Japanese comedies to lighten up Miners Foundry | TheUnion.com

Japanese comedies to lighten up Miners Foundry

Following its production of “Tea” with its minimalist noh theater influence, Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS) decided that a performance of down-to-earth humor would round out the experience of traditional Japanese theater. Thus, it is sponsoring family friendly kyogen, a centuries-old type of comedy that addresses such worldly concerns as greed, vanity and the pleasures of outwitting someone with a good dose of satire. These short comedies are cast with stock characters of servants and masters, wives and husbands and feuding Buddhist priests. One such comedy, “Kazumo,” is about a sumo wrestling with a mosquito.

Performing the comedies in English is Theatre of Yugen, an experimental ensemble dedicated to the pursuit of the intangible essence called yugen – yu meaning deep, quiet and other wordly; gen meaning subtle, profound – through its exploration of dramatic and literary classics and the crafting of new works of world theater. It was founded in 1978 in San Francisco.

Proceeds from the play go toward CATS’ 2008 show, which will run January through February 2008; its title will be announced this fall.

The two performances (at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m.) take place on Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center in downtown Nevada City (yes, it is at the foundry and not at the Nevada Theatre, as previously reported). Tickets for $12, all ages, may be purchased in Nevada City at Words on Paper, Gold Mountain and Nevada City Postal Co.; in Grass Valley at The Book Seller and BriarPatch and online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com. Call (530) 265-2990 for more information.

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