by  Fay Kanin, Michael Kanin

Full Length Play, Drama  /  6m, 3f

"Delicate and dynamic, sensitive and savage, packed with color, suspense and seamy wit. A triumph of stagecraft." - New York Mirror
"Rashomon is pure art of the theatre." - The New York Times

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License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    6m, 3f
  • Duration


    90 minutes
  • SubGenre


    Adaptations (Literature), Adaptations (Stage & Screen), Period
  • Accolades


    Tony, From Broadway
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Scene work
    • UIL Approved
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

The famous stories of Akutagawa were adapted for Broadway for Claire Bloom, Rod Steiger, Akim Tamiroff and Oscar Homolka. The wife of a Samurai officer is assaulted and her husband killed by a roving bandit. Contradictory versions of what happened are reenacted at the trial by the bandit, the wife and the dead husband who speaks through a sorceress. Each version is true in its fashion.
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  • Nominee! 3 Tony Awards, 1959


"Delicate and dynamic, sensitive and savage, packed with color, suspense and seamy wit. A triumph of stagecraft." - New York Mirror

"Rashomon is pure art of the theatre. Out of a legend, it conjures a mood. No one need despair of a commercial theatre that can deal in elusive materials with so much delicacy, expertness and charm." - The New York Times


Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $90 per performance



  • Time Period: Not Applicable
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: Kyoto, Japan, about a thousand years ago - at an edge of the Rashoman Gate, at a police court and in a nearby forest. This is an imaginative play. It can be adapted to a stage of any size or form. The objective of the physical production must be to help create a magical mood - to cast a spell.
  • Additional Features: Special Effects
  • Features / Contains: Elaborate / High Volume Costumes, Period Costumes


6m, 3f
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Fay Kanin

Fay Kanin (1917-2013) was an American writer for film, television, and the stage and was the first female President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to serve a full term. Her writinghas been awarded 3 Emmy awards (Tell Me Where it Hurts, Best Writing in Drama,1974; Writer ...

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Michael Kanin

Michael Kanin

Rashomon was first presented on Broadway by David Susskind and Hardy Smith at the Music Box Theater in New York City on January 27, 1959. It was directed by Peter Glenville.

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