EDITOR’S NOTE: This entry is the first in a series by author Edith Newton concerning the work-in-progress piece In a Memory Palace. Edith will discuss the piece, the development process, and offer reflections we hope the reader will find rich and rewarding.

Ah, there you are.  Thank you for coming. Here I am, at the corner table, behind the card players.  Wearing a pilgrim’s hood, because I hope you will join me on a journey of some duration.

But first, let the young man take your coat, and say what you will have. A fortified coffee, in this cold weather, or perhaps the fortification without the coffee? A piece of cake? I am partial to the Dobos Torte, but all the options here are good.

Edith Newton

Edith Reisner Newton, author of “In a Memory Palace.”

My name is Edith Reisner Newton, and for the next several months, I will be your guide to the world of In a Memory Palace. Together, we will encounter the characters and the actors who portray them, reflect upon the prosody, the musical setting, and the design components, and explore themes suggested by the text. We will consider the historical and cultural contexts for the play, which traverses space and time from Vienna in the mid-twentieth century to the United States in the twenty-first, also drawing attention to the experience and reception of migrants from locations other than Europe.

I invite you, my cherished companion, to participate in this dramaturgical journey in any of three ways—as an observer, an interlocutor, or a protagonist. That is, I encourage you not necessarily just to look and listen, but to ask questions and, if you wish, to offer anecdotes or reflections of your own.

In its form, the text of In a Memory Palace follows the conventions of classical Japanese Noh theatre, while the music and costumes represent a hybrid of Noh and European styles, and at certain points in the play, there are openings for the incorporation of other traditions and influences. Regular readers of this blog are conversant in the terminology and characteristics of Noh. However, if you are a newcomer, I promise to make the path as smooth for you as I can.

I look forward to our time together.


About Theatre Nohgaku

Noh, one of the oldest continuing stage arts, combines highly stylized dance, chant, music, mask and costume with intense inner concentration and physical discipline, creating a uniquely powerful theatrical experience. Theatre Nohgaku’s mission is to share noh’s beauty and power with English speaking audiences and performers. We have found that this traditional form retains its dramatic effectiveness in languages other than Japanese. We believe noh techniques hold a powerful means of expression in the context of contemporary English language theatre.
This entry was posted in English-language noh, In a Memory Palace, Noh plays and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Servus!

  1. David Crandall says:

    I look forward to being a part of this merry calvacade!

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