Director George Bellah draws on his recent travels to Southeast Asia to bring the theatre traditions of Asia to the CWU stage.
Central Washington University's Theatre Arts department has been notified their production of NOH TELLING has been invited to the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival to be held in Laramie, WY February 2008.
A fusion of Eastern and Western theatre styles and sensibilities, the project was originally commissioned by the Asian Studies Development Program and presented at the 2007 International Conference in Seattle on March 10, 2007 it was also presented to the public in Seattle at a separate performance and on the CWU campus for those who could not attend the Seattle performances. It was remounted supporting the World Languages Day held on CWU campus in the Spring of 2007.
The production focuses on two traditional Japanese plays. "Komachi," by renowned American playwright Romulus Linney, is based on the seven Noh plays focusing on various episodes of Komachi's life, her poetry, as well as the truth, myths and various legends which grew up around her life.
"Boshibari," wittily translated from the anonymous Kyogen original by Irish scholar Eileen Kato, is more directly derivative of the Noh traditions. As the comic counterpart to serious and contemplative Noh plays, Kyogen enjoys a wide range of interpretations when performed by the different schools of Noh artists.
Director George Bellah began his research for the production with two recent research trips to Southeast Asia. The cast also had the opportunity to work with Japanese movement specialist Masako Hojo in a series of workshops preparing them for the exacting and traditional movement style of Noh theatre. Hojo, who studied in the traditional style in Japan, is now working in New York for a costume company. Her most recent work was seen in the Broadway production of "Tarzan."
"Through advanced training, research and study, we are attempting to honor Asian theatre traditions while making the play and its style understandable and enjoyable for an American audience," says Bellah.
Designing costumes for the production is former CWU Theatre Arts faculty member Cheri Vasek. A professor at the University of Idaho, Vasek teaches Cheri costume design, mask making, millinery and makeup and has also focused in advanced research on Asian theatre.
March 2 and 3 at 7 p.m.
March 9 at 7 p.m.
Plymouth Congregational Church Hall
1217 6th Avenue Seattle, WA
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