Tomoe + Yoshinaka Feature Tradition and Innovation Side by Side at ACT Theatre, 9/26-28

Tomoe + Yoshinaka Feature Tradition and Innovation Side by Side at ACT Theatre, 9/26-28

Tomoe + Yoshinaka will, for the first time, present a double bill performance featuring Noh, the traditional dance drama of Japan, alongside a modern Noh-inspired opera composed by Garrett Fisher ("Mr. Fisher has combined elements of opera, dance, Indian raga, Japanese Noh theater and more into fusions that have both a ritualistic intensity and an improvisatory freedom...a groundbreaking hybrid...a strong, unified and strikingly individual utterance of unambiguous beauty." -The New York Times).

Where: ACT Theatre (700 Union St, Seattle, WA 98101)

When: September 26th (FRI), 7 pm; 27th (SAT) 2pm & 7pm; 28th (SUN) 2pm

Tickets: $35, (206) 292-7676

The Noh opera Tomoe, based on the Japanese epic Tales of the Heike, is a love story about a woman, the famous 12th-century 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 Seattle-based composer Garrett Fisher ("a star of Seattle's new-music scene who has been deeply influenced by Japanese Noh theatre" -The New Yorker) based on the same story, directed by Tikka Sears, and choreographed by Christy Fisher.

Japan Arts Connection Lab is presenting this event in partnership with ACT Theater's Central Heating Lab. Performers include: José Luis Muñoz, Matt Richardson, and Jordan McClellan (vocalists), Stan Shikuma (Taiko percussion) and Greg Bagley (6 string fretted acoustic bass), and Sheri Brown (Dancer).

About Munenori Takeda|

Munenori Takeda was born into a family of pre-eminent 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.

About the Noh Theatrical Tradition

Noh is the oldest classical dance-dramas in Japan. It was developed in the 14th century from religious sources and folk myths. It is 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. There is no curtain between the stage and the audience, as in other traditional theater. The chief actor (shite) and his associates (shite-zure) wear various kinds of masks (Noh-men) to denote the characters they represent, such as an old man, a samurai, a young woman, a demon, an animal, or a supernatural being. Additionally, it is common for men to play the roles of female characters; as part of this evening, Mr. Takeda will

About Garrett Fisher |

With over 13 full-length works to his name, Seattle-based 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). The screenplay for Fisher's current work, Magda G, was shortlisted for the 2012 Gotham Screen International Film Festival; his musical works have been recorded on the BIS and 16 Visions labels. His The Passion of Saint Thomas More received a 10/10 from Classics Today, as well as a Best of '08 and a 2011 Artist Spotlight Award from Seattle Magazine. In May, 2014, Fisher's Kakitsubata received its European Premiere (produced by EOS Oper Köln) in Cologne Germany; in June, 2014, Fisher returned to Cologne for the European premiere of the 20-year-old The Passion of Saint Thomas More (EOS Oper Köln).

The Fisher Ensemble |

Founded in 1994 by composer Garrett Fisher, The internationally recognized Fisher Ensemble creates music-theater that seeks to be a vital part of our community and culture. Combining diverse influences into a unique sound, the Ensemble's works invite audiences to re-imagine the contemporary world through lenses of myth and history. The ensemble has performed at HERE Arts Center, Galapagos Art Space, and Judson Memorial Church (New York), as well as On the Boards and the Chapel (Seattle). Psyche won a "Best of '08" award from Seattle Magazine. "There's nothing else in Seattle like the Fisher Ensemble - and there may not be in the whole country, either...the sound is richly resonant and you never know how it's going to shape itself around you," writes The Seattle Times.


"Fisher Ensemble to sing of Nazi figure in 'Magda G'" (Los Angeles Times, November 6, 2012), "'Kocho': A 'Butterfly' by Any Other Name" (WQXR), "Seattle's Fisher Ensemble says yes to Noh in 'Kocho'" (Seattle Times, April 9, 2011), "Ear Supply: Under the Plum Blossom" (Seattle Weekly, April 6, 2011), "Noticed: Garrett Fisher Wows WSJ" (City Arts Magazine, March 26, 2010), "Using Japanese Noh to Lift a Celtic Myth" (The New York Times, March 21, 2010), "He Cross Borders" (The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2010), "Garrett Fisher - At the Hawk's Well" (The NewMusicBox, March 16, 2010), "Opening Nights: At the Hawk's Well" (Seattle Weekly, March 3, 2010), "Fisher Ensemble offers a daring take on Yeats work" (The Seattle Times, February 25, 2010), "Passion of Saint Thomas More" (Classics Today)

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.


This production is grateful to receive the support of Five Senses, Toshiba, Kansai Osaka 21 Century Association, The Consulate General of Japan in Seattle, The Asahi Shinbun Foundation, The Japanese Garden Advisory Council, and the Bellevue Children's Academy.

Related Articles

Seattle THEATER Stories | Shows  Like BWW Seattle  Follow BWW Seattle

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...