Background to Noh-Kyogen Elements of Noh-Kyogen Announcing Noh Training Programs

Noh Training Project
Tokyo, Japan/Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania

· Noh Training Project in Tokyo
· NTP-Tokyo 2004 Autumn Session Information
· Noh Training Project-Bloomsburg 2004


Noh Training Project in Tokyo

The Noh Training Project (NTP) based in Tokyo is an on-going training program which provides instruction in the chant and dance of Japanese classical noh drama for speakers of English and Japanese. Begun by Richard Emmert in 1991, it generally has 12-14 week sessions in the Spring (April thru July) and Fall (September thru December), as well as occasional shorter Winter sessions (January thru March) of usually 3-8 weeks. Participants include mainly actors, directors, dancers and musicians, but others are also invited to attend. Both beginning and experienced performers are welcome.

Instruction in principle is three times per week for three hours each class. The instructor is Richard Emmert, a certified Kita school teacher and an American who has studied, taught and performed noh in Japan since 1973. Supplementary instruction is by Omura Sadamu, a professional Kita School shite main role actor.

Participants work at their own pace receiving individual instruction in dance and group instruction in the chant. A number of short dances and songs known as shimai, kernel scenes from traditional plays, are taught in their Japanese form with occasional English versions.

NTP-Tokyo 2004 Autumn Session Information

DATES: Saturday, September 25th thru Saturday, December 18th, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. Total 12 weeks.

TIMES: Mornings 10:00am-1pm

LOCATION: Yamato Rehearsal Noh Stage Between Okubo (JR Sobu Line) and Shin-Okubo (JR Yamanote Line) Stations, Tokyo.

COST: 2000 yen per session.

YOU WILL ALSO NEED: 1) white split-toe sox (tabi) which can be purchased in the Japanese traditional clothing section of any department store. Cost: 2500-3000 yen. You may be able to find stores where these can be purchased even more cheaply. 2) A Kita school rehearsal fan for 5000 yen.

INSTRUCTOR:Richard Emmert (Kita School Licensed Instructor)

SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTION:Omura Sadamu (Kita School Shite Actor) (Omura Sensei will be asked to come as many as three times per session if there are at least 8 full-time participants. Otherwise, personal instruction with Mr. Omura can be arranged and is encouraged.)

STAGE: Yamato Rehearsal Stage
Hyakunin-cho 2-17, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo/(tel) 03-3364-0151

CONTACT: Richard Emmert (email)
(tel) 03-3373-0553/(fax)03-3373-4509
Hon-cho 2-27-10, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164-0012 Japan

Richard Emmert is an American who has studied, taught and performed in Japan since 1973. A certified Kita school Noh instructor, Emmert has studied all aspects of Noh performance including the dance, chant and musical instruments, and now frequently performs in Japan. He has also composed and arranged music in Noh style, as well as directed and performed in several English Noh productions. Selections from these plays were released in 1990 by Teichiku Records on a compact disc entitled "Noh in English." He travels extensively outside Japan to perform and teach Noh. Emmert is a professor at Musashino University in Tokyo where he teaches Asian Theatre and Music. He has written extensively about Noh and leads an ongoing Noh performance workshop (Noh Training Project) in Tokyo for non-Japanese as well as an intensive three-week summer Noh Training Project in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.

For more links to noh and a calendar of noh performances in Japan, see:


Noh Training Project-Bloomsburg 2004

DATES: July 19-August 7

PLACE: Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
HOST: Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble

SPECIAL EVENTS: A final recital of the work of all students on August
6th followed by an outdoor torchlight noh performance on August
7th in the Bloomsburg Town Park.


CONTACT:Elizabeth Dowd, Producing Director

The Noh Training Project will hold its annual summer intensive workshop from mid-July through early August in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania hosted by the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. This summer, to celebrate the10th anniversary of the workshop, there will be a special program featuring a full torchlight noh performance in the Bloomsburg Town Park next to the Susquehanna River on Saturday, August 7th, the final day of the workshop.

NTP is a three-week intensive, performance-based training program in the dance, chant, musical instruments and performance background of classical Japanese Noh drama. This summer NTP will conduct the usual traditional training in noh performance techniques including a final week which features special sessions in creating experimental pieces using those techniques and culminating in a final recital on August 6th. In addition, NTP will for the first time present a final full noh performance in mask and costume with advanced NTP students and performers from Japan. The latter will involve members of Theatre Nohgaku as well as include NTP master/performer/teacher Akira Matsui, hayashi instrument teacher Mitsuo Kama, NTP director and main instructor Richard Emmert, as well as three other instrumentalists from Japan. The piece featured will be the traditional noh Kurozuka performed in Japanese with an interlude in English.

NTP daily training sessions last from 9-4:30 M-F under the guidance of Mr. Matsui (for the final two weeks only), Mr. Emmert, Mr. Kama and teaching assistants including head teaching assistant John Oglevee. Evening sessions are also held twice weekly to view noh videos and discuss the history, literature and performance techniques of the art. Students are divided into beginner and intermediate/advanced sections. New students will learn several dances and chants from noh plays, learn about the musical instruments associated with noh, and work briefly with a noh mask. Intermediate/Advanced students will work on longer dance pieces and direct new students in a non-traditional piece.

Musical elements are particularly important in noh training. Classes specifically in noh chant and noh instruments will introduce these elements of the art. Again this summer, Mr. Kama and Mr. Emmert will offer individual lessons in the four instruments of the noh ensemble.

Cost for the three weeks is $1750 and includes tuition, housing in the comfortable graduate school dorms of Bloomsburg University, a rehearsal noh fan, a videotape of the final recital, and a group and recital photo. Board is not included. Students must also supply their own pair of white tabi (split-toe socks).
Those wishing to apply should send a resume and written narrative describing why they are drawn to the study of noh and what they hope to gain from the experience. Please include a photo if possible. No previous experience with noh is required. Final application deadline is May 1, 2004. Upon acceptance, a non-refundable deposit of $750 is due by May 28, 2004 to secure your position. The balance is due by June 30, 2004 although a payment schedule may be negotiated if needed.

Richard Emmert is an American who has studied, taught and performed classical Noh in Japan since 1973. A certified Kita school noh instructor, Emmert has studied all aspects of Noh performance with a special concentration in movement and music. In addition to performing and teaching in Japan, he is a professor at Musashino University in Tokyo where he teaches Asian theatre and music. He also runs an ongoing Noh Training Project for non-Japanese living in Tokyo. Emmert frequently writes and speaks about Noh and has led numerous Noh workshops in Japan and abroad. He co-authors a series of Noh performance guides for the National Noh Theatre in Tokyo and has composed, directed, and performed in several English Noh plays, excerpts of which have been issued in a compact disk issued by Teichiku Records entitled "Noh in English."

Akira Matsui is a master actor-teacher of the Kita School of Japanese classical Noh Theatre. He began studying Noh at the age of 7, and at the age of 12, he became a "live-in apprentice" to Kita Minoru, the 15th generation of Noh masters of the Kita School. Matsui has been active for over 25 years in disseminating Noh abroad. He has trained students in India, Australia, Germany, and England as well as offering master classes in colleges and theatres across the U.S. and Canada. Matsui has also experimented in intercultural fusions with the Noho Theatre Group of Tokyo, with the English Noh plays of Richard Emmert, and with other bilingual productions in Europe and the U.S.



Publications available through the Noh Training Project:

@ $22 (includes a 75 page booklet in English and Japanese) -
@ Teichiku Records, Tokyo.

*ELIZA - Video and text of an English Noh play
@ by Allan Marett with music by Richard Emmert and choreography
@ by Akira Matsui. $32.00. Orginal Tokyo performance.

@ by Monica Bethe and Richard Emmert: includes MATSUKAZE $20,
@ FUJITO $20, MIIDERA $22, TENKO $22, ATSUMORI $23, EMA $23,
@ and AOINOUE $23. Shipping and handling is included.

(Compiled by Richard Emmert)

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