Nobuko Tanaka

Nobuko Tanaka is a stage writer who has regularly contributed contemporary theater and dance articles to The Japan Times since 2001. She also writes for several Japanese and overseas magazines and web sites. As a promoter, she takes Japanese artists to foreign theater festivals.

For Nobuko Tanaka's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

'Dragon Quest' show pulls its audiences into the action

Jul 26, 2016

'Dragon Quest' show pulls its audiences into the action

For gamers and lovers of sheer theatrical spectacle alike, the summer’s hottest ticket seems sure to be for “Dragon Quest Live Spectacle Tour,” whose 40 shows nationwide are set to be attended by some 400,000 people — with everyone receiving a wristband enabling them ...

Butoh for kids has fun with 'birthday suit' tale

Jul 26, 2016

Butoh for kids has fun with 'birthday suit' tale

“Gloomy,” “eerie,” “vulgar,” “avant-garde” and “conceptual” are adjectives often used to describe butoh, the genre of Japanese modern dance started in 1959 by Tatsumi Hishikata and Kazuo Ohno in which performers usually paint their near-naked bodies white. In contrast, Ikko Tamura — a core ...

Lepage's '887' addresses memories in magical ways

Jun 21, 2016

Lepage's '887' addresses memories in magical ways

Almost a year after “887” premiered in Toronto in July 2015, and following five-star reviews at every stop on a multinational tour that took in the world’s biggest annual theater event, the Edinburgh International Festival, the latest play by Robert Lepage — the Canadian ...

Dramatist speaks up for the downtrodden and new thinking in Japan

Jun 21, 2016

Dramatist speaks up for the downtrodden and new thinking in Japan

Fifty-three year-old Oriza Hirata unexpectedly arrived early for our 9 a.m. interview in a Tokyo family restaurant one recent Sunday morning. Not only that, but the famed playwright and director turned up alone without the squad of minders such people’s managers generally send along ...

'Tell Me' lays bare one woman's quest

May 24, 2016

'Tell Me' lays bare one woman's quest

The first thing Yojiro Ichikawa said when we sat down for our recent interview in a Tokyo rehearsal studio was, “Shall I speak in English?” For the director of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Tell Me on a Sunday,” which has its Japan premiere ...

Exploring the funny side of familial angst

May 16, 2016

Exploring the funny side of familial angst

After it opened on Broadway in 2007, “August: Osage County” scooped a Tony for best play and earned a Pulitzer Prize for U.S. playwright Tracy Letts. Then in 2013’s film of the play, Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts were nominated for Academy Awards for ...

World was a stage for acclaimed theater director Yukio Ninagawa

May 13, 2016

World was a stage for acclaimed theater director Yukio Ninagawa

Acclaimed stage director Yukio Ninagawa was a titan of global theater but his hand felt astonishingly fragile when I shook it in delight in 2012 after the world premiere of “Trojan Women,” which brought together a remarkable ensemble of Japanese, Arab-Israeli and Jewish-Israeli actors. ...

Theater festival's roots dig deep into Shizuoka

Apr 28, 2016

Theater festival's roots dig deep into Shizuoka

In recent years, theater fans and artists here and abroad have increasingly been wakening up to the fact that cherry blossoms aren’t the only spring bounty in Japan. That’s because, thanks to the annual World Theatre Festival Shizuoka under Mt. Fuji, the coastal city ...