Masterpieces of Kabuki: Eighteen Plays on Stage

Front Cover
James R. Brandon, Samuel L. Leiter
University of Hawaii Press, 2004 - Drama - 355 pages

Masterpieces of Kabuki contains eighteen outstanding dramas taken from the landmark four-volume series Kabuki Plays On Stage. Together they cover the entire spectrum of kabuki drama from 1697 to 1905, the period during which kabuki s dramaturgy flourished prior to the onset of Western dramatic influence. Major playwrights, chronological periods of playwriting, and a variety of play types (history, domestic, and dance dramas) and performance styles are represented. All but one are in the current repertory and regularly staged. The volume includes introductions to each play and a new general introduction highlighting kabuki s historical development and relating the plays to their performance context.

As the subtitle implies, the plays are translated as if on stage. Stage directions indicate major scenic effects, stage action, costuming, makeup, music, and sound effects. In some cases, complex stage actions such as stage fights are given in detail. The plays collected here are all marvelous examples of dramatic writing, intended to be acted on the stage before audiences. They reveal kabuki s eras of brilliance and bravado, villainy and vengeance, darkness and desire, and restoration and reform. All continue to stir audiences to admiration and excitement.

 

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Contents

III
34
IV
56
V
100
VI
118
VII
140
VIII
158
IX
198
X
212
XIII
256
XIV
278
XV
294
XVI
310
XVII
337
XVIII
343
XIX
347
XX
349

XI
224
XII
242
XXI
354
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

James R. Brandon is emeritus professor of Asian theatre at the University of Hawai'i.

Samuel L. Leiter is distinguished professor of theatre at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, and also teaches at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Bibliographic information