Asian Theatre Journal, vol. 21, no. 2 (2004)

Editor’s Note
Samuel L. Leiter, iii


MORAL: A Play by Kisaragi Koharu
Introduction by Colleen Lanki; script translated by Tsuneda Keiko and Colleen Lanki; original director’s notes translated by Colleen Lanki and Lei Sadakari, 119

Tokyo playwright Kisaragi Koharu (1956-2000) wrote fast-paced, imagistic plays about consumerist society and the challenges of urban life. She and her theatre group NOISE created performances that used words as rhythms and sounds, and the actors’ bodies as parts of some systematic machine. This translation of MORAL, her most expressionistic and perhaps most well-known play, is the first English language publication of her work.

Colleen Lanki is a professional theatre artist from Canada. She lived in Japan from 1995 to 2001 where she ran Kee Company, a bilingual collaborative theatre group, and studied nô and Nihon buyô. She is currently completing her MFA in Asian theatre at the University of Hawai`i, Manoa, where she directed the English-language premiere of MORAL in October 2003. Tsuneda Keiko was a performer in Kisaragi Koharu’s theatre group NOISE and played the role of Mother in the original productions of MORAL. She now works as a professional translator based in Tokyo. She has translated dozens of plays for major companies and won the 2001 Yoshiko Yuasa award for theatre translation. Lei Sadakari is completing her master’s degree in Asian theatre at the University of Hawai`i, Manoa, specializing in Japanese contemporary theatre.


Diasporic Spaces in K. S. Maniam’s The Sandpit: Womensis
Susan Philip, 177

This essay looks at Malaysian playwright K. S. Maniam’s English-language play The Sandpit: Womensis, and discusses the playwright’s portrayal of the individual’s negotiations with the tensions inherent in Malaysia’s multicultural society. Most Malaysians live in tension between the fluid cultural spaces of their lived reality and the rigid, narrowly defined cultural spaces allowed them by public policy. In this play, Maniam embodies the tension between these two cultural spaces through the characters of Santha (who lives within the prescribed cultural borders) and Sumathi (who feels the constraints of these borders and pushes against them). Finally, Maniam suggests that the only solution, tentative at best, is to find some new space where these apparently opposing views can come together.

Susan Philip is a lecturer in drama at the Cultural Centre, University of Malaya. She is currently on study leave, and is at the Australian National University, Canberra, doing her Ph.D. on the English-language drama of Malaysia and Singapore. She has contributed articles to the Southeast Asian Review of English and to World Wide Englishes.

Karagöz and Hacivat: Projections of Subversion and Conformance
James Smith, 187

This article examines the related shadow puppet traditions of Turkey and Greece, karagöz and karagiozis respectively, relating them to Bakhtin’s theories of carnivalistic performance. The author analyzes how these forms of shadow puppetry were used by various audience communities to negotiate and define cultural boundaries and senses of communal identity.

James Smith is currently working on an MA in theatre studies at the University of Arizona, writing a thesis on contemporary performances of medieval British mystery cycles.

Wayang Wahyu as an Example of Christian Forms of Shadow Theatre
Marzanna Poplawska, 194

This essay discusses the creation of wayang wahyu–a Catholic form of shadow theatre in central Java–and its relation to Church politics of inculturation. It presents a short history and an analysis of performance practice of this unique Christian theatre.

Marzanna Poplawska is a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at the Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. She received her MA in musicology from Warsaw University in Poland. She spent three and half years in Indonesia, where she learned music and dance and conducted research. This paper will be a part of her dissertation, “The Role of Christian Music in the Processes of Inculturation and the Creation of Identity–An Indonesian Example.”


Judy Van Zile, Perspectives on Korean Dance
reviewed by Richard Nichols, 203

Chan E. Park, Voices from the Straw Mat: Toward an Ethnography of Korean Story Singing
reviewed by Andrew P. Killick, 206

Ellen Pearlman, Tibetan Sacred Dance, A Journey into the Religious and Folk Traditions
reviewed by Colin Mackerras, 209

Anoop Chandola, The Second Highest World War: The Rama Theatre
reviewed by David Mason, 211

Jonathan Stock, Huju: Traditional Opera in Modern Shanghai
reviewed by Jing Shen, 212

Samuel L. Leiter, Frozen Moments: Writings on Kabuki, 1966–2001
reviewed by Holly Blumner, 216


Margi, producer, Documentation of Koodiyattam (DVD)
reviewed by Diane Daugherty, 220

Invis Infotech Pvt., Ltd., producer, Know Your Heritage (VCD)
reviewed by Diane Daugherty, 222

Farley Richmond and David Z. Saltz, Kutiyattam: Sanskrit Theatre of India (CD-ROM)
reviewed by Diane Daugherty, 224

Natana Kairali, producer, Kutiyattam Episode: Kamsavadham (The Slaying of Kamsa) (VCD)
reviewed by Diane Daugherty, 225

Vedika, producer, Kathakali: Kottayam Plays (DVD)
reviewed by Marlene B. Pitkow, 226

David E. R. George, Buddhism as/in Asian Performance: Analysis of Meditation and Theatrical Practice (e-book)
reviewed by Barbara Sellers-Young, 230

David E. R. George, The Theatres of Asia: An Introduction (VHS)
reviewed by Samuel L. Leiter, 231

Marty Gross Films, producer, Kabuki Dance I: Bandô Tamasaburô: Kyô Kanoko Musume Dôjôji (DVD); Kabuki Dance II: Bandô Tamasaburô: Sagi Musume (DVD)
reviewed by Samuel L. Leiter, 232