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Shelem Yankev Abramovitsh 1835–1917

Above, Shelem Yankev Abramovitsh (1835–1917), commonly known by his literary persona Mendele Moykher-Sforim (Mendele the Book Peddler), is considered to be the founding father of…

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Takarazuka Revue Company (1913--)

The popular Takarazuka Revue Company, based in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, is the oldest established musical theater company in Japan. The performers are unmarried women; if…

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Itō, Michio (1893–1961)

Itō Michio’s creative endeavors spanned dance, theatre, and film, just as his career spanned the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, however, his life as a…

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Jiyū-gekijō [Free Theater]

Jiyū-gekijō [Free Theater], founded in 1909 by the director Osanai Kaoru (1881–1928) and kabuki actor Ichikawa Sadanji II (1880–1940), was established to produce contemporary realist…

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Shinpa

Shinpa, the shortened version of the Japanese word shinpageki, or new school drama, was an early Japanese attempt at reforming the theater along modernist lines.…

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Synge, John Millington (1871–1909)

J. M. Synge (pronounced “Sing”) is best known for his plays, first staged at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, that vividly depicted rural life in Ireland. His…

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Geijutsu-za

The first iteration of the Geijutsu-za (Art Theater) was founded in 1913 by the actors Shimamura Hōgetsu (1871–1918) and Matsui Sumako (1886–1919) after they were…

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Kinugasa, Teinosuke (1896–1982)

Kinugasa Teinosuke (1 January 1896–26 February 1982) was a Japanese actor and film director, most famous for his experimental films of the 1920s and art-house…

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Engeki Kairyō Kai

Engeki Kairyō Kai [Theater Reform Society] was a quasi-government agency and a forerunner of the modernist movement in Japanese theater. From its early days, the…

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Mayama, Seika (1878–1948)

Mayama Seika was a novelist, historian, and one of the most prominent playwrights in Japan’s modernist theater movement.

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Kishida, Kunio (1890–1954)

Kishida Kunio is considered to be one of the founders of Japanese shingeki drama and one of the most important modern Japanese dramatists. Through his…

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Sartre, Jean-Paul (1905–1980)

Jean-Paul Sartre was a French philosopher, left-wing political activist, playwright, and novelist. One of the leading French public intellectuals of the twentieth century, he was…

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Henrik Johan Ibsen (1828–1906)

Henrik Ibsen is Norway’s most important writer and one of the most influential dramatists of the second half of the nineteenth century. His dramatic production…

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Chaplin, Charlie (1889–1977)

Charles Spenser Chaplin was born in London on April 16, 1889, and died on Christmas Day, 1977, at home in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland. He had been…

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Little Magazines

In the history of modernism, little magazines were often the first venues to publish unknown authors who are now considered the leading lights of twentieth-century…

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Ball, Hugo (1886–1927)

Born in Pirmasens on February 22, 1886, the German writer Hugo Ball is best known as the co-founder, with Tristan Tzara, of the Cabaret Voltaire…

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Katsureki-mono

“Living history” plays were historical kabuki plays produced during the Meiji period 10s and 20s (1868–1888) in an attempt to reform the practices associated with…

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O’Casey, Sean (1880–1964)

Born into Dublin tenement life in 1880, Sean O’Casey (originally John O’Casey) went on to become one of Ireland’s most important playwrights, best known for…

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O’Neill, Eugene (1888–1953)

Eugene O’Neill is regarded as the quintessential modernist among American playwrights, and many of his works show an affinity with the themes and methods of…

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Performance Art in China

Performance art events began in China in the 1980s following Deng Xioping’s post-Mao economic reforms in 1979, which exposed Chinese socialist society to foreign investments…

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Kinoshita, Junji (1914–2006)

Kinoshita Junji was one of Japan’s foremost modern playwrights. His work consists of several plays based on Japanese folk tales and history, and often interrogates…

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Izumi, Kyōka (1873–1939)

Izumi Kyōka was a novelist and shinpa playwright whose plays provided the heart of the shinpa repertory and demonstrated a new model for dramatic literature.…