Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-2011


theatre, performance, intercultural transmission, physical theatre, Japanese acting techniques, masks


This paper examines the directing, acting and rehearsal process in transforming the ancient Babylonian epic Gilgamesh for the stage using performers’ journals as a means of determining the effect of corporeal non-western styles on actors whose prior experience was almost exclusively in naturalistic and text-based theatre. The introduction of theatrical elements from multiple cultures including puppetry and the masks and techniques of Noh drama created a multi-tiered field for intercultural exchange. While Patrice Pavis’s hourglass model for the transfer of theatrical material from a source to a target culture may hold true for productions that use linear modes of transmission, translation and incorporation of text, music, costumes and styles, its limitations make it necessary to posit alternative theories that take into account intercultural rehearsal practices, the collaboration of source and target culture and the dynamic interactions that take place through the agency of actor training in the fleshly physical theatre.