Drama Online - Asian Theatre Video Collection

Asian Theatre Video Collection

The Asian Theatre Video Collection is an essential resource for students of theatre design and production, as well as contemporary theatre practice. It offers interviews with leading performers and practitioners, and houses a tranche of filmed performances, documentaries, rehearsal footage, and training videos. From Butoh to Bollywood, Bunraku to Topeng, this collection is a vital repository for students and academics interested in Asia’s rich theatrical traditions.

Kabuki performer in Chofu, Japan
Noh performers in Tamba, Japan
A Japanese Butoh dancer

This collection features:

  • The filmed performance of Manga Ulysses, a major 2006 collaboration between the Southbank Institute and OzFrank theatre featuring Okubo Noriaki
  • A selection of interviews, performances, and training videos focusing on Noh theatre, which feature leading practitioners such as Akiro Matsui and Okura Genjiro
  • Training videos, performances, and interviews focusing on Kabuki drama, with famous Kabuki master Onoe Baiko VII, and Professor Leonard Pronko
  • A dynamic look at Kalaripayattu, the Indian martial art form from modern day Kerala, as well as an English-language dramatization of incidents drawn from the Ramayana in Surpanakha

This collection includes rare footage, often from smaller theatre troupes whose experimental interpretations can provide a more comprehensive understanding of theatre in general and of particular plays. Please note that smaller theatre companies sometimes have lower budgets, which can impact production values.

Synchronised transcripts and closed captions for this collection are being added to videos on a rolling basis. All videos will have transcripts by December 2023. Where films in these collections are in a language other than English, captions will appear on the video and may not always be accessible to screen readers.

Image credits: Kabuki performer in Chofu, Japan (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images); Noh performers in Tamba, Japan (Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images); A Japanese Butoh (Photo by Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images).