Lady Han is a post-Christmas-nearly-Valentine’s-Day, distinctly American take on a classical Noh drama about a prostitute going mad with loneliness.

With a skeleton faithfully based on the 15th century Japanese play by Zeami, and flesh that is all All-American, Lady Han is an entirely focused and otherworldly 20th century spin on a classic Noh play. Lady Han is a story of a prostitute who falls in love with a client, Yoshida, and pines for him all Fall and Winter. When he returns she has already gone mad and doesn’t recognize him. Using this poetic text and the conventions of classical Japanese drama, the production aims to lift our own culture — denim, Dolly, shopping carts, line dancing, plastic Christmas trees — to the height of elegance.

In a time of manic, maximalist, fast and furious entertainment, the piece takes audiences down an alternate path to use the theatre as a place of contemplation and focus, attempting to slow down our minds and explore the beauty and sadness in contemporary American popular culture. The bold production presents white-hot passion and sorrow with careful restraint and formality utilizing the tools of precise audio and production design. The driving force in this piece — as in traditional Noh — is the live music, which is composed by Taylor Brook, and features banjo, vocals and electronics.

Composer and Sound Designer: Taylor Brook
Set Designer: Josh Smith
Costume Designer: Ryan Park
Lighting Designer: Ken Wills
Choreographer: Katie Rose McLaughlin
Stage-Manager: Hannah Johnson-Walsh
Performers: Jessie Shelton, Andrew Dinwiddie, Louisa Bradshaw, Brighid Greene, Nicolas Norena, Lena Moy-Borgen, David Gould, Alex Mallett, Ethan Fishbane
Text by Zeami, translated by Royall Tyler

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