I think that is a very successful way: keep it short, do not try to cover the whole of Kabuki in one session, but pick out one aspect of Kabuki like the National Theater does - it may be animals in Kabuki, it may be onnagata
, it may be something else - some point that you want to explain from the play you are showing, and then show them the play.
Nor can theorists definitively assign to one gender or another dramatic characters such as Shakespeare's cross-dressers, Greek heroines, Chikamatsu's onnagata
, the heroes of the Takarazuka Kagekidan, or the characters of Edward Albee, Samuel Beckett and Tennessee Williams.
Feminists seeking comfort from the reflection that at least today women are free to play female roles originally intended for boys will find little comfort in Nigel Wheale's account of Robert Lepage's one-man performance of Elsinore: exploiting the onnagata
techniques evolved in Japanese Kabuki theatre, he plays Ophelia and Gertrude, 'depriving contemporary actresses of the some of the greatest roles in the classical repertoire' (p.
Wheale suggests that Lepage's appearances as Ophelia and Gertrude in his one-man adaptation of Hamlet, while referencing the boy actresses of the Shakespearean stage and the onnagata
of Kabuki theatre, may also 'derive from his interest in the pathos of the contemporary male body seeking to mimic the gender and sexuality which it can never be' (131).
Como en su esplendido cuento Onnagata
, donde Mishima reflexiona sobre el teatro Kabuki y aquel sector de actores hombres dedicado a hacer papeles femeninos, en Sotoba y Komachi vuelve a ahondar sobre las relaciones entre el arte y la vida, salvadas las corrupciones fisicas y morales de esta ultima a traves de la muerte, como unica puerta posible de salida.
Cody finds Wong's use of the onnagata
convention (a Japanese tradition wherein male actors are trained to perform female roles) inadequate because he does not "portray the beauty and delicacy of a woman with the utmost precision" (26).
Tamasaburo is one of Japan's most famous Kabuki actors, known for performing onnagata
(female roles) in the all-male Kabuki tradition.
Specifically, Tian believes that Mei's art as nandan helped legitimize the continued standing of onnagata
on the kabuki stage.
Heterosexual Japanese women could become intense fans of the male-part players of the Takarazuka Review--even though they understand that, in real life, these parts are played by women (in a reverse parallel to the onnagata
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of Kabuki theater, where men play the roles of both women and men).
When Japanese Kabuki was being performed in New York during the 1980s, the most celebrated performer turned out to be the onnagata
(female impersonator) Tomasaburo Bando V, a disciplined and dedicated actor performing in a tradition that is centuries old.
Yoko Takakuwa develops the comparison in a more interesting direction when she notes that both the male actor playing Cleopatra and the onnagata
playing a keisei (the most refined of courtesans) are impersonating a woman who is herself an impersonation.
Perhaps inspired by the Kabuki onnagata
(player of female roles), Lauren uses immense vocal range, rising to falsetto and plunging forcefully into the chest.