Theatre and Dance
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
1770 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
L. Jacob, Publicity Director
Phone: (808) 956-2598
Fax: (808) 956-4234
Box Office: (808) 956-7655 (v/t)
February 15, 2004
KABUKI IN ENGLISH: "NOZAKI VILLAGE" (SHINPAN UTAZAIMON) AT KENNEDY THEATRE
The University of Hawai‘i at Manoa’s
Department of Theatre and Dance presents the Kabuki comedy-drama "Nozaki
Village," translated into English and directed by Dr. Julie Iezzi. In this
popular play, a country girl, a city girl, two young suitors and a conniving
clerk vie for love - some win, some lose. Director Iezzi, the newest member of
UHM’s internationally acclaimed Asian Theatre faculty, is directing her first
fully-produced kabuki play. She is joined by a host of kabuki master teachers
from Japan and Hawai‘i to bring "Nozaki Village" to life on the Kennedy Theatre
Mainstage. Performances of "Nozaki Village" will be April 23, 24, 28, 29, 30 and
May 1 at 8 p.m., May 2 at 2 p.m. The Saturday, May 1st performance
will be interpreted in American Sign Language.
Two distinctly different acts form the story. In the first
act, a handsome young lad named Hisamatsu (played by Chris Doi) is apprenticed
to the Abura Pawn Shop and is in love with Osome (Lei Sadakari), the daughter of
the shop owner. However, the greedy Abura head clerk, Kosuke (Alvin Chan), hopes
to marry Osome himself and become the master of the shop. Kosuke schemes to make
it appear that Hisamatsu has stolen a large sum of money from the shop.
Hisamatsu is dismissed from service and sent back to his foster father, Kyusaku
(Gilbert Molina), in disgrace. Hisamatsu leaves a letter of separation, advising
Osome to marry another suitor, Sashiro (Colleen Lanki).
The second act takes place in Nozaki Village, near Osaka.
Kyusaku pays off Hisamatsu's debt of stolen money and
attempts to lift everyone’s spirit by going forward with Hisamatsu’s marriage to
Kyusaku’s step-daughter, Omitsu (Fan Xing), to whom he has been betrothed since boyhood.
However, Osome pursues Hisamatsu to Nozaki Village and the two lovers determine
that they will commit suicide together rather than marry another. Kyusaku
intercedes and convinces them to promise that they will give each other up, but
Omitsu realizes they still plan to die. She sacrifices her own love of Hisamatsu,
cutting her hair and becoming a nun to free Hisamatsu, allowing him to honorably
be with Osome.
Originally adapted from a bunraku puppet play, "Nozaki
Village" is known for its symphony of sound and a spectacle of vision and
features a double hanamichi which brings the drama right into the audience.
Assisting Director Iezzi, who also directed last year’s Kyogen production,
"Laughter for All Time", the Hawai‘i’ production team includes: assistant
director Allyson Paris, choreographer Onoe Kikunobu with assistance from Onoe
Kikunobukazu - who is also performing on takemoto shamisen, and musical director
Ricardo Trimillos of the UHM Music faculty. The musicians of the Nagauta
Ensemble, performing in the play, are lead by Kineya Wahatsu. George Wago serves
as the production’s expert wig master.
Kabuki experts from Japan, actors Nakamura Gannosuke and
Nakamura Jojiro are working intensively on actor training while musicians Kashiwa SenjirÇ
(percussion) and Toyozawa Tokijaku (takemoto) assist in the preparation of the
percussion and takemoto narrative ensembles. Technical advisor Hamatani Hitoshi
has been in residence at UHM since January to assist graduate student set
designer Daniel Gelbmann.
This production and the Kabuki Training Program are made
possible through the generous sponsorship of the Council for International
Exchange of Scholars, U.S. Department of State for a Fulbright
Scholar-in-Residence Grant, the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the UH
Manoa Chancellor’s Office, the UH Japan Studies Endowment, the Freeman Foundation
Grant for Undergraduate Asian Studies Initiative, Aston Coconut Plaza Hotel,
Aston Hotels & Resorts Hawai‘i, and Outrigger Hotels and Resort.
Tickets for "Nozaki Village" go on sale Monday, April 5th
at the Kennedy Theatre Box Office. Tickets may be purchased in person or
charged-by-phone at 956-7655 (voice/text) Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to
3 p.m. Ticket prices are $18 regular, $15 seniors, military, UH faculty/staff,
$12 non-UHM students, $3 UHM students with validated Spring UHM photo ID. Also
beginning Monday, April 5th, tickets will be available through
Ticketmaster at all Times Supermarket Stores, by phone at 1-877-750-4400, and
(Service charges apply to Ticketmaster sales.) For more information,
charge-by-phone, or disability access, call the Kennedy Theatre Box office at
When: April 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, May 1* @ 8pm
May 2nd at 2pm
* interpreted in American Sign Language
Where: UHM's Kennedy Theatre Maistage
$15 seniors, military, UH faculty/staff
$12 non-UHM students,
$3 UHM students with validated Spring 2004 UHM student ID