San Francisco’s Theatre of Yugen has presented its repertory of Noh and Kyogen song, dance and theatre to great acclaim on national and international tours for over three decades. The company has received several awards of distinction including a Commendation by the Ministry of Japanese Foreign Affairs for “excellence in the pursuit of and promotion of a more improved understanding of Japan, its culture, and its people.”

We have presented our programs for schools across the country to great success.  Theatre of Yugen provides quality theatrical experiences that are both fun and educational for a wide range of ages.  Our offerings range from full plays at school assemblies to small hands-on workshops for single classrooms.

For more information, send inquiries to, or call (415) 621-0507.



Welcome to Kyogen

This short workshop offers the basics in kyogen movement and song.  One of Yugen’s knowledgeable trainers will teach the principles of posture and movement, then teach the students a simple song to sing along with.  Students learn the value of physical focus, as well as the fundamentals of singing and chanting.  The workshop concludes with the demonstration of a short dance while students sing along.


Little Bunnies

This residency offers students a chance to learn a basic kyogen dance, “Usagi” (“Rabbit” in Japanese).  Each lesson begins with a calm moment of focus, bowing, and greeting one another.  Students learn the fundamentals of kyogen movement and song, including proper posture, Japanese vocabulary, and focus.  They learn a fun dance that teaches how to be expressive with the entire body.  (5 lessons minimum)


Traditonal Japanese Theater Workshop

In this one-session workshop, artists from San Francisco-based Theater of Yugen will introduce students to four genres of traditional Japanese theater--the highly stylized Noh musical theater form, Kyogen classical comic theater, Kabuki and Bunraku, a highly sophisticated form of puppetry. The workshop includes learning about the structure of the theater, costumes and masks, movements and key vocabulary terms in Japanese.

School Assembly

Theatre of Yugen opens the door to Japan’s classical theatre with traditional Kyogen plays performed in English, bringing this culturally specific yet still-relevant 600 year-old art form to life. Kyogen has been ongoing since the 14th century and is performed with humor, precise physical action and highly stylized lines. With colorful costumes and stock characters, these humorous plays involve situations where servants get the best of their masters, wives gain the upper hand over their husbands and the rituals of a Yamabushi (Mountain Priest) produce embarrassing and unexpected results.


Kyogen Characters on Parade!

This in-depth Kyogen residency includes Theatre of Yugen’s signature School Assembly program and continues with 3-5 classroom lessons exploring Kyogen’s stock characters and hilarious story narratives. Students are then assigned the task of inventing a new Contemporary Kyogen Character, complete with costume, posture, physicality and stock phrases. The residency concludes with an informal presentation of each student’s new character.


Crazy For Words

This residency gives students the chance to be an integral part of the creation of a new Kyogen-inspired play!

‘Crazy for Words’ is a literal translation of the word ‘Kyogen.’ This residency begins with a full Kyogen-in-English performance by Theatre of Yugen artists, followed by practical experience learning the basic form and feeling of Kyogen. Next, the students create their own characters and dramatic scenarios and help to create a contemporary comic play influenced by traditional Kyogen conventions. Theatre of Yugen artists then perform the final play for the students, so they can see their ideas come to life in the hands of theatre professionals.