Contributing Faculty

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Japanese Theater Faculty

Izumi Ashizawa

Izumi Ashizawa is an artistic director of Izumi Ashizawa Performance. She serves as an Associate Professor in Devising Theatre and Performance Art in the Department of Art at State University of New York at Stony Brook. Specialized in cross-cultural performance-making, she reinterpret Japanese theatre codes and place them in a different context to give a new meaning. She utilizes physical story-telling and unconventional puppetry and object animation. Her past commissioned collaborative projects occurred in the U.S.A., Japan, the U.K., Canada, the First Nation in Quebec, Turkey, Iran, Norway, Austria, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Romania, Poland, Russia, Estonia, Australia, the Cayman Islands, Greece, Cyprus, and Peru. Examples of Izumi Ashizawa’s original theatre works: Medusa (2002), The Blue Rocks (2003),
Zahak (2007), Gilgamesh (2009), Le Morte de La Fontaine (2009), Bakeneko Kyosokyoku (2010), Minotaur (2011), Haoma and the Warrior (2011), iKilL (2011), Dreams in the Arms of the Binding Lady (2012), The Kojiki (2014), Kwaidan (2014), Mysterious Lake (2015), Le Sentir des Reve (2017), The Little Goddess (2018), I Cried Because I Had No Shoes Until… (2019), and Bacchae (2019). Ashizawa won numerous awards including the Medal of Honor for Cultural Excellence from the City of Piura in Peru, UNESCO-Aschberg Award for artist-residency, the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Faculty Achievement Award Excellence in Directing and Technology, National Endowment for the Arts Fund Challenge America, Capital Fringe Director’s Award, and etc. Ashizawa has served as a guest artist lecturer in various universities such as Yale University, Carnegie Mellon University, Northwestern University, UCLA, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Bulgarian National Academy of Theatre and Television, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Babes-Bolyai University, Aoyama University in Japan, Cyprus National Theatre, National Academy of the Arts in Norway, Anadolu University in Turkey. Ashizawa holds an MFA from David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University. www.izumiashizawa.com izumedusa@gmail.com

David Jortner

David Jortner is an Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Theatre Arts. He joined the Baylor faculty in 2008 and teaches theatre history, theory, dramatic literature, and directing. He received his PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003.

Dr. Jortner’s research interests are predominantly in the areas of twentieth century Japanese theatre and the intersection of Japanese and American culture. He is the co-editor of Modern Japanese Theatre and Performance and is a contributing editor for the History of Japanese Theatre from Cambridge University Press. He is currently the book review editor for Asian Theatre Journal.

Samuel L. Leiter

Samuel L. Leiter is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theatre, Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He served as editor of Asian Theatre Journal from 1992 to 2004 and is the author or editor of 30 books on Shakespeare, the great stage directors, New York theatre, and Japanese theatre, especially kabuki. His books include Kabuki at the Crossroads, Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre, The Art of Kabuki, Rising from the Flames: The Rebirth of Theater in Occupied Japan, 1945-1952, New Kabuki Encyclopedia, Historical Dictionary of Japanese Traditional Theatre, and Frozen Moments. A voting member of the Drama Desk, he has been reviewing New York theatre since 2012 for his blog, Theatre’s Leiter Side, as well as for such sites as Theater Pizzazz, Theater Life, and The Broadway Blog.

John Oglevee

John Oglevee is a performing artist and Noh practitioner. He has been studying, performing and teaching Noh chant and movement since 1996 with Omura Sadamu, Akira Matsui, and Richard Emmert.

He holds a BFA from NYU and an MFA specializing in Asian performing arts from the University of Hawaii. He is ABD currently finishing his dissertation entitled “Cultural Capital and the Internationalization of Noh”.

大村華由 Ōmura Kayu

kotsuzumi shoulder drum player of the Ko school. She entered Tokyo University of the Arts in the noh division specializing in kotsuzumi and graduated in 2009.  She teaches drumming in the Tokyo area. Her international collaborations include the English noh, Oppenheimer in Sydney, Australia , the opera-ballet-noh collaboration, Opposites-Inverse, in London, Komachi Revisited  in Vancouver Canada in 2017 and 2018, she took part in the Theatre Nohgaku US tour of Blue Moon Over Memphis.

大島衣恵 Ōshima Kinue

Kinue Ōshima is a professional Shite-kata of the Kita-ryu and a member of the Nohgaku Performers Association. She began her career on stage at the age of two performing in the Noh Kuruma Tengu and has since gone on to 40+ years’ career of Noh.

大島輝久Ōshima Teruhisa

Kita school main role (shite) performer. Born in Fukuyama in 1976, he is a fifth generation performer of the Oshima Noh Theatre. He began performing at the age of three studying with his grandfather Hisami and father Masanobu. In 1989, he performed his first full noh, and after graduating from high school moved to Tokyo to become a full time disciple in the Kita school studying under Kita performer Shiotsu Tetsuo.

Kazuko Kaya Yamazaki

Kazuko Kaya Yamazaki, Ph.D. is founder and director of Japanese Dance World (https://JapaneseDanceWorld.com) based in Tracyton, Washington, USA. Kaya is a Nihon Buyō performer and cultural anthropologist specializing in the anthropology of dance.

“A versatile and vivid performer… dances of dignity and sensitivity”—this is how dance critic George Jackson described Kaya and her performance. Originally hailing from Japan, Kaya started training in classical Japanese dance at age four in her birth city of Tokyo and has been dancing ever since. Her accomplishments include receiving a Natori (stage name and master artist license) in Nihon Buyō, Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship, and Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship. Most recently, Kaya has been selected for participation in the 2021-22 Washington State Heritage Arts Apprentice Program as a master artist.

Kaya has given performances, workshops, and presentations in the USA at various venues including Northern Illinois University, Indiana University, University of California Los Angeles, and at conferences of the American Anthropological Association and the Association for Asian Studies. In 2006 and 2008, she was invited to teach Japanese dance at the International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival in Bytom, Poland.

In February 2022, Kaya is launching her new website, Japanese Dance Online (https://JapaneseDanceOnline.com), where students can learn Nihon Buyō and Kabuki dance taught by Kaya through pre-recorded lessons and live-stream sessions. Send email to kaya@japanesedanceonline.com to receive announcements and invitations.

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