Northern Michigan University’s International Speaker Series will present “Victor Victoria on the Japanese Stage: Based on a True Story” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, in the Whitman Hall commons. The guest speaker will be Maki Isaka, a Japanese theater and literature professor at the University of Minnesota.

             The all-male Kabuki theater featured onnagata, or male actors who performed the roles of women. But female kabuki actors did exist at one time and when they played women's roles, Isaka says the female actors engaged in the performance of femininity using the same methodology and techniques as the male onnagata. 

            Maki’s talk will be about women onnagata who faithfully mastered the technique and gained the reputation that "once she is on stage, it is impossible to tell that she is not a man." This practice of women acting like the men who typically portrayed female characters draws comparisons to the 1982 movie comedy, Victor Victoria, in which Julie Andrews’ character is a struggling female soprano who finds work pretending to be a man who is a gifted female impersonator.

            The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director