The Art of Theater

Topics: Kabuki, Theatre, Music Pages: 3 (867 words) Published: December 7, 2012
The Art of Theater

Every country has a specific form of entertainment for their culture. For East Asia, it is no exception; Japanese traditional theater is one of the oldest arts of the world. East Asia presents theater performances with Japanese musical ensembles; specifically the theater performances of Noh, Kabuki, and Bunraku. The Japanese believe in simplicity and show this throughout their performances. The three different theater genres are presented with different characteristics to outline their art and culture. The performers tell a story that the audience is able to relate to. Noh, Kabuki, and Bunraku all take extensive training to master the art, but in the end the performance pays off. These theater genres have been taught for years, making it one of the oldest forms of entertainment.

The first theater art mentioned was Noh; which is the oldest form of theater, dating back to the 14th century. This entertainment is marked by a masked performance; this is where the performers wear some kind of facial masks to represent the character that they are portraying. The actors move slowly and have a musical ensemble playing in the background. The ensemble consists of three drums and a horizontal flute. These instruments are known as the fue, kotsuzumi, ootsuzumi and taiko. (Activities) The only prop used on stage is a painted pine tree. This draws the audience’s attention more to the actors instead of the surrounding area. Noh Theater has been declining in recent decades due to the slowness of the performance. The Noh Theater presents difficulties in keeping the audience interested and involved in the musical performance.

Another musical drama presented by the Japanese is Kabuki. In this theater production the characters display more action. The actors do not wear a mask; instead they cover their face using white face paint. Unlike the Noh Theater, the Kabuki stage is set up with realistic scenery and props. More specifically, “the stage is...
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