Catalog of Shōdan: Ai-kyōgen



When a play is divided into two acts, the shite exits after the first one to change costumes and prepare for the second act. The time when the actor is off the stage is called nakairi. During this period, an interlude known as Ai-kyōgen is performed on the stage. It is not considered a shōdan.

Typically, a kyōgen actor impersonating a local resident enters the stage and converses with the waki. Delivering his text in prose, he summarizes the first act and provides some basic information leading into the second one, as is the case with Hashitomi. Less often, both the shite and waki exit, as it is in Kokaji. In this case, the entering kyōgen actor addresses the audience as he delivers a monologue.

Although less frequent, it is also possible for a kyōgen actor to appear within an act, in which case the interlude is performed by a different actor. Kanawa which opens with a scene featuring a kyōgen actor is a good example. In this case, the interlude between acts is performed by the wakizure.

Examples in the Plays:

Hashitomi - Ai-kyōgen
Kokaji - Ai-kyōgen