"The Zen Substitute"

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Brandon, James R. (American adapter from Japanese source, 1927- ), and Tamako Niwa (American adapter from Japanese source, 19__- ), "The Zen Substitute,"

a one-act Kabuki farce adapted from the original Japanese into English by James R. Brandon and Tamako Niwa,

3m1f or 4m (+ speaking chorus of one or more persons and all-m or m and f extras),

© 1972 by James R. Brandon, in Traditional Asian Plays, edited and introduced by James R. Brandon (New York: Hill & Wang, 1972), a Mermaid Dramabook, ISBN 0-8090-9415-0, ISBN 0-8090-0749-0; also in Kabuki Plays (New York: Samuel French, 1966), Samuel French, Inc., 25 West 45th Street, New York, New York 10010-2751, 212-206-8990, fax 212-206-1429; or 7623 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, California 90046-2795, 213-876-0570, fax 213-876-6822; or 80 Richmond Street East, Toronto, Ontario M5C 1P1, Canada, 416-363-3536, fax 416-363-1108; or Samuel French, Ltd, 52 Fitzroy Street, London W1P 6JR, England, SF 28610. Cited by Brandon to present author via e-mail jbrandon@hawaii.edu July 18, 1995.

Dramatis Personae Lord Ukyo (m), Lady Tamanoi, his wife (m or f), Tarokaja, his servant (m), Hanako, his mistress (male, mimed by actor playing Lord Ukyo), Chieda and Saeda, Lady Tamanoi's maids (m or f extras), Chorus Leader (m), Chorus (one or more m extras), Stage Manager (silent m or f extra), First Stage Assistant (silent m or f extra), Second Stage Assistant (silent m or f extra)

Synopsis "Lord Ukyo wishes to see his girl friend on the sly, and so persuades his wife to let him perform Zen meditation under a robe in the garden. He has his servant, Tarokaja, take his place, while he slips off to his rendezvous. Lady Tamanoi discovers her husband's trick, and she in turn changes places with Tarokaja. . . . Lord Ukyo comes home, tipsy, and tells 'Tarokaja' about his amorous adventures." Basic Catalogue of Plays and Musicals (New York: Samuel French, Inc., 1994), p. 305

Comment Staging can use all-male cast. At first, Kabuki employed women and men, but the government through two laws in 1629 and 1652 decreed only adult males could play the parts. Production involves much music and dance. Production rights include a sound effects cassette that is available with the script. Brandon says, "The play is produced many times every year, year in year out."

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online
complements the print volume

1/2/3/4 for the Show: A Guide to Small-Cast One-Act Plays

by Lewis W. Heniford (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1995), ISBN 0-8108-2985-1, $39.50, plus s/h
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