Noh and Opera to Combine in THE BEAUTY OF NOH: TOMOE AND YOSHINAKA at ACT, 9/26-28

Noh and Opera to Combine in THE BEAUTY OF NOH: TOMOE AND YOSHINAKA at ACT, 9/26-28

Tomoe and Yoshinaka will, for the first time, present a double­bill performance featuring Noh, the traditional dance­drama of Japan, alongside a modern Noh-­inspired opera composed by Garrett Fisher with Fisher Ensemble.

Noh is the oldest form of classical dance­dramas in Japan. It was developed in the 14th century from religious sources and folk myths. A combination of drama, music, and dance; Noh is also one of the five major forms of traditional Japanese theater. After 1374, Noh was patronized by the warrior class, whereas Kabuki (traditional theater) and Bunraku (classical puppetry) developed later for the common people. Noh is characterized by symbolic gestures and simple sets and there is no curtain between the stage and the audience, as in other traditional theater. The chief actor (shite-kata) and his associates (waki-kata) wear various kinds of masks (Noh­men) to denote the characters they represent, such as an old man, a samurai, a young woman, a demon, an animal, or a supernatural being.

The Noh story Tomoe, based on the Japanese epic Tales of the Heike, is a love story about a woman, the famous 12th­century samurai warrior Tomoe Gozen, who is not allowed to die on the battlefield with her master, Yoshinaka. The traditional Noh play Tomoe will be performed by Munenori Takeda, one of Japan's most talented Noh masters, and the Takeda Noh Troupe. The Fisher Ensemble and Munenori Takeda will then perform Yoshinaka, a modern opera based on the same story, which is written by Seattle­based composer Garrett Fisher, directed by Tikka Sears, and choreographed by Christy Fisher.

Munenori Takeda (Noh Master) Munenori Takeda was born into a family of pre­eminent Noh actors belonging to the Kanze School, which traces its roots to the 1300's. He first performed on the Noh stage at the age of two. His father, grandfather, and several uncles are all "Living National Treasures" in Japan. Munenori has performed in Beijing, Moscow, and Milan, and is widely recognized as one of the most talented young Noh performers in Japan today. He will perform Tomoe in the traditional Noh theatre, as well as Sho-Kannon in the opera Yoshinaka.

Garrett Fisher (Composer of Opera "Yoshinaka"): With over 13 full­length works to his name, Seattle­based composer Garrett Fisher combines music, theater, and a diverse array of global influences into what the The New York Times describes as "exotic and enticing." Based on a collaborative process that allows performers their own interpretations, his pieces cohesively integrate a diversity of influences that defy any specific genre or tradition. Fisher's immersive operas, praised by such sources as the Wall Street Journal ("spare yet gripping"), Seattle Times ("This is, in short, ravishing stuff"), and Gramophone ("touches of pure dramatic genius"), have been presented in Seattle, New York, and abroad, and produced by Beth Morrison Projects (NYC).

Tikka Sears (Director of Opera "Yoshinaka"): Tikka Sears is a Seattle based theater director, performer, and teaching artist. She is co-founder and artistic director of Memory War Theater. Tikka spent two years in Indonesia as a Fulbright Artist-in-Residence and has been studying, performing and teaching Indonesian arts for 15 years, weaving mask, dance and puppetry traditions into her work. Sears is the co-founder and co-director of the Interactive Theater As Pedagogy Project at the University of Washington Center for Teaching and Learning and creates interactive theater to promote inclusivity, equity and diversity. Her directing work has appeared at On the Boards, Intiman (Rough Eagles), Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas, Velocity, Bumbershoot, Ethnic Cultural Theatre, JakArt International Festival and other venues. Sears was part of the affiliate artist working group and performed in the world premiere of the Ramayana at ACT Theatre in 2012.

The Beauty of Noh: Tomoe and Yoshinaka
Two tellings of a love story from Japan's epic, The Tale of the Heike
Presented by Japan Arts Connection Lab and Central Heating Lab at ACT
September 26 - 28, 2014
At ACT Theatre Falls Theatre, 700 Union Street, Seattle, WA 98101
Adults: Single Tickets - $35; Students/Seniors/Under 25 Discounted
Contact: (206) 292-7676 or www.acttheatre.org

Cast:

Tomoe (Traditional Noh Theatre)

Munenori Takeda (Shite-kata, Kanze School of Noh)

Munekazu Takeda (Shite-kata, Kanze School of Noh)

Tomoyuki Takeda (Shite-kata, Kanze School of Noh)

Fumiyuki Takeda (Shite-kata, Kanze School of Noh)

Yoshiteru Takeda (Shite-kata, Kanze School of Noh)

Tomotaka Fukuoh (Waki-kata, Fukuoh School of Noh)

Mitsuhiko Sumikoma (Small drum player, Kou School of Noh Kozutsumi)

Yosuke Kamei (Taiko drum player, Kadono School of Noh Taiko)

Takahiro Fujita (Flute player, Issou School of Noh Flute)

*Shite-kata means main performer, and Waki-kata means supporting performer.

Yoshinaka (Opera)

Garrett Fisher: Composer and Keyboard

José Luis Muñoz: Singer

Matthew Richardson: Singer

Jordan McClellan: Singer

Munenori Takeda: Singer and Dancer

Christy Fisher: Choreographer and Dancer

Sheri Brown: Dancer

Greg Bagley: Guitar

Nicole Truesdell: Indian Harmonium

Stanley Shikuma: Taiko drums

Creative Team

Executive Producer: Junko Goodyear and Akemi Sagawa

Producer: Michi Murayama

Director: Tikka Sears

Noh + Opera project worldwide production/sponsorship: Five Senses, Inc.

Performance Calendar

Friday September 26 - 7:00pm

Saturday September 27 - 2:00pm

Saturday September 27 - 7:00pm

Sunday September 28 - 2:00pm

Sunday, September 28 - 4:00pm to 5:00 pm at Bullitt Cabaret in ACT Theatre

About Japan Arts Connection Lab - Japan Arts Connection Lab was born to provide a dynamic platform for Japanese artisans and master craftsmen to share their gifts, techniques, and passion for their craft with the rest of the world. By opening doors to new audiences outside Japan, the organization aims to connect current and future generations in a way that will foster the continued growth and application of Japan's timeless and universal aesthetic values.

About The Central Heating Lab - Launched in 2007, The Central Heating Lab at ACT serves as an incubator and catalyst for new works. ACT cultivates, produces, and presents artists working in all performance genres and provides an artistic home for a variety of local performance groups and artists. Relationships develop daily with individual actors, performers and playwrights while established partnerships with groups such as the Azeotrope, The Seagull Project, 14/48, and Icicle Creek Theatre Festival grow and develop. New programs are added throughout the year. With year-round programming produced by The Central Heating Lab at ACT alongside ACT's Mainstage plays, ACT offers its patrons a unique opportunity to maximize their theatre experience -- the ACTPass: all you can see for only $30 per month. ACTPass Members can attend nearly all ACT produced performances.

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