Rakugo Performance Traditional Japanese Sit-Down Comedy

Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Alexander Clark Center
Admission: Prices Vary
Season: 2013-14

Sponsors: UT Dallas Asia Center, Japan American-Society of DFW, Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


Rakugo is a comic storytelling art that has entertained the Japanese for over 400 years. A lone storyteller, wearing a kimono and seated on the stage, performs a comical story by assuming the roles of many characters. He relies entirely on voice, gesture, expression, and two small props - an uchiwa (fan) and tenugui (hand towel) - plus the audiences' imagination. Come out to laugh and experience Japanese culture in a rare Dallas showing.



Traditional Japanese Rakugo storyteller Katsura Sunshine is a pioneer and ambassador of Japanese culture to the world. He is the first person of non-Japanese descent in the 400-year-old history of Rakugo in the Osaka tradition to be given the honour of apprenticing to a Rakugo Master (Katsura Bunshi VI), receive a Rakugo family name, complete the rigorous three-year apprenticeship and become a professional Rakugo storyteller.

Sunshine does his own translations of both classical Rakugo comic stories, as well of the stories of his Master, Katsura Bunshi VI, the most prolific creator of Rakugo stories in the history of the art form, with over 230 stories to his name.  Sunshine’s goal is to give English-speaking audiences as close to the same experience that a Japanese audience has listening to Rakugo in Japanese.

Born Gregory Robic in Toronto, Katsura Sunshine is well-versed in classical art forms of the east and west, having earned a BA in Classics and English from the University of Toronto, and an MA in Theatre from Osaka University of Arts. As a playwright and composer, he has made several successful adaptations of works by Aristophanes (Clouds, Assemblywomen, Lysistrata) as well as the children’s plays Allegra’s Magic Flute and Orphea and the Golden Harp. He became a Rakugo apprentice to Katsura Bunshi VI (then named Katsura Sanshi) on September 1, 2008, received the name Katsura Sunshine, and completed his three-year Rakugo apprenticeship in November, 2011. Sunshine has a regular spot on four television programs in Japan, has his own radio show, and writes a monthly newspaper column about Rakugo.



$10 Members/$15 Public

UT Dallas Students/Faculty/Staff Free


Tickets may be purchased using cash or check at the door or online.


For more information contact:
Monique Wedderburn
[email protected]

UT Dallas students, staff and faculty may receive a free ticket to any ticketed A&H event by presenting their Comet Card at the Box Office on the night of the performance. See tickets for more information.

Persons with disabilities may submit a request for accommodations to participate in this event at UT Dallas' ADA website. You may also call (972) 883-2982 for assistance or send an email to [email protected]. All requests should be received no later than 2 business days prior to the event.

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