Kabuki is, above all else, an actor’s theater, and the play serves primarily as a means to showcase the talent of the actors. There is no doubt that many kabuki fans have a taste for the play, but most people will go to the theater to see their favorite actors, regardless of the role or the play.
Each actor is a member of a clan, and each clan has its own style and approach to the role.
The most famous in Kabuki is the male actor known as the onnagata. The ideal of a onnagata is not to imitate a woman, but to symbolically express the essence of a woman. Attempts to incorporate actresses into modern Kabuki have been unsuccessful. Onnagata are an integral part of the Kabuki tradition, and it is highly unlikely that they will be replaced by actresses.
A central aspect of Kabuki acting is the display of stylized gestures and forms (kata). These include dance-like stylized fight movements (tachi) and special movements used between the entrance (tanmae) and exit (roppo) made through the flower path. The most important kata of kabuki is the threefold (hitting posture). At the climax of the scene, the actor, after a series of stylized movements, comes to a complete stop after a series of stylized movements, striking a pose that features a fixed gaze. Flashy molds appear in historical plays, but not in domestic plays.