Title page for ETD etd-0419102-085015

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Armstrong IV, William Hamilton
Author's Email Address warmstr@lsu.edu
URN etd-0419102-085015
Title Neo-Onnagata: Professional Cross-Dressed Actors and Their Roles on the Contemporary Japanese Stage
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Theater
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Leslie A. Wade Committee Chair
Jennifer Jones Committee Member
John B. Henderson Committee Member
Leigh Clemons Committee Member
Lynne Jemison-Keisker Dean's Representative
  • gender
  • cross-dressed actors
  • kabuki
  • akihiro miwa
  • onnagata
  • black lizard
  • neo-onnagata
  • japanese theatre
Date of Defense 2002-02-27
Availability unrestricted
Neo-Onnagata: Professional Cross-dressed Actors and Their Roles on the Contemporary Japanese Stage explores the representation of male and female gender in the contemporary Japanese theatre. I particularly discuss a specialized subset of Japanese actor: the neo-onnagata, a contemporary theatre counterpart to Japan's highly stylized classical kabuki tradition of cross-dressed representation. This dissertation represents my attempt to provide these basic aims: to situate the contemporary Japanese cross-dresser in Japanese tradition, to show how cross-dressing acts as a sharp social commentary and mirror, and to introduce some little-represented cross-dressing actors of the contemporary Japanese stage to the academic community at large. In addition, I examine the conservative gender role system of Japan and demonstrate how the neo-onnagata challenge traditional performance and sex roles. Particularly, I seek to showcase neo-onnagata as expanding opportunities for male actors and as new gendered models for men.
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