Name of Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Thomas Fish

Faculty Sponsor Email


Author Bio(s)

Nicholas Gilomen is a Kennesaw State University graduate of the Theatre and Performance Studies department with a concentration in Musical Theatre and a minor in Dance. He fully embraces the Scholar Artist model by engaging in all aspects of theatre having been a playwright, director, stage manager, performer, and dramaturg during his time in undergrad. He is now an Atlanta-based actor pursuing stage, film, and voice over work.

Publication Date

Summer 7-24-2023


The paper examines the performance and embodiment of spirituality in Japanese Noh Drama during the Muromachi era from 1336 CE to 1573 CE. It also observes the art form from a modern perspective. Specifically, this research examines the classic Noh Drama play Atsumori by Zeami Motokiyo through the phenomenological lens. Phenomenology is a qualitative study that focuses on the perceptions of the human consciousness, and it allows me to examine the impact of subjective experiences on a person’s sense of truth. This paper examines the spirituality present through the various religious influences that went into the development of Noh Drama and how phenomenology connects to spirituality and an individual’s experience of this world. I will utilize the subjective experience of phenomenology as described by Phenomenological Philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty to argue the innate spirituality of Noh. This lens will be used alongside the concept of Yugen, a traditional Japanese aesthetic that parallels phenomenology with its use of observation of nature. These lenses for viewing subjective experience explain how performance elicits an emotional response that transcends any explanation from the viewer. It ultimately highlights how theatre with religious imagery and messages employs performance techniques to pleasurably shift and even expand subjective experiences as part of its spiritual and entertainment practice.