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Theatre Nohgaku

An Introduction to Japanese Noh Theater


Friday, September 30, 2022

7 pm (Doors open at 6:30)

Schoolcraft High School, 551 E. Lyons Street, Schoolcraft, MI

Tickets $10

Available at the door or BUY NOW

Theatre Nohgaku is an international performance ensemble whose members share a passion for Noh and a conviction that it has profound power for audiences today. They perform traditional and contemporary work that reaches across boundaries of culture and language to tell stories that reflect our shared humanity. To learn more about their company, visit their website


David Crandall is a composer, playwright, and performer who studied noh chant and dance with noh master Hajime Sano and has worked professionally at the Hosho Noh Theatre in Tokyo. He is a founding member of Theatre Nohgaku.

Matthew Dubroff is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. Since 1990 has studied Kita-style noh as well as nohkan flute, ôtsuzumi, kotsuzumi, and taiko. He is an actor, director, producer, a founding member of Theatre Nohgaku, and a teacher of Tai Ji and Alexander Technique.

Gary Mathews has taught at Berkeley, San Francisco State, North Carolina School of the Arts, and North Carolina State. Also a student of classical ballet, he began his study of Kita-style noh with Richard Emmert in 2000 and is a founding member of Theatre Nohgaku.

Jubilith Moore is a performer, director, writer, teaching artist, and producer who has studied noh and kyogen extensively with master teachers. She was Artistic Director of Theatre of Yugen from 2001-14 and is a founding member of Theatre Nohgaku.


Our program will feature five shorter performances that will be prefaced by instruction from the company. Following the presentations, we invite you to join us for a reception where you can meet the performers and see the costumes, masks, and instruments up close.

1. Dance from the Noh Kantan

A young man name Rosei, who has left his home to seek enlightenment, stops at an inn where the innkeeper invites him to sleep on the miraculous Pillow of Kantan. In his ensuing dream, the young man is appointed the emperor of China and lives a life of unrivaled splendor

2. Otoko-mai Instrumental Dance featuring nohkan flute, kotsuzumi shoulder drum, and Ōtsuzumi hip drum

Instrumental dances are an important component of many noh. The otoko-mai (literally, “man dance”), with its upbeat tempo, is usually performed in plays belonging to the Warrior category.

3. Excerpt from the Noh Sumidagawa (Sumida River)

One of the most poignant pieces in the noh repertory, Sumida River depicts the grief of a widowed woman driven mad when her son is stolen by slave traders.

4. Tama no Dan (Jewel Section) from the Noh Ama (The Diver)

The ghost of a rustic diver recounts the agreement she made with her lover, a court noble, to retrieve a jewel that was stolen by the Dragon King and locked away in a tower under the sea. In exchange for the jewel, the noble agrees to confer an aristocratic title on their son despite his common heritage.

5. Celebratory Excerpt from the Noh Takasago (Takasago)

This brief excerpt is often chanted at celebrations such as weddings or as a concluding coda for auspicious performances.

Text: (Translated by David Crandall)

The Dance of a Thousand Autumns

     comforts the people

The Dance of Ten Thousand Years

     extends our lives

Wind rustling through paired pines

     raises voices of joy

Yes, rustling voices bring us joy!