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ICARUS - A New Noh in English

March 2012

The tragic Greek myth is brought to life in a riveting new adaptation, inspired by Japanese Noh drama. The magician Daedelos, imprisoned with his son Icarus by the wicked King Minos, creates magical wings with which to make an escape. Together, father and son set out for the skies. Daedelos warns Icarus not to fly too close to the sun, lest the heat melt his wings, but Icarus does not listen. Fusing Western and Eastern performance and playwriting styles, as well as dance, song and drama, ICARUS promises to provide a unique experience for our audiences.

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Icarus Intriguing Fusion of Japanese and Greek Theatre Traditions

February 24, 2012

ELLENSBURG, Wash.  — In a dynamic fusion of two classical dramatic cultures, the Greek myth, Icarus, is reinterpreted through the unique ritual of Japanese Noh theatre. Award-winning Central Washington University producers and playwrights George Bellah and Elise Forier retell the universal story of youthful arrogance brought to a tragic end, and a father’s enduring grief. The powerful juxtaposition of Greek and Japanese traditions illuminates these timeless themes to create an unforgettable theatre experience.

CWU's Central Theatre Ensemble’s Icarus will be performed at 7:30 p.m., March 1-3, and 9-10, and at 2:00 p.m., March 11, in McConnell Auditorium. Tickets are $12 general admission, $10 for seniors/students, and $7 for CWU students. Tickets may be purchased online at

Icarus will also be performed at the Asian Studies Development Program International Conference in Seattle on March 30, with a school matinee 1:00 p.m. that same day. There will be an additional public performance at the Center House Theatre at Seattle Center on March 31 at 7:30 p.m.

Bellah has studied the performance aspects of Noh, a form of classical Japanese dance theatre, with the Noh Training Project since 2008. He has spent considerable time in Japan studying with Noh teachers, including a recent month-long sojourn in Tokyo.

Forier has won playwriting awards from the Columbia Entertainment Company, Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission, and others. She has twice been invited to develop her works at the National Playwright’s Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center.

Composer Kevin Salfen, from the University of the Incarnate Word (Texas), has created a compelling score that deftly combines Eastern and Western musical motifs and provides a subtle counterpoint to the enduring themes of Icarus.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,


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