Skip to main content

Villanova Theatre and the Villanova University Asian Studies Program present a new play by Joanna Rotté

The Beautiful Life of the Woman Komachi opens Jan. 18

The Beautiful Life of the Woman Komachi

VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova Theatre and the Villanova University Asian Studies Program will present a staged reading of a new play by Joanna Rotté. The Beautiful Life of the Woman Komachi runs January 18-20, 2013 in the Connelly Center Cinema at Villanova University. The event is free and open to the public.

Rotté, Director of Villanova’s Asian Studies Program and a Professor of Theatre, is a distinguished actor, director, playwright and scholar.  Her plays include All Victorious Ocean: the Noble Life of Yeshe Tsogyai, Tantric Yogini; Prajna; Death of the Father; and Art Talk.  

Rotté’s newest project, The Beautiful Life of the Woman Komachi is an adaptation in English of five short plays from traditional Japanese Noh Theatre. Each of the five acts depicts a transformative event in the astonishing life of Ono no Komachi: Japan’s best beloved, most admired woman poet, beauty, lover, teacher, and ultimately spiritual adept.

The staged reading of this new play will be directed by Elizabeth Dowd.  A 34-year member of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Dowd is the co-founder and Producing Director of the Noh Training Project at the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. The performance will also feature original music by David Crandall, an accomplished composer, playwright, and lecturer.  Both Dowd and Crandall are founding members of Theatre Nohgaku, a company dedicated to the performance and creation of Noh plays in English.  Their combined 50-plus years of experience in Noh theatre will be instrumental in mounting this new work.

The Beautiful Life of the Woman Komachi will feature graduate students from the Theatre Department, Villanova University faculty, and alumni.  The role of Ono no Komachi will be played by four different actresses, as the play spans over 100 years of the poet’s life.

Performances will be held Friday, January 18th at 7pm, Saturday, January 19th at 2pm and 7pm, and Sunday, January 20th at 2pm in the Connelly Center Cinema, located at the heart of the Villanova University campus, 800 Lancaster Ave, Villanova PA 19085. The event is free and open to the public, but patrons are encouraged to register in advance. Registration can be completed online at

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.