The Theater

In 1984, Sakorn set up a booth at the annual Suan Amporn Fair in Bangkok to demonstrate the ancient art of making khon masks. He took with him to the booth the puppet of the old hermit from the Ramakian he had made. The puppet attracted attention, and when the Tourism Authority of Thailand discovered that this impoverished old man was the last living person who knows the art of theatrical puppetry, it offered him money to make more puppets and revive performances. The following year, Sakorn and his children gave a performance at the fair. He named the troupe Hun Lakorn Lek( Joe Louis), Sakorn Natasilp Troupe: Maestro Krae's Grandchildrens Lakorn Lek. The revival was welcomed but there was not enough demand for performances for it to be sustainable or viable as a livelihood.

In 1996, the Commission for National Culture nominated Sakorn for the title of National Artist (Performing Arts Category: Small Theatrical Puppetry). This nomination was made in the name of His Majesty the King, in whose name the honorific title of National Artist was bestowed. The accompanying medal was awarded by Her Royal Highness Princess Sirinthorn, daugther of His Majesty. This recognition enabled Sakorn and his children to raise enough money to open a small puppet theatre near their home in Nontaburi province. The theater was consecrated on 28th December 1999, and the first performance was given on 3rd January 2000. The theater was called the Joe Louis Theater. The revival was still not successful: the theater was rudimentary and too remote from the metropolis, and few went to see it. In May 2002, the theater was moved to its present and more central location at the Suan Lum Night Bazaar in Bangkok.

On 10th July 2002, Her Royal Highness Princess Sirinthorn, His Majesty's daughter, officially opened the theatre and unveiled the plaque. On 5th December 2004, Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana, sister of His Majesty the King, re-named the theater Nattayasala Hun Lakorn Lek(Joe Louis) in Thai and The Traditional Thai Puppet Theater in English. The Traditional Thai Puppet Theater Foundation is under Her Royal Highness's patronage.