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Past Event

Saturday University: Comical Drama of Medieval Japan

Dec 1 2018

Seattle Art Museum

Plestcheeff Auditorium

10 AM – 11:30 AM

Exploring Kyogen: Comical Drama of Medieval Japan
Julie Iezzi, Professor of Theater, University of Hawaii

Often referred to as a comical theatre of words, kyogen performances were traditionally held as interludes within or between plays of noh theater of Japan. Kyogen has at its core a variety of musical styles incorporated over centuries, and movement types ranging from the mimetic to the abstract. Taking the audience through a rhythmic and melodic journey of this more than 600-year-old mildly satirical traditional Japanese theatre form, this talk will introduce basic vocal and physical codes, and key songs and dances. The words of these may keep repeating in your head for weeks to come!

About the Presenter

Julie Iezzi is Professor of Theater at the University of Hawaii. She holds an MA in Musicology from Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music, as well as a PhD in Asian Theatre. She translates, publishes and directs kabuki and kyogen plays, and continues to practice and perform tokiwazu narrative music, nagauta shamisen, and kyogen. Her current research interests are Kamigata kabuki and early 20th-century traveling kabuki troupes. Artistically she is very interested in narrative storytelling traditions, and effectively harnessing the powerful union of narrative voice and physical action on stage.

Please note: South Hall doors open at 9:30 AM.


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OCT 20

Musical Arts of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

OCT 27

Dynamic Korea and Rhythmic Form


Music of the Tang Dynasty: Connections to Japan

NOV 10

Movement and Metaphor in South Indian Court Dance

NOV 17

Modes and Melodies of Classical Persian Music


Exploring Kyogen: Comical Drama of Medieval Japan


206.442.8480 [email protected]

Full series tickets: $95; SAM members $50
Individual lecture tickets available at the door: $11, SAM members $6; free at the door for students with ID
Please arrive to your seat 10 minutes before the program starts, or your seat may be released.

Photo: Joshua E. Barnes

The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.