Venue Details

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Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
3301 Lyon Street San Francisco, CA 94123
415-567-6642
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Website

http://www.sfintlartsfest.org/theatre/mansaku.html

Description

Directed by and starring Mansai Nomura (Mansaku’s son and one of Japan’s most famous young artists), the setting of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors is changed: Syracuse becomes SHIRAKUSA and Ephesus becomes KUROKUSA. There are some minor cuts, but virtually all the major scenes in Comedy of Errors are reproduced in the Kyogen version. The principal differences are in the place and character names. The Italian place name Syracusa (Syracuse in Shakespeare’s play) closely resembles the Japanese Shirakusa, itself meaning White Grass, and hereafter known as White Island. Given that Syracusa becomes Shirakusa, so Ephesus — the setting of Shakespeare’s play — becomes Kurokusa (Black Grass or Black Island). Even more than in Shakespeare’s play, the atmosphere in the Kyogen Black Island during the early, festival scenes, is one of evil fascination and decadent illusion. Conversely, Shakespeare’s Mediterranean Sea is downsized in the Kyogen plan to become the Seto-naikai — a sea with many islands in the western part of Japan.

Antipholus is re-baptized Ishinosuke, while Dromio becomes Taro-kaja the custo mary name of a Harlequin clown in traditional Kyogen. During the performance, the White Island twins exit and enter only through a white curtain covering the lift-hand door, while their Black Island counterparts (played by the same actors) use a black one on the audience’s right. To clarify any confusion, the actors only wear masks when the characters on stage include both the White Islander(s) and the Black Islander(s). During the prologue, a hooded man, the Lord of Misrule, invites the audience to join in chanting the word Ya-ya-koshi-ya, meaning “How complicated!”

About the Ticket Supplier: San Francisco International Arts Festival

The mission of the San Francisco International Arts Festival is to promote the City as a major center of creativity and exchange by inviting artists and audiences from around the world to an international celebration dedicated to exploring collaborative projects that push the boundaries of artistic excellence, genre, culture and human understanding.