A. Critical and Comparative Studies

45. Ernst, Earle. ‘The Influence of Japanese Theatrical Style on Western Theatre’. Educational Theatre Journal 21 (1969): 127-38.

A work useful for its placement of Western-language nô adaptations in the historical context of the search for alternatives to dramatic realism. Ernst argues that much of the technique of Yeatsian drama often attributed to the discovery of the nô actually came from the theories of Maeterlinck and the Symbolists, and that Craig (see D17), unlike Yeats and Masefield (see CA5), ‘recognis[ed] the difficulty of acquiring a genuine understanding of Japanese theatre’ without actually seeing performances. Includes a careful tracing of the history of Japanese theatre troupes in the West, and reaction to them from audiences, critics, directors, and dramatists. Concludes that the appeal has come from the ‘fusion’ of acting, voice, movement, dance, and music into ‘total theatre’, and that the ‘techniques by which this fusion is accomplished’ may yet prove fruitful for European and American dramatists.





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