"Welcome to the World of Noh” at NCSU: A Program of Workshops and Lecture-­‐Demonstration
April 9-­‐12, 2015

hosted by North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina

Thursday, April 9:

• Performance Workshop, 3:30-­‐5:30 pm, Carmichael Gym Room 1206, Main Campus
Free to All ~ Space Limited, Reserve Early
• Lecture-­‐Demonstration, 7:00-­‐9:00 pm, Talley Student Union Room 4280, Main Campus
Free and Open to the Public

Friday, April 10 through Sunday, April 12:
• Writer's Workshop, 10:00 am-­‐5:00 pm daily, NC Japan Center, Centennial Campus
Cost $150, Free to NCSU Faculty/Staff and All Students ~ Space Limited, Reserve Early

For more information and how to register, please contact Gary Mathews:

[OR - workshops "at" theatrenohgaku "dot" org]

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at NC State is pleased to present a special four-­‐day program on the celebrated noh theatre of Japan conducted by Theatre Nohgaku. Noh is a perfectly balanced stage art that incorporates subtle poetry, deeply expressive music, tautly controlled dance, and exquisitely crafted costumes and masks. Enjoyed by the samurai class in 14th century Japan, it is one of the oldest continuously performed stage arts in the world. Theatre Nohgaku is dedicated to promoting the internationalization of noh by performing new, English-­‐ language works using traditional noh techniques and offering a variety of educational and outreach programs.

The NCSU program will be led by composer/playwright and former noh professional David Crandall, assisted by NCSU Professor Gary Mathews, both founding members of Theatre Nohgaku. The program will include a three-­‐day workshop for writers, performers, musicians and scholars on the structure and composition of noh plays (“Writing New Noh: Architectures of Poetry and Time”), a two-­‐hour performance workshop and a two-­‐hour lecture demonstration.

The writing workshop will introduce participants to noh’s complex layering of spoken text, sung text and instrumental accompaniment to help inspire or further their creative or scholarly interest in noh. Past workshop participants have included award-­‐winning artists such as playwrights Erik Ehn, Ruth Margraff, Chiori Miyagawa and Deborah Brevoort; composer/lyricist Eric Schorr; and poets Lee Ann Brown and Carmen Tafolla. Several plays in Theatre Nohgaku’s current repertory (Pine Barrens, Pagoda, Blue Moon Over Memphis) got their start in the workshop setting.

The performance workshop will give theatre, music and dance performers as well as scholars or anyone else interested a chance to experience the intense concentration and formal discipline of noh chant, movement and instruments.

The lecture-­‐demonstration, open to artists, scholars and the general public, will introduce the history and aesthetics of noh including its deep connections with the world of Buddhism and Zen in particular, and demonstrate the chant, movement and instruments of noh through select pieces from the traditional repertoire.

Following is an excerpt of a typical evaluation of the writing workshop written by Edith Newton, who attended the workshop in San Francisco in April 2014. For her complete response, please visit her blog.

“For me, the writing workshop was not only a joyous experience in itself but a great spur to creativity. Within a few weeks following the workshop, I had produced a first draft of my play and sent it to David, who graciously provided feedback, which I have since incorporated... the experience of learning to recognize the various poetic and musical structures within a Noh play has heightened my enjoyment of plays that I read or watch... I would recommend the Theatre Nohgaku writing workshop, without qualification, to theater artists and enthusiasts of all stripes, whether your goal is to deepen your understanding of Noh or, more generally, to explore alternatives to naturalistic theater or those styles of physical theater that deny the power of a crafted text.”

For more information about NCSU and directions to venues please visit their website.


Writing New Noh: Architectures of Poetry and Time centers on the structure and character of noh’s written texts. Rich in poetic expression and profoundly moving, noh’s poetic style can become an ideal armature for contemporary creative works of theatre, poetry and song. With noh's roots in waka and renga; the spare articulation of syllables encourages inventiveness and inner discipline in the writer.

The workshop will introduce you to noh's complex layering of spoken text, sung text and instrumental accompaniment to help inspire your own writing. Past workshop participants have included award-winning artists such as playwrights Erik Ehn, Ruth Margraff and Deborah Brevoort, composer/lyricist Eric Schorr, and poet Lee Ann Brown.

This year's workshop includes three days of seminars led by composer/playwright and former Hosho-ryu professional David Crandall. Discussions focus on the form of typical noh plays, including aspects of musical and literary structure as well as noh’s wealth of historic and poetic references. Subsequent discussions focus on the unique challenges of adapting and writing noh for the English language.

The workshop is limited to 12 participants.
Early registration is recommended.

Tuition includes:
* Participation fee
* Materials for seminars

Tuition does NOT include:
*Transportation, accommodation or daily expenses