Cody Poulton Kabuki Talks, Feb. 16-17

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Cody Poulton Kabuki Talks, Feb. 16-17

Post  JF on Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:59 pm

Complementing Cinema Kabuki Canada 2012
and The Tamasaburo Bando Poster exhibition
Two Talks on Kabuki
by Dr. Cody Poulton, University of Victoria , B.C.

at The Japan Foundation , Toronto
February 16 and 17

Location: The Japan Foundation , Toronto
Address: 131 Bloor St. W. , 2nd Floor of the Colonnade Building
Admission: free
Reservation required
RSVP: or 416.966.1600 x105

Thursday, February 16 at 6:30 pm (doors open at 6 pm)

Kabuki's creator, Okuni, was a woman, but soon the government banned women from the stage and kabuki became, like Elizabethan theatre, a performance in which boys or men played all the roles. A star onnagata, or specialist in female roles, like Tamasaburō today, is still the magnet that draws many spectators time and again back to the theatre. This illustrated talk will trace the history and art of female impersonation in kabuki theatre and what it can tell us about the performance of gender in Japan today.

Friday, February 17 at 6:30 pm (doors open at 6 pm)

Kabuki, which originally meant "bent" or "twisted" to refer to the manner in which conventions (including traditional gender roles) were undermined and parodied, is now one of the world's great classical performance arts. Yet it is still very much alive. New plays are being written yearly for the kabuki stage, incorporating styles and references to contemporary pop culture and social issues. Kabuki was the Hollywood of its time, and like Hollywood , drew on a wealth of stories, other media and genres of theatre to feed its hunger for spectacle and novelty. This talk will look at some of the plays featured at Cinema Kabuki to focus on the origin and appeal of these works for audiences both in the past and today.

Cody Poulton is Professor of Japanese theatre and literature at the University of Victoria, Canada. Author of A Beggar's Art: Scripting Modernity in Japanese Drama (University of Hawaii Press, 2010) and co-editor (with Mitsuya Mori and J. Thomas Rimer) of the forthcoming Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Drama, he has translated many plays, including The Heron Maiden and two other classical kabuki dramas for the four volume series Kabuki Plays on Stage (University of Hawaii Press, 2002).


Toronto (Feb. 22-23) and Vancouver (Feb. 26)
presented by The Japan Foundation in High Definition on the Big Screen
Direct from Japan , Subtitled in English
including three Canadian premieres, The Zen Substitute, Murder in a Hell of Oil, and Hokaibo

Kabuki Theatre, with origins dating back to the 1600s, has remained steeped in tradition while constantly innovating. Live productions, featuring some of today’s greatest Kabuki stars, are now being filmed with the highest resolution cameras for screening in cinemas around the world on state-of-the-art digital projection systems and 6 channel sound.

Cinema Kabuki Calendar of screenings
Scotiabank Theatre Toronto , 259 Richmond Street West

February 22 (Wednesday)
6:00 pm The Zen Substitute
8:00 pm Murder in Hell of Oil
February 23 (Thursday
6:00 pm Heron Maiden
7:00 pm Hokaibo

Details and ticket info:


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