CTE’s Icarus Intriguing Fusion of Japanese and Greek Theatre Traditions | CWU Public Affairs

Posted: Feb. 24, 2012

In a dynamic fusion of two classical dramatic cultures, the Greek myth, Icarus, is reinterpreted through the unique ritual of Japanese Noh theatre. Award-winning Central Washington University producers and playwrights George Bellah and Elise Forier retell the universal story of youthful arrogance brought to a tragic end, and a father’s enduring grief. The powerful juxtaposition of Greek and Japanese traditions illuminates these timeless themes to create an unforgettable theatre experience.

CWU’s Central Theatre Ensemble’s Icarus will be performed at 7:30 p.m., March 1-3, and 9-10, and at 2:00 p.m., March 11, in McConnell Auditorium. Tickets are $12 general admission, $10 for seniors/students, and $7 for CWU students. Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.cwu.edu/theatre/tickets.

Icarus will also be performed at the Asian Studies Development Program International Conference in Seattle on March 30, with a school matinee 1:00 p.m. that same day. There will be an additional public performance at the Center House Theatre at Seattle Center on March 31 at 7:30 p.m.

Bellah has studied the performance aspects of Noh, a form of classical Japanese dance theatre, with the Noh Training Project since 2008. He has spent considerable time in Japan studying with Noh teachers, including a recent month-long sojourn in Tokyo.

Forier has won playwriting awards from the Columbia Entertainment Company, Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission, and others. She has twice been invited to develop her works at the National Playwright’s Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center.

Composer Kevin Salfen, from the University of the Incarnate Word (Texas), has created a compelling score that deftly combines Eastern and Western musical motifs and provides a subtle counterpoint to the enduring themes of Icarus.

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