Shakespeare Meets Japanese Theater in Kyogen of Errors
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The last date listed for Kyogen of Errors was Thursday June 2, 2005 / 8:00pm.
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The razor-sharp wit of famed stand-up Paula Poundstone will be on full display, as she slices and dices her way through an evening of keen cultural commentary. Famed for a quick mind that always manages to come up with the perfect quip, Poundstone is a master of riffing off the crowd. It's also why she's the perfect panelist for NPR's Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!, where she's featured alongside some of the nation's leading pundits. She broke through in 1990 with her acclaimed HBO special Cats, Cops and Stuff, and was both the first woman to be invited to perform at the White House Correspondents' dinner and the first woman to win a CableACE Award for Best Stand-Up Comedy Special. Still knocking them dead as a headliner, Poundstone released her latest comedy disc, I Heart Jokes: Paula Tells Them in Boston, in April 2013, and has recently toured as part of the A Prairie Home Companion live show. Learn More
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.