know as Old Saw)
UK and Scotland National Tour.
Director: Greta Clough.
Technique: Puppet show for babies and toddlers, Object Manipulation.
2014-16Kwaidan (Rouge28 Theatre), Manipulate Festival, UK National Tour,
Director: Paul Piris
Technique: Life-sized Puppet, Pupp-Acting, Humanette
2014-15The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare The Freak
(Wattle and Daub Figure Theatre), Bristol Puppet Festival.
Director: Sita Calvert-Ennals.
Technique: Lip Synch Puppet, Operatic Singing, Rod Puppet.
2015Urashima Taro (Rouge28 Theatre), Athens, Greece
Director: Paul Piris
Technique: Life-sized Puppet, Pupp-Acting, Singing, Paper Theatre, Shadow Puppet
2014-15Hansel and Gretel (Horse+Bamboo Theatre), UK National Tour
The Citadel, St Helens and Norwich Puppet Theatre
Director: Alison Duddle
Technique: Table-Top Puppet, Mask
2014The Frog and Princess (Norwich Puppet Theatre / Rene Baker)
UK National Tour.
Director: Rene Baker.
Technique: Table-Top Puppet, Physical Theatre, Puppet with Speech.
2012-14Charlie and Lola Extremely New Play (Polka Theatre/Watershed Production)
UK National Tour and Polka Theatre.
Director: Roman Stefanski.
Technique: 2D Table-Top Puppet, Manipulation with recoded voice.
2013Urashima Taro (Rouge28 Theatre)
Polish National Tour.
Director: Paul Piris.
Technique: Life-sized Puppet, Pupp-Acting, Singing, Paper Theatre, Shadow Puppet.
Mademoiselle Lychee (Rouge28 Theatre/Aya Nakamura)
Le Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes (France).
Creator: Aya Nakamura.
Technique: Humanette Peep Show.
2011-13The Nightingale (Horse+ Bamboo Theatre)
UK National Tour.
Director: Alison Duddle.
Technique: Table-Top Puppet, Rod Puppet, Mask, Glove Puppet, Physical Theatre.
2012Argos Alien Commercial
Technique: Rod Puppet, Green Screen.
R&D: The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare The Freak (Wattle and Daub Figure Theatre)
Director: Laura Purcell-Gate.
Technique: Lip Synch Puppet.
2011-12Imaginary Friends (Whalley Range All Stars)
National UK Tour.
Director: Edward Taylor.
Technique: Street Theatre, Life-size Puppet, Improvisation.
2011R&D: The Wild Sawn (Young Vic)
Young Vic.
Director: Sasha Wares.
Technique: Rod Puppet.
Return As Faulty
Independent short film.
Director: L. Lefteriou.
Technique: Glove Puppet.
R&D: Mischief (Theatre Rites)
Director: Sue Buckmaster
Technique: Object Manipulation, Rod Puppet
2009-11Urashima Taro (Rouge28 Theatre)
Le Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes (France), Decibel ACE Showcase Festival, UK National Tour.
Director: Paul Piris.
Technique: Life-sized Puppet, Pupp-Acting, Singing, Paper Theatre, Shadow Puppet.
2010Charlie and Lola Best Bestest Play (Polka Theatre / Watershed Production)
Polka Theatre, UK National Tour and Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Director: Roman Stefanski.
Technique: 2D Table-Top Puppet, Manipulation with recoded voice.
2008Urban Dreams (London Bubble)
London Park Tour.
Director: Jonathan Petherbridge.
Technique: Outdoor Theatre, Community Theatre, Mask, Chorus Work.
The Twin Stars (Unicorn Theatre)
Unicorn Theatre.
Director: Tony Graham.
Technique: Table-Top Puppet, Object Manipulation.
2007Double Negative (Chopped Logic)
Camden People’s Theatre.
Director: Cassie Werber.
Technique: Road Puppet, Physical Theatre.
Press The Red Button (Doo Cot)
Green Room, Manchester.
Director: Rachael Field.
Technique: Object Manipulation.
2006-07Fold Your Own (Doo Cot)
National UK Tour.
Director: Rachael Field.
Technique: Object Manipulation, Singing, Physical Theatre.
2006Furies (DoppelGäng)
Barons’s Court Theatre, Puppet School Festival, Poland.
Director: Paul Piris.
Technique: Table-Top Puppet, Chorus Work.
Today’s Special (Malted Milk)
Director: Jing Wong.
Technique: Object Manipulation, Storytelling.
Bush and Dog (Allez! Theatre)
Director: Paul Piris.
Technique: Rod Puppet, Street Show.

Training History

2019Master Class: Mask Performing
Led by Vamos Theatre (Rachael Savage), Jacksons Lane
2018Master Class: Papier Théâtre Workshop
Led by Alain Lecucq, Institut International de la Marionnette (France)
2014 & 16Chorus Work and Movement
Led by Clod Emsenble
2014The Power of Puppets
Led by Stuffed Puppet/Neville Tranter, Norwich Puppet Theatre
2010 & 11Butoh Workshop
Led by Masaki Iwana, La Maison du Butoh Blanc(France)
2009Object Manipulation Workshop
Led by Phillipe Genty Company
2008Physical Theatre Training
Arts Educational Schools London
2007Making a Solo Puppet
Led by Ilka Schöbein, Institut International de la Marionnette (France)
Master Class: Applying Lecoq Methods To Puppetry
Led by Tabola Rassa (Spain)
Master Class: Writing for Puppetry
Led by Ronnie Burkett
2006The Logic of Movement
Led by Stephen Mottram
2005 & 06Bunraku Puppet
Led by Nori Sawa, Buxton Puppet Festival
2005-06MA Advanced Theatre Practice
Central School of Speech and Drama
2001-04BA(Hons) Theatre Design
Wimbledon School of Art