Theatre Nohgaku

Our Story

Our Story

Theatre Nohgaku was born of a shared passion for the classical noh drama of Japan and a belief in its vitality for contemporary audiences around the world. It was founded in 2000 by Richard Emmert and a group of English-speaking performers trained in the demanding techniques of noh. A number of master Japanese noh actors and musicians have worked with TN on specific projects, including full performances of traditional Japanese noh.

Partial list of Residencies and Performances:


  • Performance in support of exhibit of masks by Bidô Yamaguchi at Newfields (Indianapolis)


  • Work-in-progress performance of Gettysburg, in association with symposium The Arts of Civil War (Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia)

  • Tour of Blue Moon over Memphis, with performances at the Univ. of Michigan and the Univ. of California at Los Angeles




  • Blue Moon over Memphis performed in Tokyo

  • Residency and workshop performance of Zahdi Dates and Poppies at Ko Festival (Amherst, Massachusetts)

  • Première of Where Rivers Meet, a triple bill of Richard Emmert’s English-language performing version of Sumida River, the “Texas kyogen” Song of the Yanaguana River by Carmen Tafolla with music by Kevin Salfen, and Benjamin Britten and writer William Plomer’s Curlew River (San Antonio and Houston, Texas)


  • Residency and performance of Sumida River at Zen Mountain Monastery (Mt. Tremper, New York)

  • 20th Anniversary of the Noh Training Project in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, featuring full performance of Hagoromo and excerpts from Takasago





  • Performance of Crazy Jane featuring women’s chorus (Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania)



  • Lecture-demonstrations and workshop series: Towson Univ., York College, Univ. of Maryland at College Park and Colorado State Univ.


  • World première tour of Crazy Jane with performances at the University of Puget Sound, the University of Washington, Evergreen College and South Puget Sound Community College


  • World première tour of Pine Barrens with performances at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Duke University and Hampden-Sydney College


  • Two-week residency with student recital and mask exhibition at North Carolina School of the Arts


  • Torchlight performance of Kurozuka in collaboration with the Noh Training Project (Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania)


  • Inaugural Annual Writers’ Workshop at National Noh Theatre (Tokyo)


  • September: Company première of At the Hawk’s Well:  Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia, followed by two-week tour with performances at Univ. of San Francisco, Duke Univ., Williams College, Univ. of Massachusetts at Amherst, Wellesley College, The Town Hall, Portsmouth, New Hampshire


  • Formation of company

A partial list of where we have performed:


• United States •

Alvina Krause Theatre (Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania); Asia Society Texas Center, Houston, Bloomsburg Town Park (Pennsylvania); Boston University; Duke University; Earlham College; Evergreen State College; Hampden-Sydney College (Virginia); The Music Hall (Portsmouth, New Hampshire); North Carolina School of the Arts; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; University of Michigan; University of Puget Sound, Tacoma; University of San Francisco; University of the Incarnate Word (San Antonio); University of Washington, Seattle; South Puget Sound Community College; Wellesley College; Williams College (Massachusetts)

• Asia •

National Noh Theatre, Tokyo; Kongo Noh Theatre, Kyoto; Penghao Theatre, Beijing; National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing; Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts

• Europe •

Southbank Centre, London; Samuel Becket Theatre, Dublin; O’Reilly Theatre, Oxford; La Maison de la Culture du Japon, Paris