ISTA present...

Nōhgaku’s Performance Conventions: Ancient theatrical principles revealed with Jubilith Moore

April 23, 2022 - April 24, 2022

Multi Region Event: Asia & Americas

Booking Closed

The studio runs 3 hours per day on two consecutive days in each region.

About the workshop

Nōhgaku’s Performance Conventions: Ancient theatrical principles revealed

Workshop description
This studio will reveal the order at the foundation of the seemingly chaotic aesthetic world of nōhgaku (accomplished entertainment) exploring the literary, technical and performance elements that come together to create one of the world’s most refined, powerful, and awe-inspiring stage arts. Participants will be introduced to the literary structure of a nōh; the non-verbal expression of the staging conventions and the use of the performer’s body as revealed through character and stage movement; the music and its intricate relationship with the text; and the context and practical use of the mask. Participants will come away with a greater appreciation of one of the world’s oldest and continuously performed theatre traditions and discover the remarkable relevance and practical depth of its foundational principles.

Learning outcomes

Participants will:

  • discover many of the performance conventions underpinning nōh (Japan’s ancient lyric masked dance drama) and kyōgen (the short comedic satires that often accompany nōh as well as share the same stage and history) collectively known as nōhgaku
  • explore the architecture of the nōh stage and the startlingly cutting-edge approach to nōhgaku’s traditional staging conventions
  • investigate the inherent principles involved in creating a character through composing its neutral body or kamae
  • experiment with nōh music’s building blocks, as well as its intimate and intricate relationship to the text through drum patterns, expanding the understanding of form and function of musical theatre practises
  • understand the context and practical use of the c mask
  • understand the approach of revealing character and conveying meaning through kata or movement patterns through a traditional dance

Target audience
Open to all teachers of theatre and drama. Prior knowledge of the context and fundamentals of nōh would be helpful, but not required.

Level: Introductory

Benefits for curriculum development and delivery
The studio will enable teachers to explore and understand the theatrical conventions – such as how to use the face, gesture, posture and movement – of this ancient, non-western, masked theatre tradition with their students with confidence. This will be of special interest to DP Theatre teachers preparing students to undertake a Research Presentation focusing on performance conventions from a World Theatre tradition.

Session Outline

Session #1
The structure of Nōh

Session #2
The Nōhgaku stage and Its conventions

Session #3
The Music of Nōh

Session #4
Developing a character through kamae or body composition

Session #5
Nōhgaku Kata or movement patterns

Session #6
The Masks of Nōhgaku

*specific timings in region TBD

Total course time:
6 hours

About your workshop leader

Jubilith Moore

I’m a theatre performer, director, teacher and producer. Since 1993 I’ve devoted myself to the study of nōhgaku as well as to its infusion into contemporary American theatre. I’m a Japan Foundation Fellow and have been recognized by TCG, TBA and CCI. I’m a Founding Member of Theatre Nōhgaku (theatrenō and was with San Francisco’s Theatre of Yugen for 21 years.

A bridge-builder I believe the act of knowing another alters the self, opens doors, and cultivates empathy. My goal is for nōhgaku to cease to be seen as esoteric and/or exotic and for it to be recognized as the accessible and remarkable art form that it is.

I am one of a handful of English speaking nōhgaku practitioners trained by nōh and kyōgen masters who, in addition to performing works from the traditional repertoires in ancient Japanese and English, has created new English language nōh and kyōgen.

Important information

Event coordinator
Sophie Galton

Workshop timings
Saturday 23rd April & Sunday 24th April 2022 (same time both days)

*Note: dates for Region 1 Americas participants will be one day before participants in Asia due to time zones.

Region 1: Asia & Americas*
*Friday, 22nd April & Saturday 24th April 2022 (Americas only)
*5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Pacific Daylight time (PDT)
*8:00 pm – 11:00 pm Eastern Daylight time (EDT)

Saturday 23rd April, 2022 & Sunday 24th April 2022
8:00 am – 11:00 am Singapore Standard Time (SST)

The workshop will take place on Zoom.
Joining instructions will be emailed to participants 24 hours before the event.
Some familiarity with Google Drive, Google Docs etc. would be helpful, but is not a requirement.

Places are limited to 25 participants


The cost of this studio is GBP £150 per person for ISTA members and GBP £200 per person for non members.

Please note that once booked and invoiced the registration fees are non-refundable and non-transferable as per our event terms and conditions.

What to bring

Any materials shared with you prior to the studio, such as the workbook. A notebook and pencil are always useful.

Space requirements
If possible, please try to have a small amount of space near to you for any practical work.

Download & Forms

Please find below the relevant documentation for you to download:


Asia & Americas

Starts on Saturday 23 April at 08:00
Finishes on Sunday 24 April at 11:00
(SST - Singapore Standard Time)


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