If asked, most of us probably have a very similar view of what theater is, but despite this universal idea of something acted out, usually on a stage, for our entertainment, there are many types of theater specific to various cultures around the world. In some countries, like Japan for example, the types of theater are defined by very specific styles and conventions, even rules. Traditional theater anywhere, has usually developed through many centuries, yet retains many of its original characteristics even when being performed on modern stages. Here’s some interesting types of theater from around the world.
1. Noh - Japan
Japan has various types of theater each easily distinguishable once you know the nuances. Noh theater is a performance of song and dance and having originated in the 14th century, remains steeped in its traditions. All performers in Noh theater are male who act in rich, heavy costumes in slow movements with a monotonous dialogue, poetic in its tone. Themes often to relate to the supernatural, the spiritual world and dreams, with plots and stories drawn from history, legend and literature. The lead character (Shite) most usually wears a mask carved from Japanese Cypress which tells the audience what kind of character he is. Noh takes place on a specific type of stage which is square with a roof supported by 4 corner pillars, open on 3 sides, with a back wall painted with an image of a pine tree.