My small town has had a traditional puppet theater performance for the last 13 years. A bit of background:

1. A shrine in the interior of town built a rotating stage in the late 19th century for the purpose of village kabuki performances; those died out after the second world war, but
2. Thirteen or fourteen years ago, Yoshida Kanroku, a member of Japan's National Bunraku Theater in Osaka, was looking for a place to live in the Tokyo area, and he found this shrine and its stage, and thought it would be a good place to revive traditional puppet performances (his house is now just over the hill from mine).
3. For ten years, Kanroku brought fellow-members of the National Bunraku Theater from Osaka to put on performances, but thereafter he's been arranging for more local puppet groups to perform; last year and this year he got a women's troupe located in the Atsugi area to participate.
The bunraku theater has been around for many centuryies in Japan--at least 300 years; more information is available at:
http://www.artelino.com/articles/bunraku.asp
http://www.asianinterstage.com/tonda/
http://homepage2.nifty.com/hachisuke/temp004.html

(you can find out much more merely by googling for "bunraku").

Anyway, the performances in Fujino are very popular in style--and thus more like the original--not like the formalized stuff you see at the National Theater in Tokyo or Osaka. I and the group of friends I'm a member of have been helping in one capacity or another for most of the years the performances have been going on. I began making English-language programs based on my own brief (and intensive) study of each play just before the performance, although this year I didn't have time to do it. Anyway, here's some photographs; the exif isn't attached, but most were at ISO 800 or 1600, and with the E-300 and Olympus 50-200 lens. All of these were developed with Silkypix. I can give more precise info if anyone's interested:







Kanroku-san with puppet during rehearsal:






The daughter of a friend, waiting for the performance to begin:




I hope it's not necessary to add, but I took hundreds of photographs (RAW), developed about 160 of them, and of those, only a few are "keepers"; the lighting and exposure during the performances themselves were real bears to control, especially since they were using colored lighting that made any concept of "correct WB" totally irrelevant. I really need the Olympus 300mm f2.8 lens, but don't have the $7,000 !!!

A few more of the photographs I've developed thus far are at my Peregrinor site.