Woodblock prints by Hokusai Katsushika, Kunisada Utagawa, and Toyokuni Utagawa in the Sugoi exhibition feature Kabuki actors in costume, as well as scenes from popular Kabuki plays in 19th century Japan. What is Kabuki theatre? How and why did the Kabuki tradition emerge, and what accounts for the continuing popularity of this enduring art form? Dr. Quincy Thomas, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at Kalamazoo College, joins us to explore these questions and more.
Thomas earned his Ph.D. in Theatre and his certificate in Performance Studies from Bowling Green State University. As an actor, director, and playwright, Thomas’ creative and academic work focuses on subjects such as counter-storytelling; Black performativity in American culture; representations of race, gender, and sexuality in the arts and popular culture; stand-up and solo performance; and performative writing.
He most recently directed Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop at Kalamazoo College and Douglas Lyons’ Chicken & Biscuits at Farmers Alley Theatre. He received the Full Length Play Award at the 2023 Region III Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for his original play The Whites Explain It All, and he is now working on a new play entitled Complex Rhythms.