The ensemble, staff, board, and selected artistic associates of the Theatre of Yugen are in the throes of preparing for a supernatural visitation. On Wednesday, April 20, not long after 7 o’clock in the evening, the entry curtain at the NOHspace will be drawn aside, and there will emerge on our newly refurbished stage the ghost of Cordelia, daughter of Lear. She is the protagonist—or, in Noh parlance, the shite—of Erik Ehn’s Noh-informed play, Cordelia.
As a member of the board of the Theatre of Yugen, I am honored to have been invited, by Artistic Director Jubilith Moore and Managing Director David Himmelreich, to help you prepare for that numinous moment. During the next few weeks, I will share with you a series of glimpses into different aspects of this exciting production: the costumes, the music, the story-making framework, and the rehearsal process. We will call this our “Countdown to Cordelia.”
In almost every Noh play, the first character one meets is the waki, usually a traveler on pilgrimage. Before long, he beholds a wonder. Please let me be your guide on the journey that will reach its climax on opening night.