Meet our Mandalay-based team For more information please contact Program Director Ko Aung Kyaw Tun.
U Than Aung, known professionally as Saya Lei
U Than Aung is lead instructor for the Arts Mandalay Summer School and advisor on curriculum and planning for the Inwa School of Performing Arts. Formerly he was a senior teacher at the Mandalay State School of Performing Arts (Pantra).
Saya Lei is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest living authorities on the history of Myanmar dance and music. He has taught many hundred of students over a career of 50 years, many of whom comprise the top professional performers in the country. He is widely consulted by government and local authorities on special performance and teaching methods.
U Ohn Maung
U Ohn Maung is a senior advisor and former director of the Mintha Theater , a repertoire performance venue co-founded with Daniel Ehrlich in 2006. He designed choreography, musical scores, and costumes for more than a dozen set pieces showcasing Myanmar dance, acrobatics, and iconic Myanmar musical performance for the theater.
Before founding the Mintha Theater, he was a principal performer for the famed Mandalay Marionettes. He is on the Board of the Myanmar Marionettes Association and is one of the last remaining makers of professional-quality marionettes using the methods developed over hundreds of years of Myanmar history.
"Many young people from the countryside are deeply interested but have nowhere to learn our performing arts. Many are very talented." -- Ohn Maung, Mandalay, 2014
Ko Aung Kyaw Tun
Ko Aung Kyaw Tun is Programs Director at Arts Mandalay Foundation. Mr. Aung, often called Tun Tun or Ko Tun, is a Pwe guitarist and English language guide with extensive connections in Mandalay's art scene. Our initiatives are guided by his collaboration with troupes, musicians, officials and the Mandalay Pwe Association. Ko Tun is also General Manager of the Inwa School of Performing Arts, with overall responsibility for the daily operation of the school.
Tun Tun grew up with the Pwe as a mesmerizing web of myths, morality lessons, comedy and history that integrated children naturally into Myanmar civilization. He learned to play the guitar as a teenager, and followed his heart to the Pwe, where he performed for two decades. He wants his children and theirs to grow up with vibrant connections to a living arts culture.
"It's the right time to save our culture" -- Aung Kyaw Tun, June 19, 2015
U Maung Ko
U Maung Ko is Operations Manager of Arts Mandalay Foundation. Maung Ko was principle organizer for the Backstage Mandalay book. He has extensive experience in problem-solving and regional transportation, and is responsible for logistics and operational support in the Mandalay area.
Inwa School of Performing Arts Faculty
U Kyaw Win
U Kyaw Win is a master teacher at the Inwa School of Performing Arts with a lifetime of knowledge from his performance career. He is one of the few remaining instructors steeped in the comprehensive Mandalay Pantra teaching curriculum, and is working with Saya Lei to document the famed dance training methods developed in Mandalay in the 1950s, to preserve them as a national treasure.
Sayama Myint Myat Ti
Sayama Myint Myat Ti is a graduate of the Pantra School. She came to the Inwa School to teach singing and dance fundamentals after a full career as a performing artist.
Pantra Saya Soe Thu
Saya Soe Thu earned the title "Pantra" as a distinguished graduate of the state Pantra School. He is an ongoing stage performer and came to teach part-time at the Inwa School because he cares deeply about preserving the quality of Myanmar theater.