Visiting Artist to Teach Japanese Theatre

Image Japanese Theatre

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota's College of Fine Arts and Department of Theatre will host a special residency in Japanese Theatre March 21-24 featuring Julie A. Iezzi, Ph.D., professor of theatre at the University of Hawaii. The residency will feature classroom sessions on Kyōgen, focusing on conventional patterns and jo-ha-kyu, a demonstration on Kyōgen costuming and a public lecture-demo, “Kyōgen: Medieval Satire Alive and Thriving in the 21st Century.”

The 600-year-old comic tradition of Kyōgen has survived the centuries in the bodies and minds of the artists who have been living and transmitting it within their families for generations. The lecture-demo will introduce the theatrical genre of Kyōgen, contrasting the type of social satire common in traditional plays, with the more direct, biting political satire of newer post-WWII era plays. The talk will be illustrated with live demonstration and short video clips, as well as offer an opportunity for interactive participation.

The lecture-demo will be 4-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 23 in Farber Hall, followed by a reception hosted by USD’s Center for Diversity and Community. This event is free and open to the public.

Iezzi specializes in Japanese theatre. She spent most of her formative years in Japan, studying various forms of Japanese theatre (Kyōgen, kabuki, noh) and music (nagauta, gidayū, tokiwazu), which she continues to do whenever possible. She received an M.A. from Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from University of Hawaii, where she has been teaching for 16 years.

This residency is sponsored by USD’s College of Fine Arts, Department of Theatre and Center for Diversity and Community.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News