University of Pittsburgh
March 21, 1999

JAPAN SOCIETY, PITT AND CHATHAM PRESENT THEATRE OF YUGEN

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, March 22 -- The Japan America Society of Western Pennsylvania (JASP), the University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Program and Chatham College are cosponsoring "Theatre of Yugen," a repertoire of Japanese Kyogen and Noh theater, at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 24 at the Eddy Theater, Chatham College.

Under the artistic direction of Yuriko Doi, Theatre of Yugen will present "Snow in a Silver Bowl (an evening of Kyogen and Noh theater in English.)" The evening begins with two favorite repertory Kyogen pieces: "Busu (Sweet Poison)" and "Kazumoh (Sumo Wrestling with a Mosquito.)" Yuriko Doi's Noh adaptation of William Butler Yeats' "Purgatory" will round out the evening.

Nationally and internationally recognized for its unique form of "fusion theater," Theatre of Yugen strives to expand American cultural understanding of Japanese contemporary and traditional arts. Kyogen is employed as comedy so broad and universal that it can be appreciated readily by people of many cultures. The characters are recognizable stereotypes, ones often found in commedia dell 'art, Yiddish theater, or even vaudeville. The situations in which the characters find themselves are the same comic complications that vex all comedians, yet are cleverly transformed into an instrument that accustoms the audience to the stylized form of Noh drama that follows.

In contrast, Noh is serious, often tragic in its themes, with the action evoking mood and serving as a metaphor.

Tickets are $20 to the general public; $15 to JASP members, University of Pittsburgh and Chatham College employees, and $10 to students. For more information, contact Elise Moersch, JASP director, at 412-433-5021.

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