KETOPRAK PART 2: Ketoprak History

1887: An initial report about drama show in fullmoon performed by farmers community in a village south of Yogyakarta. The show was accompanied by the rhythm of lesung (traditional wooden mortar), which performed daily story.

1908: Kanjeng Raden Tumenggung Wreksodiningrat, an official of Kasunanan Surakarta, became the first man to gather artist of ketoprak lesung to play in his house. This simple sjow is full of jokes. The instruments used were lesung, gendang, suling and rebana.

1908: Ketoprak lesung got attention when performed in the wedding of Kasunanan Surakarta family.

1920: Cipto Mangunkusumo played ketoprak in Surakarta to show sympathy for tobacco farmers used by the officials. The show was critized by the colonial.

1914: Wreksodiningrat died. The effort of his community members to commercialized the show faced a dreadlock.

1925: One of Krida Madya Utama’s players, an former player of Wreksodiningrat left Surakarta to Klaten and Prambanan. They played in Demangan Village, Yogyakarta. Tehre are ketoprak groups appeared on the fringe of Yogyakarta. Ketoprak started to be performed in Sultan’s family.

1925-1926: Ketoprak Wreksatama Troup was established by KI Wasangkara in Surakarta.This period became a transition period as they did not only uded lesung, yet also simple gamelan, plus violin and guitar. The theme, costume and show were advanced.

1926-1927: After communist’s coup colonial surpress political movement and limit cultural life. Royal family ended their involvement in ketoprak.

1928: A newspaper reported that there were at least 300 ketoprak troupes in Yogyakarta. At least there were 4 troupes in every kampong.

1930s: Ketoprak Gardanela was established in Yogyakarta, and the show was enhanced with comprehensive gamelan. It performed chronicles, folklore, and story adopten from China.

1930/1931: Most of the troupes were dismissed by senior royalties in Yogyakarta as they considered, because the rise of cost and boredom.

1933: KGPAA Mangkunegara VII established SRV (Solosche Radio Vereeniging) which broadcasted karawitan from Kepatihan Mangkunegaran. Also Ketoprak and wayang wong of Taman Balekambang.

1935: Krida Raharga Troupe was appointed by the colonial government to play ketoprak. The show was broadcasted weekly in govt radio (Maatschappelijk Vereeniging voor Radio Omroep), now RRI Yogyakarta.

1942-1945: During Japanese occupation, the ketoprak troupes’ activities were declining.

1946-1949: The ketoprak actors joined in Sandiwara Rakyat which was performed by govt.

1950-1960: Cokrojiyo and Sudjati, later became popular, started to be involved with ketoprak Mangkusuman in Yogyakarta.

1955-1965; Ketoprak was involved in Indonesia politics. In Yogyakarta ketoprak was divided into two lines: Partai Nasional Indonesia (Indonesia National Party) and Partai Komunis Indonesia (Indonesia National Communist) which was affiliated LEKRA (Lembaga Kebudajaan Rakjat)

1957: Ketoprak actors formed Badan Kontak Orhanisasi Ketoprak Seluruh Indonesia (BAKOKSI) under PKI. The first congress had 275 groups.

1958: Siswondo Hardjo Suwito established Sisto Budoyo group in Tulungagung. One of the oldest ketoprak which is managed professionally.

1960: BAKOKSI published ‘ketoprak’ magazine. The content was about ketoprak history, language, music, and recruiting young talents and protested about entertainment tax which hardened ketoprak troupes.

1964: BAKOKSI congres II, which had favoured 371 groups.

1966-1967: After LEKRA political conflict, the artists were hunted, exiled, and killed. Ketoprak was almost gone.

1968: Ketoprak Budi Rahayu was established by a Chinese descendant and Dahono Mataram was supported by military in Yogyakarta.

1971: KODAM VII Diponegoro established Sapta Mandala ketoprak troupe supported by Budi Rahayu. Dahono Mataram was changed to be Wringin Dahono supported by KODIM 0374 Yogyakarta.

1985: Sapta Mandala performed ketoprak in Bahasa Indonesia which received critics.

1990: Funny ketoprak based on various standard stories were often performed in Yogyakarta and Surakarta.

1991: Siswonso HS established Sekolah menengah Kesenian Indonesia Siswo Budoyo in Tulungagung.

2001: Krtoprak Humor was popular in television. Nowadays there are performance which mix traditional show and humor on TV.