Outline

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Artistic Director of Setagaya Public Theatre, Mansai Nomura has roots in traditional Japanese performance, yet has also distinguished himself in contemporary performing arts. His novel creations fuse classical techniques and ideas with contemporary ones.

Two works, selected by Nomura, will be performed in the theatre venue—relatively uncommon for traditional arts—on a specially-constructed noh stage: the contemporary noh play ‘The Hawk Princess’, based on William Butler Yeats’ ‘At the Hawk’s Well’, and the kyogen play ‘The Songs of Oak Mountain’, based on Shichiro Fukazawa’s short story inspired by a folk legend about abandoning old people in the mountains. The latter was first performed in 1953 and updated and presented by Mansaku Nomura in 2015 for the first time in fifty-eight years.

 

Highlights

Featuring the two plays ‘The Hawk Princess’ and ‘The Songs of Oak Mountain’ starring Mansaku Nomura (from eastern Japan) and Bunzo Otsuki (from western Japan), who are, respectively, kyogen and noh living national treasures. These plays have incompatible elements: humans and the supernatural, crows and hawks, and a life-depriving act and eternal life. While in this way they form a pair, they share one message. Inherent in both of these plays is life. It’s a theme that directly resonates with contemporary Japanese society. Two worldviews that are like mirrors reflecting society will appear in the space of a contemporary theatre. Viewers are encouraged to see them both.

Two Programs

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           ‘The Songs of Oak Mountain’ (From a past performance)

 

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            ‘The Hawk Princess’ (From a past performance)

 

Program A: Kyogen ‘Yobigoe’ and ‘The Songs of Oak Mountain

Kyogen ‘Yobigoe’
Taro Kaja is pretending to not be home and won’t come out of the house. The master and Jiro Kaja try getting him out in various ways… Things get more and more lively as they sing one song after another as part of their attempt.

Kyogen ‘The Songs of Oak Mountain’
In village of the main character Orin, there was the custom of seventy year-olds being carried to the remote Oak Mountain, from where they never come back. Orin is 69 years old this year, and wants to make her trip as soon as possible. However, her dutiful son Tatsuhei has mixed feelings. Also, a child is going to be born to Tatsuhei’s son Kesakichi, who, partially for this reason, says to Orin that it’s better to head to Oak Mountain sooner than later. Then there are also those like Matayan, a 70-year-old villager who resists making the trip.

This performance will be interspersed with the recollections of Orin. It is a serious work, but will be depicted by Mansaku Nomura and his disciples using the techniques of kyogen plays, which are normally humorous. Original: Shichiro Fukazawa, Adaption: Katsumi Okamoto, Direction: Mansaku Nomura

 

 

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Program B Dances ‘Sanbaso’ and ‘The Mountain Crone’, Noh ‘The Hawk Princess’

Dance ‘Sanbaso’
‘Sanbaso’ is a dance performed by a kyogen actor in the second half of the noh ‘Okina’. It prays for a bountiful harvest. Normally in the ‘Sanbaso’ a flowing robe is worn along with pointed court noble headgear. During the suzu-no-dan, a black mask is worn. In this ‘Sanbaso’ performance (momi-no-dan / suzu-no-dan), however, the performer will wear a crested kimono and not use a mask.

Dance ‘The Mountain Crone’
In the moonlight an ogress goes around a valley while describing the mountain landscapes of the four seasons… The climax of this noh play will be performed in a crested kimono.

Noh ‘The Hawk Princess’
This play takes place on an isolated island far off in the ocean where there is a well of eternal life. It depicts the grief of those seeking its water: ‘The Hawk Princess’, who guards the well, an old man who has been waiting to drink the well’s water for dozens of years, and the young prince Kufurin, who arrives to drink the water.

The Irish poet and Nobel Prize in Literature recipient William Butler Yeats wrote the play ‘At the Hawk’s Well’ under the influence of noh over one hundred years ago. Subsequently this work made its way to Japan and was reborn as a new noh play entitled ‘The Hawk Princess’ (1967). Since then it’s been put on many times. This performance will feature a new staging by Mansai Nomura. Original: William Butler Yeats, Script: Mario Yokomichi, Direction: Mansai Nomura

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Cast & Creative

【Performers】
Performers including Mansaku Nomura, Mansai Nomura, Yuki Nomura; Bunzo Otsuki, Kuroemon Katayama; Yoshimasa Kanze, Yuichi Otsuki; and Mansaku no Kai.

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Mansaku Nomura

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Mansai Nomura

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Bunzo Otsuki

Schedule

6/22 (Fri) 14:00 performance: Private

6/23 (Sat)  
14:00 performance: Program A (Kyogen ‘Yobigoe’ and ‘The Songs of Oak Mountain’)
18:00 performance: Program B (Dance ‘Sanbaso’ and Noh ‘The Hawk Princess’)

6/24 (Sun)  
14:00 performance: Program A (Kyogen ‘Yobigoe’ and ‘The Songs of Oak Mountain’)

6/30 (Sat)  
14:00 performance: Program A (Kyogen ‘Yobigoe’ and ‘The Songs of Oak Mountain’)
18:00 performance: Program B (Dance ‘The Mountain Crone’ and Noh ‘The Hawk Princess’)

7/1 (Sun) 
14:00 performance: Program B (Dance ‘Sanbaso’ and Noh ‘The Hawk Princess’)

 

◎=Post-performance talk (Director: Mansai Nomura)

■ Stage Explanation for People with Visual Disabilities
Advance application required. Free. Before the 14:00 performance on Sun 24 June, we will explain aspects that are difficult to understand without seeing them, such as stage settings and costumes. People with a ticket for this performance may attend.

■ Audio Guide for People with Visual Disabilities
No advance application required. Free. An explanatory audio guide will be provided for people with visual disabilities for the Sun 24 June performance. Open to individuals with a ticket for the performance.

● Audio Support for People Hard of Hearing
Advance application required. Free. Earphones will be lent to people hard of hearing for the Sat 23 June 14:00/18:00, Sun 24 June 14:00, and Sat 30 June 14:00 performances. Available to individuals with a ticket for the performance in the lobby. Please apply by three days before the performance.

◇Tickets available for subtitle tablet S seats.
Ticket includes the rental of a tablet that displays Japanese script subtitles and English script translation subtitles for ‘The Hawk Princess’. Only sold at the Theatre Ticket Centre and online after general sales begin on 30 April. General tickets: ¥8,000; High school students and younger: ¥4,000 Second floor seats. Limited quantity. Tablets will be distributed before the performances in the lobby.

Audience Support

Childcare Service

A childcare service is normally available for performances staged at Setagaya Public Theatre and Theatre Tram for which advance tickets are sold.

Charge: ¥2,000 per child
Eligibility: Children aged over 6 months and up to 9 years of age
Applications: Tel. 03-5432-1526 Setagaya Public Theatre
You may reserve childcare services up to noon of the day 3 days before the desired reservation time, but when the number of children registered reaches capacity, applications will closed. So please make your reservation well in advance. Also, please consult with the theatre regarding children with special needs.
Subcontractor: Kids’ Room Tinker bell Sancha

Wheelchair Spaces

Both Setagaya Public Theatre and Theatre Tram are equipped with wheelchair spaces to allow visitors to watch performances from their wheelchairs. However, as capacity is limited, use of wheelchair spaces is by reservation only.

Charge: 10% discount on the corresponding area ticket charge (plus up to one attendant free of charge)
Applications: Tel. 03-5432-1515 Theatre Ticket Centre

Wheelchair spaces may be reserved up to 19:00 on the day before the desired date, but when the number of reservations reaches capacity, applications will be closed. So please make your reservation well in advance. Also, for wheelchair users who prefer to watch the performance from a regular seat, the theatre will smoothly guide them too and from their seat. Please contact the theatre in advance to take advantage of this service.