TERA เถระ

Team Thailand was formed in summer 2022 by the initiative of Narumol (Kop) Thammapruksa, a theater artist with strong ties to Japan. Other artists based in Chiang Mai, the central city of northern Thailand, subsequently joined.
The artists boldly deconstructed the original version of Tera performed in Tokyo and created TERA เถระ, an original production of their own. New elements relating to views on life and death were incorporated, such as philosophy and scripture of Thai Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism, traditional culture, music, and myths of Northern Thailand, as well as Western philosophy, meditation, Butoh dance, and children’s literature. The performance was held at Pha Lat temple located in Doi Suthep National Park in Chiang Mai. In this precinct in the mountains, the performance proceeded while the audience, led by the performers, walked from outside the gate toward the main building.

Venue and Dates

Performance Venue: Wat Pha Lat, Chiang Mai
Performance Dates: October 16th to 18th, 2020


Shigeru Okamoto, a painter, is asked to make a replica of a huge mandala by a monk. In the painting process, he gets drawn into the world depicted in the mandala. Meanwhile, an elderly housekeeper named Kae Yamada, watches him while taking care of a calico cat she brought home.
Based on The Cat Who Went to Heaven (1930), a children’s novel by Elizabeth Coatsworth, the stories of various characters travel beyond space and time, from early postwar Japan, in which Shigeru and Kae lived, to Thailand, India, and Tibet. While some elements of TERA in Japan are left intact—such as the question-and-answer session, in which the musician poses 108 questions to the audience, and Buddhist chants by the monk of the temple—the work has been wholly reenvisioned to vividly reflect the beliefs and views on life and death held by the Thai people.


Director: Narumol Thammapruksa
Performer: Sonoko Prow, Kram Thum
Musician: Great Lekakul, Torpong Samerjai
Honorary guest: Venerable Theerawit Jirawattano
Dramaturg: Dr. Somwang Kaewsufong, Kram Thum
Art Director: Narumol Thammapruksa
Graphic Designer: Kram Thum
Stage Manager: Phaksaran Polharn, Thipaporn Suntornjamorn, Thanratanaram Cheepnurat
Projection operator: Narumol Thammaprugsa
Make-up Artist: Thanratanaram Cheepnurat
Sound: Wasanchai Im-Ot
Lighting: A-Plus Light & Sound (Suthipong Saiwongpanya, Nat, Bright)
Costume: Orathai Pikulkamolrat, Mrs. Pen
Video Recording: Mayim Studio (Supamok Silarak)
Japanese subtitles: Miho Sentoku

Special thanks to:
Phrakru Theerasutpot (Dr. Phramaha Sanga Chaiwongse) – The abbot of Wat Pha Lat
Phra Theerawit Jirawattano, Wat Pha Lat
Monk Chat Team
Waraporn Wasunthararat, Director of Rajamangalaphisek Library, Chiang Mai
The security officer team of Rajamangalaphisek Library, Chiang Mai
Sittipong Saiwongpanya, A-Plus Light & Sound
Sahadhammikchon Foundation and Itthisak Leryotpornchai
Setuko Kono, CHAO Newspaper
Saiklang Jindasu, Fine Arts Department
Dr. Sombat Tapanya, Peace Culture Foundation
Nopphamas Sirichumpong
Khandha Arts’n Theatre Company
Orathai Pikulkamonrat, Rewadee Curtain
Uncle Ari Doksom

Phra Khru Pipitsutatorn (Phramahaboonchuay Sirintharo) Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Chiang mai
Dr. Somwang Kaewsufong, Faculty of Humanities, Chiang Mai University

Grant: The Japan Foundation Asia Center Grant Program for Enhancing People-to-People Exchange
Concept: TERASIA

Review and Critique

TERA เถระ|by Rina Tanaka (Japanese)
“TERA เถระ” from Behind the Subtitles|by Miho Sentoku (English)

TERA เถระ – Online Viewing and Special Talk Session

In late October 2020, following the “TERA เถระ” performances in Chaing Mai, Thai and Japanese artists held a public online screening with Japanese subtitles and discussed what was happening in the project.

Date: October 30th, 2020
Grant: The Japan Foundation Asia Center Grant Program for Enhancing People-to-People Exchange