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Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei


Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei is a specialist in Japanese theatre and intercultural performance, as well as a playwright and director. Her book Unspeakable Acts: The Avant-Garde Theatre of Terayama Shuji and Postwar Japan (University of Hawaii, 2005) analyzes the complex work of playwright/director/filmmaker Terayama in cultural/historical context, and includes translations of his plays and theory. She is co-author with Phillip Zarrilli, Bruce McConachie and Gary Jay Williams of Theatre Histories: An Introduction (Routledge, second edition 2010).

Articles on Japanese performance, intercultural theater and fusion theater as well as book and play reviews appear in Asian Theatre Journal, Theatre Research International, Theatre Survey, Theatre Journal, Contemporary Theatre Review, The Drama Review, Modern Drama, and in various books and encyclopedias. Her translations from Japanese appear in Asian Theatre Journal and Half a Century of Japanese Theatre. She has presented more than 100 papers at conferences throughout the world. Her 15 original plays include the award-winning Medea: A Noh Cycle Based on the Greek Myth, the kabuki-flamenco Blood Wine, Blood Wedding, the kyogen-commedia dell’arte The Impostor and A Wilderness of Monkeys (a revenge-comedy “sequel” to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice).

With Israeli director Zvika Serper, Sorgenfrei is co-adapter of the acclaimed Japanese-Israeli fusion play The Dybbuk/Between Two Worlds. Her plays and translations have been performed in America, Canada, Great Britain, Denmark, India, Israel and Japan and broadcast on PBS, NHK and the BBC. She has directed nearly 40 stage productions in the United States, Japan and India. Sorgenfrei is an associate editor of Asian Theatre Journal and of Theatre Journal, contributing editor to Theatre Research International, and the editor of the Newsletter of the Association for Asian Performance. She is a member of the Advisory Group for the Centre for International Theatre and Performance Research at Royal Holloway (University of London), and is a research fellow at the International Research Institute in Interweaving Performance Cultures at Berlin’s Free University.

Sorgenfrei received her B.A. in theater from Pomona College, and both her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She began teaching at UCLA in 1980.