Production

Come With Us To Kabuki

Written by Lindsay Price

Episode 154: Come With Us To Kabuki

If you’re going to teach a Theatre History Unit, one of the areas you may include is Japanese Theatre: Kabuki, Noh or Bunraku. Theatrefolk co-owners Lindsay and Craig got a chance to see a Kabuki performance at the Kabukiza Theatre in Tokyo and share their fascinating experience with this art form on the podcast.

Show Notes

Kabuki collage

Episode Transcript

Welcome to TFP – The Theatrefolk Podcast – the place to be for Drama teachers, Drama students, and theatre educators everywhere.

I’m Lindsay Price, resident playwright for Theatrefolk.

Hello! I hope you’re well. Thanks for listening!

This is Episode 154 – one, five, four; one fifty-four; one hundred and fifty-four – all of the above.

You can find any links to this episode in the show notes which are at theatrefolk.com/episode154.

Today, we’re staying in-house. We have a conversation between myself – hello – and my Theatrefolk partner in crime, Craig Mason.

Last year, we had the opportunity to travel to Japan and we knew that one of the things we wanted to do was go to the theatre. I just think it’s so fascinating to experience not only theatre in another country but the theatre of another country, especially if it’s in a language you don’t understand.

I saw King Lear in Czech in Prague. I was there about ten, fifteen years ago. So, it’s Kral Lear in Czech and you really realize how many times the word “king” is said in the play when that is the only word you know and that’s something that you might miss when you see it in English. And seeing a play in another language is a great opportunity to see how a company visually tells their story – visualizes the theme alongside of the verbal, alongside of the words.

A really great adjudicator who I had the opportunity to learn from, Ron Cameron-Lewis, he gave us great percentages that I use all the time in my own adjudications and that is that, when an audience takes in something, it is 60 percent visual, 30 percent oral, and 10 percent text. So, you know, if you’re not thinking about that 60 percent of the visual, you’re missing out on getting some of your audience and that’s a really great percentage too if you’re presenting to people who aren’t speaking your language.

Oh, I know one other thing I was going to say. We’re going to Iceland very shortly and, as I was looking up the theatre that we could possibly go and see, one of the options is going to see Mama Mia in Icelandic which I am fascinated. I am totally, totally fascinated. Here’s a story that I know, music that I know very well, but in a completely foreign language to me. What will that experience be like? I am sure that I will tell you down the road.

Okay, back to Kabuki. Here’s Craig and myself – me and Craig, Craig and I. We’re in Japan, Tokyo – to be more specific, in the Ginza district of Tokyo, reflecting on our very first time at a Kabuki show. Let’s get to it.

LINDSAY: Hello, Craig.

CRAIG: Hello, Lindsay.

LINDSAY: So, when I usually start each podcast, I always say, “So, where are you in the world?” to sort of introduce yourself and I think this counts as the farthest away a podcast has been from, don’t you think?

CRAIG: Certainly for us.

LINDSAY: Certainly for us. Well, it’s even better because we’re actually in the place. I’m not talking to someone from this place. We’re in the place.

CRAIG: We are in Japan.

LINDSAY: We are in Japan. Very cool, don’t you think?

CRAIG: I love it.

LINDSAY: And it’s really funny because you and I often travel for work so people asked, “Are you going to Japan for work?” and it’s just a vacation.

CRAIG: Yeah, that was the funniest question we got when we were going to Japan. I don’t know what work we would be doing in Japan.

LINDSAY: I have no idea.

CRAIG: There aren’t a lot of English high school theatre program conferences in Japan that I’m aware of so I’m not sure why we would be coming here for work.

LINDSAY: Wouldn’t that be funny?

So, what we’re talking about today is actually theatre related and that would be the second question. So, the first question is, “Were you going to Japan for work?” No, we’re going for vacation. The second one was, “What theatre are going to see?” Because, when we went to England a couple of years ago, we saw a lot of theatre.

CRAIG: Yes, we saw Shakespeare at Stratford and we saw all sorts of things. We saw community theatre. We saw a real grassroots community show. We saw a touring professional show. And we saw Muller when we went over to Paris.

LINDSAY: So, that is a very logical question for people to ask us. What theatre are you going to see in Japan? Now, I think it’s a bit of a different experience here for a lot of reasons.

CRAIG: Yeah, when we first started planning this trip, theatre wasn’t really part of what I was thinking of when we came here because we both studied – did you study Japanese theatre in school?

LINDSAY: Not in school.

CRAIG: Okay. I did a little bit in my theatre history courses and what I learned was that it didn’t interest me to see these shows because they’re just so radically different than what a traditional Western theatre show is like. So, it was really off my radar that we would see theatre here.

LINDSAY: And, for me, as a writer, the thing that interests me most about being a writer is observation and it’s just been an observation overload. My brain explodes every day just walking out the front door of where we’re staying in Tokyo and that, to me, it’s the theatre of life. That’s a very…

CRAIG: Esoteric?

LINDSAY: Frou-frou-y thing to say. But it’s quite true and I quite love that. Now, having said that, it’s important to see, I think it’s really important if you’re going to go to a new place, if we are theatre practitioners, we should see the theatre because it is so different than anything that we do.

CRAIG: Sure, and we have seen a show now. We saw a Kabuki show last night and I am very, very, very glad that I have seen it because it brought to life what I had learned in history class and it really adds to my understanding of what Eastern theatre is all about.

LINDSAY: Okay. So, like, if you teach theatre history, I think a unit on Japanese theatre might include “Noh” is one of the forms they have here, “bunraku” which is a puppet form; and “Kabuki.”

So, a couple of things about Kabuki. I find it – hilarious really isn’t the right word I would use but it’s interesting that Kabuki was really originated by a woman and woman performers.

CRAIG: Correct, and Kabuki is no longer performed by women. It’s performed by men.

LINDSAY: Exclusively by men, and women are not allowed to do it anymore.

CRAIG: But there’s a very good reason for that.

LINDSAY: Oh, why is that, Craig?

CRAIG: Because men – men ruin all good things.

LINDSAY: Yes. Yes, women created Kabuki. They originated it and a guy said, “Oh, we can’t have that,” although, to be fair, this was a government official. Government official said, “Oh, we can’t have women onstage doing that,” and then the parts were taken over by teenage boys and the government officials said, “Oh, we can’t have that either.” And, now, Kabuki is exclusively performed by men. It’s more of a common form which is a little funny to say when you look at it because it looks very stylized and very ritualistic but the Noh form is even more of that.

It started around Shakespeare’s time which is something that has a little bit in common with Shakespeare. Just as students would have difficulty – our students would have difficulty – understanding Shakespeare’s language, the language used in Kabuki would be hard for a modern Japanese audience to understand.

CRAIG: Correct, a lot of the language in the play that we saw last night would also be archaic to a modern audience. Like you say, Lindsay, just as a modern audience would see Shakespeare, the Japanese audience would have been hearing things that they don’t normally hear. I mean, there are some words. We learned very little Japanese for our trip but there are some words that we did know and we had a translating unit. When we were watching it, the words that we knew were not being spoken.

LINDSAY: The stories that are told are actually, I think, very Greek-related and this is one of the things that I’m going to say which is why I think it’s important to study Japanese theatre because of the connections. We want to study the past in theatre because it really does have such a direct reference to the present. The way that theatre is set up and the rituals of theatre and the experience of theatre, that all comes from somewhere and we draw from a lot of different influences and it’s really interesting.

One of the things I’ll say as we segue into our own experience seeing this Kabuki show is it’s interesting seeing the influences and the commonalities of different forms. Like, I didn’t know that, in Kabuki, I think that they use a lot of old stories and sometimes they reflect on what’s happening in the present by using the past so that, you know, again, those government officials, they don’t get ornery.

CRAIG: Yes. Well, Kabuki was an offshoot of Noh and Noh is highly ritualized and highly stylized and Kabuki was meant to be a more common form – something that appeals to the common people – much like Shakespeare’s plays were meant to appeal to the common people. And they would often use Kabuki performances to comment on modern times, to criticize the government. They would never directly be able to criticize things. They would use other stories to make their points and criticisms, but the audience watching would know what the reference was. They would get it.

LINDSAY: And I think it’s also very interesting too that, in Kabuki, there’s some direct talking to the audience. It’s like, you know, you and me, we’re on the same page; we’re going through this experience together – which I think is another thing with theatre for the common man, that theatre makes the audience part of the experience as opposed to a presentation form which I believe Noh is.

CRAIG: Yes, that was my understanding – that it was always very presentational. However, having seen it, there is absolutely no notion at all of a fourth wall – that mysterious barrier between the performer and the audience that we have in Western theatre. It was absolutely not there. There is no hint of any separation between us and them. In fact, there was one actor who played one role at the beginning of the play. And then, towards the end of the play, he played a different character and there was even a joke in the play about, “Hey, you look a lot like this actor who was here earlier in the play,” which the audience just loved. Like, a complete joke, completely outside of the world of the play and really emphasized the relationship between the audience and the performers.

LINDSAY: So, let’s get into it.

Okay. So, we went to this show – the Kabukiza – I totally murdered that – Kabukiza Theatre which opened in 1889 and this theatre has a great, great opportunity – a full Kabuki show is four hours long.

CRAIG: Four hours long, and that was, I think, the other reason why I was reticent about seeing a show – because they are very long. They have…

LINDSAY: They have dinner breaks.

CRAIG: They have dinner breaks. There’s a half-hour intermission in the middle of the play and there’s restaurants in theatre and you can go, you can get your food, you can bring food with you, and then there’s a break where you can sit and eat your dinner at the seat.

LINDSAY: So, we weren’t really interested in a four-hour show, but this theatre has a great thing in that you can go and see a single act. So, this was an all-day affair. There was one play in the morning which was five acts long and then, in the evening, it was an evening of one-act plays. It was three separate stories. So, you could – if you wanted to – go in the morning and go see a single act of this five-act play or you could go in the afternoon-evening and see one single show which is what we did and it was really well-organized which is what I can say about a lot of Japan. Things are very well-organized. You could go and you had to line up – another thing that is very prevalent in Japan. You had to line up and you bought tickets for single acts and there were a lot of rules. You weren’t allowed to go to another floor and you weren’t allowed access to the store. You were there to see the one-act of your show which is fine.

CRAIG: And then, get out.

LINDSAY: And then, yes, get out. You weren’t allowed to stay. We were at the very top of this theatre – a beautiful theatre, but very intimate, too. I found this, we went to a sumo show and we were at the very top and it was very intimate sumo show – sumo competition.

CRAIG: And Lindsay took a picture of the theatre just before the show started so we’ll include that in the show notes for this episode.

LINDSAY: Okay. So, we also had which was a great buy, they gave out – not gave out – you could purchase, rent little boxes and it was a translator and they provided comments and text of the songs that they sung and the dialogue and I found that incredibly helpful to connecting to what was happening on the stage.

CRAIG: What was lovely about the translator – and the performance in general – was that there actually is very little spoken dialogue or sung words so you weren’t sitting there, reading the whole time, like you do in an opera. You could really just read the two little lines and that would cover a minute of a song.

LINDSAY: Oh, sometimes five minutes.

CRAIG: Yeah.

LINDSAY: Particularly if there was a dance.

Okay. So, we saw a show and it was Jinayaji and this is a very rarely performed show which was really neat to see. The other thing that happens in Kabukis, you don’t actually see the whole story. For example, in this story, it’s about the spirit of a girl who died from a broken heart and enters the body of a fool – Sukataro – and rages for jealousy. Jinayaki is a willow tree at the foot of Mount Koya which was a snake and this snake was changed into the tree with the power of Buddhism. It’s the grudge of women who were abandoned by her lover as the background of this work because women were not allowed to enter the temple at Mount Koya.

I’m going to say we didn’t see a lot of that background.

CRAIG: Yes, I’m glad we read that background beforehand because almost none of that was actually in the play.

LINDSAY: No.

CRAIG: We really just met the fool who was possessed.

LINDSAY: What we saw was that there were supernatural things happening around the willow and the priests call on the high priest to come and deal with it and they go to the willow and the willow is sort of possessed. The snake possessed the guy and then the willow changed back into a snake. At least half of the play was the fight between the snake and the monks. And then, at the end, there was a Deux Machina where a guy came in and saved the day.

CRAIG: Yes, a god came in and saved everything. That’s the entirety of what we saw over the course…

LINDSAY: Of an hour.

CRAIG: Of an hour. The really neat thing about this theatre was that it was rectangular in shape. But, unlike our theatres where typically the narrower part of the rectangle is the stage or where the stage is, it was the stage was the length of the theatre so the theatre was very, very wide which got us fairly close to the action even though we were in the cheap seats.

LINDSAY: And everything happened onstage. There were two rows of musicians. Would you say there were about twenty musicians?

CRAIG: I counted twenty musicians and then, in addition to the musicians that we saw onstage, there was an offstage big drum that is in a special little box. And then, halfway through the play, there was another percussionist who came in on the side who had, I believe, like a bamboo mat that he smacked.

LINDSAY: The music which is, again, it’s sort of foreign to our ear because they sing quartertones – is that what makes it?

CRAIG: I’m not sure but it sounded like quartertones to me.

LINDSAY: It’s very odd. It’s odd to our ear. As a Westerner, just responding, it’s very odd. I will say though, having reading the lyrics, I found the lyrics very beautiful and very poetic. You know, I remember one very specifically talking about, you know, the whole notion of our life is a wheel and the wheel turns and the wheel turns as our faith ever turns – you know, sort of being that struggle of keeping your faith – I thought that was a beautiful image.

CRAIG: I think, if you’re at all familiar with haiku poetry, Japanese poetry, you would be very familiar with the type of language that’s used in Kabuki theatre. Again, around the same time as Shakespeare so everything’s very poetic.

LINDSAY: And I will say that, musically, the drumming was just fantastic. I thought that I would be very removed, Again, I thought I would be very removed from seeing this show because of what I know of Noh and that it’s very presentational and I wasn’t. Many, many times, I was really drawn into what was happening and the drumming I think had a lot to do with that. It was very – well, I don’t know if drumming is common but it certainly engaged me a lot.

Everything’s onstage. The musicians are all onstage. They stay there for the whole time. If any props are going to move or any set pieces are going to move, they are all done by stage hands who are onstage the whole entire time.

CRAIG: Yes, they have a special name and that name escapes me right now but, instead of costumes, they wear these brown smocks I guess you would equate them to. I think they wear black in Noh but, anything that moves on and off, they’re responsible for that. Interestingly enough, they do not walk on their feet; they walk on their knees and they walk as quickly and effortlessly as you walk on your feet.

LINDSAY: See, I think they were walking on your feet, but they were in a squat.

CRAIG: Oh.

LINDSAY: It was a squat.

CRAIG: Yeah, I was wondering that myself.

LINDSAY: It was insane to watch. There was a couple of times where all I did was watch the people – watch them move off and on and all of the mechanics of the stage happening. Again, all of that was so effortless and so beautiful. It had a real flow to it. You know, there was one point when the snake, when the guy who was possessed who was being turned into a snake, parts of his costume had to come off and a fan was flung into the air behind and the guy who was the stage hand just basically picked it out of the air and I also noticed, then the snake became this monster and the costume was not…

CRAIG: It wasn’t representational of a snake.

LINDSAY: Well, actually, I think it was – which I’ll talk about in a second. I think it had very long, long pants which, to me, represented the snake’s tongue but they were very hard to walk in and any time the actor made a movement, there was a guy behind him, fixing the pants, making sure they were right, and he also was there giving the guy a little stool. I noticed that there were these four monks who had to sit there, I think, for about twenty minutes and they got little stools.

CRAIG: Did they? Oh, I didn’t notice that. I think that’s a good entrée to the precision of the performance and this, again, is something that’s very different from Western theatre is that, if we were to go see this show today again, we would see an exact copy, moment for moment, of the show we saw yesterday – like, right down to positions of fingers and hands, shapes of elbows and knees and movements and steps. You know, if somebody took twenty steps to cross the stage last night, they will take twenty steps to cross the stage tonight because they rehearsed for months and months. In fact, they rehearse for their entire lives for these types of roles. So, everything is carefully calculated. There is nothing that is left to interpretation in the moment. You know, when we’re doing a play in the Western theatre, sometimes, an actor will get inspired to try doing something a little bit differently one night. That does not happen in Noh or Kabuki. It’s regimented.

LINDSAY: It is, and that’s something that is prized.

CRAIG: However, I didn’t feel that that took away from my enjoyment of the show and I thought it would. I thought that everything was so exact would bother me. I don’t know if “bother me” is the right word but would take me out of what I love about theatre, and it didn’t. I was still very engaged in what was going on.

LINDSAY: I agree. I didn’t feel anybody was phoning it in.

CRAIG: I think it would be impossible to phone it in.

LINDSAY: I think it would be, too. Everything is so… I mean, one of the things is that a lot of the costuming, I’m sure it’s very heavy and it’s very extravagant and many layers and we’re supposed to admire how effortlessly they move because there’s a lot of dance that’s involved in Kabuki as well. It was very interesting to watch them move. There’s a lot of gliding that goes on. It’s a very different walk that they have. And there were lots of moments where the actors were completely still and everything that was happening was through just vocally. Vocally, when they were all talking about their temple as being threatened by this monster and that there was a lot of emotion but very precise emotion. It was a very precise sort of vocal tone that was going on when there was a guy who was possessed. Even if we didn’t have the translator, it would have been easy to know that he was possessed because he had that ghost voice.

CRAIG: Ghost voice!

LINDSAY: Yeah, the ghost voice, yes! And that was very interesting as well – that there was that stillness and yet very vocal quality. And then, also, the dance, and a lot of the dance was very interesting to watch the dance because it was very low and a lot of stomping – a lot of stomping going on – and that gave whatever was the stage was made of, there was an echo that would just boom throughout the theatre.

CRAIG: Yes. When I was researching what we were going to talk about today, I saw a thing that basically described Western dance as attempting to defy gravity and this style of dance is very earthbound so it had a lot to do with stomping – almost like a very loud tap dance.

LINDSAY: Yes! It’s just booming!

And so, another thing, just in terms of movement which was fascinating to see – again, we did not need to know anything about it – was the representation of the snake. There isn’t a lot of set in Kabuki theatre. There is the backdrop is very important. This particular backdrop took its cue from no. There’s often a pine tree that is the backdrop in Noh theatre and this one had one of those. There was a place to exit on either side. The costumes were beautiful. And then, when the snake became the monster, would you say there were like thirty guys who came on?

CRAIG: Yes, I would say somewhere around… there was something around forty performers and I think thirty of them were the snake and the snake was just effected by them holding fans in very precise positions and it was a stunning, beautiful representation of a snake.

LINDSAY: Yeah, they were the scales. Like, you could tell that they were the scales. At some point, it was very abstract. Like, it was sort of it was the tree that they were the branches of the tree. But then, at one point, the monster moved across the stage and all of the actors who were part of the snake, they moved across the stage and the fans moved and then, actually, they became the snake – all the way to, you know how rattlers have that thing at the end of their tail and one of the actors went up in a shoulder stand and, like, fluffed his feet over and it became this massive snake. And so, you know, no modern special effects, no modern technology – just some actors and some movement and a very simple prop became theatrical.

CRAIG: They did have some interesting technology in the theatre.

LINDSAY: Yes.

CRAIG: Even though it was very low-tech. There was a massive trap that dropped at one point in the show and then there was a scene change and the whole next scene appeared up the trap which is actually there was no scenery.

LINDSAY: No.

CRAIG: It was all performers that came up.

LINDSAY: Yes.

CRAIG: Right.

LINDSAY: Which made me wonder because, at one point, during a song, the trap dropped and then the trap stayed dropped for about five minutes and then the actors all came back on through the trap and it just makes me wonder for such a traditional form – because, obviously, hundreds of years ago, there was no trap – well, there could have been!

CRAIG: There may have been.

LINDSAY: You know what? I take that back because, certainly, Shakespeare had a trap. That would have made it… blah, gosh, can you imagine if that was just hand-rolled? That would be a pretty spectacular entrance. It just made me wonder the choice of that.

CRAIG: I did read that they continually evolved.

LINDSAY: Really? I know that the things change.

CRAIG: Which is a good thing.

LINDSAY: It is a good thing.

CRAIG: Okay. So, what did we learn?

LINDSAY: We learned that it’s really important to have these experiences and to see theatre that is uncomfortable. I think that’s half the reason why we didn’t want to go see it. We didn’t want to go sit through a four-hour theatre show. Also, the other thing is that I’ve done a little bit of research on Noh and the little bit I’ve seen, it just looked dreadful from my perspective and that’s what I was expecting. Just to say, like, this is something that you’re going to come across if you do a unit like this with your students, that’s going to be their first response. It’s not normal to us. The sound sounds weird to us. They’re not acting the way we act. It might be boring. And all of those things, while they’re true responses, it’s important to see theatre that’s not our norm and to reflect on it and where does it come from and why do they do these things this way and what is ritual and what can we get from it?

CRAIG: Absolutely. I think it was very important to see something that was so different than what we’re used to and not weird, just different.

LINDSAY: Yeah.

CRAIG: Just a different way of expressing and telling a story communally, and that’s all we’re really doing in the theatre. We’re just all getting together and sharing a story and it was just fascinating to me to see a completely different way of doing that. We get so set in our ways, we get so used to what we’re used to that it’s hard to imagine that there’s any other way of telling a story other than the way we do it in our theatre.

LINDSAY: What I would say to you is I would challenge you – the listener, hello, hi! How are you? I would challenge you to express that to your students. How can we tell a story differently? How can we take a story that everybody knows? What is a story that everybody is very familiar with? And how can we tell this story in the Kabuki style with some portions that are purely vocal and very still? How can we tell a story through dance? How can we tell a story in which the one part of our story – in this particular story, a jealousy for having a broken heart in manifested into a huge snake – how do we take something like jealousy – which everybody is very familiar with – and turn it into an abstract concept that is expressed by your entire class? How do we show things through costume and make-up? And how do we tell a story in a completely foreign way? As an experiment, it might work and it might not, and that is, I think, important.

CRAIG: Absolutely.

LINDSAY: What a worthwhile experience and I was moved. It actually really made me want to be the snake. Oh, not the snake, not the guy who was the snake but…

CRAIG: The fans.

LINDSAY: I wanted to be one of the fans and I’ve always had, my high school never did musicals so I have a very limited experience with musicals and I love musicals and I’ve always wanted to be in the chorus of a musical. It’s a ridiculous thing to say but that is on my bucket list.

CRAIG: To be in the chorus of a musical?

LINDSAY: To be in the chorus of a musical. And, when I was watching the Kabuki and I was watching that, I’m like, “There’s a thing that isn’t completely impossible to have in the bucket list – to be in a Kabuki play.” I just thought it was a one-time thing and a remarkable thing. I just thought the whole experience was lovely.

CRAIG: Just before we go, I want to take just a quick detour.

LINDSAY: Please do.

CRAIG: I know we’re long but I just want to take a quick detour to something else we did which really does tie into this, I think.

LINDSAY: Yes.

CRAIG: We attended a sumo tournament and I was expecting, you know, just big – well, I’ll use the “F” word – fat men throwing each other around and it was so much more than that and we had the privilege of coming to the match earlier in the day where we were able to sit in a much better seat than what we had paid for and watch some bouts up-close. I will also include a video of this in the show notes of the absolute ritual around the bout.

A sumo match is about 80 percent ritual and 20 percent fight. It begins with a song that is sung. It begins with a ritualistic brushing of the ring with a broom. It begins with the ritualistic entrance of the performers who bow and go through a series of – well, more or less – dance moves before they begin their match. In the later matches, the that I wasn’t more professional matches, there is even much more ceremony and pomp and posturing, but the video I have for you is just very much a pure beginning to end of a match showing, yes, the ritual of before the match and then, again, there is a ritual after the match where the loser bows and then leaves. The winner stays and squats while the referee awards him the victory. I believe – no, it doesn’t end with a song – it begins with a song. Anyway, that, again, was just a completely ritualized version of sport and ties very well in with, I think, what we saw.

LINDSAY: The ritual. Well, it’s all about ritual, isn’t it? You know, that is something we have never lost. We have never lost ritual. We have much different rituals now in our modern life. But, to say that things like Kabuki and to say the things like sumo are distant from us is to neglect the fact that, just as they have very rituals which are heightened, we all have rituals in our life and that’s something that would be a very interesting thing. When you start to talk about the origins of theatre, it all begins with ritual, doesn’t it?

CRAIG: Yes, it certainly does. Yeah, of course, it does.

LINDSAY: And that’s where it starts with ritual and then, you know, an audience is brought in, and then a second actor is brought in in the Greek world, and then a third actor, and then we bring in different spaces where theatre is performed. To be an actor and to have a concept of theatre is to understand the concept of ritual. From my personal perspective, the sumo was, again, it was another thing that I had a preconceived notion about – that it would be something that I wasn’t going to be interested in and we were there for hours and it’s the same thing over and over again. It really is. It’s a ritual. We go in, we do this, we slap our legs a couple of times, we lift our legs a couple of times, and later we throw salt and we’re very posturing and it’s very much a moving back and forth between the two fighters. I’m going to beat you, you’re going to beat me, I’m going to beat you, and then the fight. And then, it was astonishing. I loved it.

CRAIG: Sou desu.

LINDSAY: Sou desu.

So, again, we are speaking to you from all the way on the other side of the world and it has been a fantastic experience and we’re going to put a lot of this stuff in the show notes and I hope that this has been an interesting peek from the other side of the world.

CRAIG: Sayonara!

LINDSAY: Sayonara!

Oh, thank you, Craig!

We have the best conversations. I love it!

Okay. So, before we go, let’s do some THEATREFOLK NEWS.

I mentioned King Lear at the beginning – Kral Lear – and, oh, did they chew on that word “kral.” Oh, my goodness! So, this is a good time to bring up our Shakespeare in an Hour adaptations. These are cuttings of the original text, the original Shakespeare, but more than that, these are all annotated so there’s going to be character questions, there’s going to be vocabulary words, there’s going to be points of discussion.

Shakespeare is meant to be performed and that means we need a doorway to understanding for students. We need to get students on their feet and comfortable on their feet performing Shakespeare. So, use these versions in your classroom, in production. Make that guy, make the bard come to life.

You can find our Shakespeare in an Hour on our website – theatrefolk.com – or through the link in our show notes at theatrefolk.com/episode154.

Finally, where, oh, where can you find this podcast? We post new episodes every second Tuesday at theatrefolk.com and on our Facebook page and Twitter. You can find us on youtube.com/theatrefolk and on the Stitcher app. You can subscribe to TFP on iTunes. All you’ve got to do is search for the word: “Theatrefolk.”

And that’s where we’re going to end. Take care, my friends. Take care.

 

Music credit: ”Ave” by Alex (feat. Morusque) is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

About the author

Lindsay Price