EITARO OKURA (Otsuzumi Hip Drum, Okura school) Eitaro Okura is the 16th generation noh musician in the line descending from Mr. Ohkura Shichizaemon. He studied extensively with his father, Mr. Ohkura Sanchu, as well as Mr. Yasufuku Tatsuo, a Japanese National Living Treasure of the Takayasu School of otsuzumi. In 1979 he had his first performance of noh chant at just 6 years of age. In 1996 he entered Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music’s Noh Performer’s Division. In the year 2000 he graduated from the university and became a member of the Noh Performer’s Association.
HIDETA KITAZAWA (Mask Carver, Shinto Temple Carver) Born February 4th 1968, Hideta chose to follow his fathers footsteps and become a second generation woodcarving artist. In 1991 after graduating from the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology with a major in Forest Management, he went on to begin intensive woodcarving studies with his father Ikkyou Kitazawa. Since that time, he has received a number of awards including the Outstanding Youth Artesian Award for Tokyo 1997 and the Yokohama Noh Drama Hall Director's Prize in 2003.
AKIRA MATSUI (Performer as the Hawk with Theatre Nohgaku) is a master actor-teacher of the Kita School of Japanese classical noh theater. He was born in 1946 in Wakayama, south of Osaka and began studying noh at the age of seven. He showed such talent that, at age 12, he became a "live-in apprentice" to Kita Minoru, the 15th generation of noh masters of the Kita School (one of the five guilds of shite main role actors). Matsui mastered noh dance and chant, then returned to his hometown at age 20 where he has since been based though performing and teaching throughout Japan.
GESINE ULLMAN (Costume/Set Designer for At The Hawk’s Well) Born in Halle, Germany in 1966, Gesine graduated from technical school in 1988 as an archivist and in 1997 from the Academy of Arts Dresden in Stage Design. She has been assistant scene designer for Theater Junge Generation in their productions of Shakespeare’s Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung and Haacks’ Poor Knight; costume and scenic designer for Off Theatre’s Macbeth, Knappe’s native Indian myths Pte-ho-i-ya-pi, and the Greek myth Dionysus.
LIBBY ZILBER (Performer) Libby is a Joint Artistic Director along with Lluis Valls and Jubilith Moore for Theatre of Yugen in San Francisco where she began studying Noh and Kyogen with Founder Yuriko Doi in 1986. She has toured nationally with the company and their repertoire of Kyogen comedic plays in English.
JANNETTE CHEONG author of "Pagoda," began writing poetry while an arts tudent in London in the late 1960s. She worked with composer Gavin Bryars, filmmaker Steve Dwoskin, and poet Eric Mottram. Her career in education and international collaboration includes working with countries around the world, the OECD* and the World Bank. In early 2009 she facilitated a China-UK musical theatre forum at the Barbican Centre. She began writing lyrics in recent years with composer Adrian Payne.
KINUE OSHIMA is a shite actor of the Kita school and daughter of Oshima Noh Theatre head, Masanobu Oshima. She studied both with her grandfather, Oshima Hisami as well as her father. She graduated from Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music where she studied the instruments of noh. In 1998, she became the first Kita school female member of the Noh Performers’ Association. She has taught at the National Art Academy of Taiwan and has joined Kita school performing tours to the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Bulgaria, and the Baltic Countries.
TERUHISA OSHIMA is a shite main role actor of the Kita school and son of Oshima Noh Theatre head, Masanobu Oshima. He studied with his grandfather, Oshima Hisami, as well as his father. At the age of 14, he performed the full noh Ebira in Oshima Noh Theatre program in which three generations of Oshimas performed including his grandfather and father. At the age of 18, he moved to Tokyo to become a disciple of the Kita school and has since been taught by Kita noh master Shiozu Tetsuo.
He has joined in Kita school performance tours to Poland and Lithuania, Taiwan,
and the Netherlands/Belgium.
HITOSHI SAKURAI, taiko stick drummer, was in the first class at the National Noh Theatre Noh Performers’ Training Course which began in 1983, studying with Komparu Taiko School headmaster, Komparu Soemon, as well as Mishima Gentaro, Oe Teruo and Komparu Kunikazu. He has played professionally since 1987. A member of Japan’s Noh Performers’ Association, he performs regularly in the Tokyo area and also has participated in numerous overseas tours including the 2006 Vancouver performance of "The Gull" and Theatre Nohgaku’s "Crazy Jane" tour.
ALLAN WEST backdrop designer and painter, studied traditional Japanese painting at Tokyo University of Fine Arts under Kayama Matazo. He has exhibited and demonstrated for the Japanese Foreign Ministry in Europe and Asia and has received commissions for concerts of the NHK Philharmonic and for national living treasures at the National Theater in Tokyo. His paintings have been featured on Japan’s major television networks, newspapers and magazines.