Baracao, Gilda Mae D.
Celis, Christelle Joy R.
Cruz, Danisa M.
Mendoza, Katrina S.
Noh and Kyogen
The earliest existing Kyogen scripts date from the 14th century. Kyogen was used as an intermission between Noh acts — it linked the theme of the Noh play with the modern world by means of farce and slapstick. The Noh was only performed to the high level class. Unlike Noh, the performers of Kyogen do not wear masks, unless their role calls for physical transformation. Both men and women were allowed to perform Kyogen until 1450. Kabuki
The best known form of Japanese theatre is Kabuki. It was performed by Okunis. Perhaps its fame comes from the wild costumes and swordfights, which used real swords until the 1680s. Kabuki grew out of opposition to Noh — they wanted to shock the audience with more lively and timely stories. The first performance was in 1603. Like Noh, however, over time Kabuki became not just performing in a new way, but a stylized art to be performed only a certain way. As a matter of interest, the popular Gekidan Shinkansen, a theatrical troupe based in Tokyo today, insists it follows pure kabuki tradition by performing historical roles in a modern, noisy, and outlandish way — to shock the audience as kabuki intended, if you will. Whether or not they are kabuki, however, remains a matter of debate and personal opinion. Kabuki is a type of theatre that combines music, drama, and dance. Bunraku
Puppets and Bunraku were used in Japanese theatre as early as the noh plays. Medieval records record the use of puppets actually in Noh plays. Puppets are 3- to 4-foot-tall (0.91 to 1.2 m) dolls that are manipulated by puppeteers in full view of the audience. The puppeteers controlling the legs and hands are dressed entirely in black, while the head puppeteer is wearing colorful clothing. Music and chanting is a popular convention of bunraku, and the shamisen player is usually considered to be the leader of the production. -------------------------------------------------
Japanese modern drama in the early 20th century, the 1910s, consisted of Shingeki (experimental Western-style theater), which employed naturalistic acting and contemporary themes in contrast to the stylized conventions of Kabuki and Noh. Hōgetsu Shimamura and Kaoru Osanai were two figures influential in the development of shingeki. In the postwar period, there was a phenomenal growth in creative new dramatic works, which introduced fresh aesthetic concepts that revolutionized the orthodox modern theater. Challenging the realistic, psychological drama focused on "tragic historical progress" of the Western-derived shingeki, young playwrights broke with such accepted tenets as conventional stage space, placing their action in tents, streets, and open areas and, at the extreme, in scenes played out all over Tokyo. Plots became increasingly complex, with play-within-a-play sequences, moving rapidly back and forth in time, and intermingling reality with fantasy. Dramatic structure was fragmented, with the focus on the performer, who often used a variety of masks to reflect different personae. Playwrights returned to common stage devices perfected in Noh and Kabuki to project their ideas, such as employing a narrator, who could also use English for international audiences. Major playwrights in the 1980s were Kara Juro, Shimizu Kunio, and Betsuyaku Minoru, all closely connected to specific companies. In contrast, the fiercely independentMurai Shimako won awards throughout the world for her numerous works focusing on the Hiroshima bombing.
The Musician's Stage (Yuka)This is the auxiliary stage upon which the gidayu-bushi is performed. It thrusts out into the audience area at the front right portion of the seats. Upon this auxiliary stage there is a special revolving platform. It is upon this revolving platform that the chanter and the shamisen player make their appearance, and, when they are...