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Question20 Is it true that there is no stage director for Noh plays?

When a play becomes well known, people turn their attention to the stage director, as much as to the playwright, the title, and the actors. It often occurs that a new interpretation by a director revives a classical drama and succeeds in moving the contemporary audience.

However, there is no stage director in the world of Noh, in which plays have been passed down for hundreds of years. Noh performers make a previous arrangement only once.

In the performance, the actors, the musicians, and the reciters (performed by the same school as shite-kata) play their own parts to compose the play. The central part of the team is played by the leading actor (shite-kata). He is responsible for organizing almost all aspects of the play; from acting as a producer and a PR representative to preparing and maintaining items, such as masks, costumes and stage properties.

He does not have to listen to others. Every one of the elements on stage is left to him. Depending on who the leading actor is, the same piece gives different impressions each time it is performed.

(Apr 10, 2008)


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