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Creating New Fans for a Comedic Tradition

  • In an April 3 workshop sponsored by the Department of Drama, students learned the comedic artistry of Japanese Kyōgen. 
    In an April 3 workshop sponsored by the Department of Drama, students learned the comedic artistry of Japanese Kyōgen. 
    Shane Brill
  • Nina Sharp listens and learns.
    Nina Sharp listens and learns.
  • Workshop leader Julie Iezzi, left, was visiting from the University of Hawaii.
    Workshop leader Julie Iezzi, left, was visiting from the University of Hawaii.
  • Students join professor Dale Daigle, far right, off stage to watch fellow workshop participants in action.
    Students join professor Dale Daigle, far right, off stage to watch fellow workshop participants in action.
  • The workshop took place in Tawes Theatre.
    The workshop took place in Tawes Theatre.
  • The fan is one tool in the actor's hands.
    The fan is one tool in the actor's hands.
April 03, 2013
Students and faculty enjoy learning the movements of the Japanese comedic theater form Kyōgen in a special workshop.

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.


Last modified on Apr. 4th, 2013 at 5:11pm by Kay MacIntosh.