2017 Participants

Jubilith Moore is a performer, director, writer, teaching artist and producer for the theatre who has devoted her professional life to exploring the ongoing life of traditional Japanese and contemporary American theatre. She has studied noh with Richard Emmert, Akira Matsui and Kinue Oshima and kyogen with Yukio Ishida and Yuriko Doi. She is a Founding Company Member of Theatre Nohgaku and was Artistic Director of Theatre of Yugen from 2001 to 2014. Recent world premiere directorial credits include Chiori Miyagawa’s “This Lingering Life,” Judy Halebsky’s, “The Dress,” and Carrie Preston’s“Zahdi Dates and Poppies.” Noteworthy roles in English noh productions include the Old Man in W. B. Yeats’ “At the Hawk’s Well,” the Waki role in Jannette Cheong’s “Pagoda”and in Deborah Brevoort’s “Blue Moon Over Memphis.” She is the recipient of a JapanFoundation Fellowship, TBA’s CA$H award as well as TCG’s Future Collaborations andLeadership U[niversity] grants.

Claudia Orenstein is Chair of Theatre at Hunter College with an appointment at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her books include The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance(co-editor), The World of Theatre: Tradition and Innovation (with Mira Felner), and Festive Revolutions: The Politics of Popular Theatre and the San Francisco Mime Troupe.Recent articles include “Women in Indian Puppetry: Negotiating Traditional Roles and New Possibilities” (Asian Theatre Journal), “The Object in Question: A Peek Into the FIDENA – International Puppetry Festival” (TDR). She has served as Board Member of the Association of Asian Performance and UNIMA-USA and is Associate Editor forAsian Theatre Journal. She also works as a dramaturg for productions using puppetry including Stephen Earnhart’s Wind UpBird Chronicle and Tom Lee’s Shank’s Mare. She is co-editing the volume Women and Puppetry: Critical and Historical Investigations with Cariad Astles and Alissa Mello for Routledge and is Consulting Curator for the exhibit “Indian Puppetry: Epic Stories and Dancing Dolls” at the Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta. Her current research is on traditional puppetry in Japan, emphasizing forms other than bunraku, the role of women in the art, and mapping the historical path and development of Japanese object performance.

Alex Rogals is a stage director (MFA, UCLA) and an aspiring scholar of Japanese theatre, whose primary interests are comedy and community theatre. His work as a PhD candidate at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has centered on examining the role of non-professional performers and contributors in the development of the Japanese traditional comedic performing art, kyōgen. Currently he resides in Yamaguchi, Japan, where he is conducting field research on the history and contemporary practice of Yamaguchi Sagi kyōgen.

Galia Todoova Petkova: My background is in Japanese and Gender studies. I have earned my PhD from SOAS, University of London. The title of my doctoral dissertation is “Performing Gender in Edo-period Kabuki.” I am a guest lecturer in Asian theatre at the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria. I teach the history of Asian theatres within a broad historical and social context, exploring mutual influences, issues of power and gender. My research interests are traditional performing arts in Asia, focusing on Japan, and gender studies—cultural re/presentation of gender, construction of the notions and ideals of gender on the stage. I have conducted extensive research on traditional Japanese performing arts, spending eight years in Japan in total. I have also done research on Indonesian performing arts, in Bali and Java. Currently I am a visiting research fellow at the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies in Kyoto.

Amethy Zihui Lu is a PhD candidate in contemporary Japanese theaterat National University of Singapore. She received her M.A. in Asia Pacific Studies from University of San Francisco, and worked one year as an editor for Encyclopedia Britannica after that. Her PhD research focuses on Japanese manga/anime/video game adapted theater (usually called 2.5-dimensional theater, or 2.5D theater for short). She is especially interested in the intermedial elements presented in this young yet popular theatrical performance. Her research also involves a comparative study onJapanese and Chinese 2.5D theater.

Ruby Macdougall: BA:SUNY Purchase/SUNY purchase Conservatory of Dance MA: University of Hawaii at Manoa

I am a PhD student at the University of Michigan in the department of Asian Languages and Cultures. My current research focuses on the intersections of dance, aesthetics, and political economy in modern China. I am also interested in the relationship between geography, imaginary place, and aesthetic style specifically as it relates to the social processes of memory and forgetting in China. I have danced professionally with Atlanta Ballet and with numerous independent choreographers in New York City, Honolulu, and China.

Valerie Barske is an Associate Professor in History and International Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in East Asian Languages and Cultures. She has been conducting ethnographic research on Okinawan action sign systems since her first Fulbright Fellowship in 1998. With a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Fellowship in 2005-2006, Barske studied the intersections of dancing and peace activism as central to understanding the complex colonial historyof Okinawa. She has presented at the American Anthropological Association, the Association for Asian Studies, and the American Historical Association. In 2013–2014, Barske received a fellowship at the Institute for Research in the Humanities for a book titled, Crashing Waves of Peace: Trauma, Embodiment, and Decolonizing Okinawa. Barske considers herself an impassioned “scholarly teacher” whose most recent SoTL research seeks innovative ways of linking feminist pedagogies with embodied learning strategies for general education courses.

Gregory Wolf: A recent graduate from Bucknell University, double majoring in Theatre and East Asian Studies, I have consistently tried to use both the study and practice of theatre to encourage collaboration and intercultural connection. I recently completed an honors thesis entitled “Emperors, Prostitutes, and Children: Exploring Modern Japanese History Through Two Modern JapanesePlays”, directed an English-language production of Japanese playwright Betsuyaku Minoru’s The Cherry in Bloom and received Bucknell’s CBS/Sony Prize for Japanese Studies. Other research and theatrical experience includes an Associated Kyoto Program Student Grant to research Japanese theatre on-site in Kyoto, studyat the “Self-Generated Theatre Intensive” at New York’s Stella Adler Studio of Acting, workas a teaching assistant for a devised theatre courseat Bucknell University, and collaboration with a diverse ensemble on a theatrical performance and TEDx talk focused on the subject of inter-racial collaboration.

(K.) Natasha Foreman is an ethnomusicologist, composer, musician, and dancer, currently teaching at Wayne State University and Ballet Detroit. Although primarily a musician, her interests concentrate on the connections between music and dance, exploring movement as sound and music as choreography. Her doctoral field research placed her in Tokyo from 1997–2001 for a deeper understanding of geisha as multi-disciplinary performing artists, of the development of Edo and Meiji musical genres linked to the shamisen, and of the embodied aesthetics of musical iki. She studied and performed nagauta shamisen with the composer and iemoto Imafuji Chōjūrō IV, and kouta shamisen amongst geisha in the districts of Shimbashi, Gion, and Miyagawa-chō. Since publishing her monograph, The Gei of Geisha: Music, Identity, and Meaning (SOAS Musicology Series, Ashgate/Routledge, 2008), her research has spread to both butoh and contemporary African choreography (and choreographers), dancing with questions of nation, art, and “the modern.”

Sarah Johnson is a PhD candidate in Theatre and Performance at The University of Colorado Boulder. Her research focuses on intercultural theatre and the influence of Japanese traditional performing arts on American playwriting. Valuing artistic practice as a form of research and scholarly pursuit, she continues honing her craft as a new play and production dramaturg. She completed her MFA in Dramaturgy at the University of Iowa with a thesis focusing on the influence of Japanese noh and kabuki theatre on Tennessee Williams’ late plays. Her writing has been published in Asian Theatre Journal and Theatre Topics.

Yuko Eguchi is a native of Tokyo, Japan and holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh. Growing up, Yuko studied classical ballet, piano, and Japanese tea ceremony. After twenty years of training, Yuko received the master title of tea, Soyu, in 2009 and the assistant professor title of tea in 2013, certified by the head master of the Urasenke school. For her dissertation research, Yuko also studied Japanese geisha’s music and dance, called kouta and koutaburi, and received the master title of kouta, Kasuga Toyo Yoshiyu, in 2012. Yuko has performed and lectured on Japanese traditional arts at multiple conferences including the Society for Ethnomusicology and National Consortium for Teaching About Asia and at various colleges and universities. Visit Yuko’s website: www.yukoeguchi.com

Lani Alden is currently a Master’s student at the University of Colorado Boulder studying gender and early modern/modern Japanese theatre. She has undergraduate training in Japanese and Theatre from the University of Maryland College Park and graduate training in pre-modern Japanese and Chinese literature from Yale. Of particular interest to her is gender and its relationship to the body in theatre. Specifically, she is interested in androgynous genders, problematic genders, blurred genders, and transitional genders and how these manifest on the stage and off of it. She is currently writing her Master’s thesis on this topic, focusing on the theatre of the Edo-Meiji transition.

Melissa Van Wyk: I am currently a fourth year PhD student at the University of Michigan in the Asian Languages and Cultures Department focusing on early modern kabuki theater. My doctoral dissertation, “Kabuki’s Technologies of Performance: Spectacle, Stagecraft, and the Prosthetic in Early Modern Japan” centers on the question of what role stage spectacle played in the dramaturgy of kabuki during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In particular, it considers how examining the intersection of the prosthetic and the somatic can interrogate the ways in which practices of staged spectacle interacted with the shifting relationships among the body, technology, and performance in early modern and modern Japan.

Yihui Sheng is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She studies Chinese Ming-Qing literature and theater. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.