THTR T583 Sec. 4360 S. Jones

Topics in Theatre and Drama

Topic: History of Japanese Theatre and Drama

2:30p-3:45p TR 3 cr. hr.


This course will trace the history of Japanese theater and drama from the ancient courtly gagaku/bugaku to current avant-garde plays. These all have been nurtured by themes, stories, and conventions in indigenous folklore, religions, and literature while being enriched by inspirations from continental Asian traditions in the early times as well as European trends and techniques in the modern period. Textual analyses will be largely focused on medieval noh plays, early modern jorun puppet plays, and kabuki theater. In addition, some examples of modern shingeki repertory theater and avant-garde plays will be studied. Japanese theories of performance since Zeami will be studied in comparison with Aristotelian and other Western concepts. Emphasis will be put on performance (including music, dance, and acting) and production by the aid of video and sound tape recordings. Course requirements include two extra sessions scheduled in the evening for viewing full-length films/video recordings. Also, there will be a midterm examination, an oral presentation, and a short term paper. Assignments will be different in nature and scope for graduate students as they are expected to work on individual research projects throughout the semester. This course meets with EALC E505/E583/E473/J521 and THTR T483. Students who are enrolled in this course for credits in Japanese are expected to read a number of materials in the original.