Creating New Fans for a Comedic Tradition
- Shane Brill
CHESTERTOWN, MD—The WC Drama Department recently held a workshop in Kyōgen, a form of traditional Japanese theatre that provides comic relief in the midst of serious Noh, or classical dance theater. Led by University of Hawaii Professor Julie Iezzi, the workshop taught students and faculty to walk, talk, sing, dance, and drink using the specific movements and conventions of the enduring medieval form.
Kyōgen’s brief performances use exaggerated movements akin to slapstick to offer literal comic relief in the midst of more serious Noh, or classical dance theater.
The Washington College workshop was held on April 3, 2013 in Tawes Theatre. Workshop leader Iezzi is an Assistant Professor of Theater at the University of Hawaii, where she lectures and teaches practicum courses in traditional and contemporary Japanese Theater and directs kyōgen and kabuki productions in English.