This group studies Asian theatre and performance and investigates their influence on, and relationship to, world theatre. We aim to discuss the techniques, aesthetics and philosophies of Asian theatre in its entirety, including, but not limited to, authentic traditional forms, contemporary global performances and Asian productions of Western-style theatre. It is difficult to clearly define Asian theatrical plays and performance. The vast diversity of Asian performance provides us with many comparative perspectives and it is clearly not feasible to lump the various parts of the region together when it varies so greatly, both geographically and historically. However, it is undeniable that Asian plays and performances are characterized by their unique aesthetics and concepts. Most Asian theatre practices have also been affected by the clash between tradition and westernization, necessitating new methodologies and scholarly theories to understand the field. From this perspective, the Asian Theatre Working Group focuses on the distinctive aesthetics and concepts intrinsic to Asian theatrical performance and incorporates them into the existing concepts of theatre, gradually transforming perspectives.
We intend to publish a collection of study reports that focus on several key concepts concerning Asian theatre. These include 'heredity', 'informal training', 'amateurism', 'tradition', 'field or out-door performances', 'Flowers (Zeami)', 'presence of actors', 'aging', 'colonized', 'Westernized', 'repetition', 'masks' and 'musicality' etc. We are also running a touring research project in multiple Asian cities to address one of our most significant problems, which is the weak networking of Asian theatrical researchers. To construct a tight-knit structure throughout the region, our group will organize a small research society and hold meetings and workshops in several Asian cities, choosing a subject unique to each venue and possibly participating in local theatrical festivals
Next meeting: TBC.
Last meetings: Osaka 2011. Munich 2010. Lisbon 2009.