With only a few new works a year, Ishinha is all about quality theater

Aug 6, 2010

With only a few new works a year, Ishinha is all about quality theater

Among all of Japan’s many theater companies, the innovative Osaka- based Ishinha (Reformers), founded in 1970 by its current director Yukichi Matsumoto, has stood out consistently. While most companies eye their bottom line, pack their schedules with different productions and move to Tokyo to ...

Condors hope to replicate event's magic

Jul 2, 2010

Condors hope to replicate event's magic

West Gate Park outside the Metropolitan Exit of Ikebukuro Station is a small oasis amid the hurly-burly of that northern Tokyo hub. With polished granite under foot, seating all around, a fountain, a (somewhat odd) statue and a small stage, the plaza is a ...

Lack of funds fail to stop Tokyo's young theater brigade

Jun 18, 2010

Lack of funds fail to stop Tokyo's young theater brigade

As a promising playwright, director and actor, 31-year-old Junichi Hirota highlights a cruel fact running through Japan’s theater world — namely that once technicians such as lighting engineers, sound people and set-builders are paid from box-office profits, there’s often little or nothing left for ...

Dancing for joy in Japan

Jun 6, 2010

Dancing for joy in Japan

As I sipped my vin rouge last week during an interval in “The Sleeping Beauty,” K-Ballet’s latest Tokyo production, a woman at the next table said to her companion: “I can’t believe that evil fairy was a man! I just naturally thought it was ...

Shizuoka festival takes the stage

Jun 4, 2010

Shizuoka festival takes the stage

The annual Spring Arts Festival Shizuoka is keenly anticipated by theater lovers across Japan thanks to its high quality of program selection. At the start of this year’s 11th festival, 51-year-old Satoshi Miyagi, artistic director at festival organizers Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC), declared ...

May 28, 2010

'Gas' event asks big questions

Playwright Jason Maghanoy burst to prominence in the Canadian theater world in 2007 with his maiden offering, “Gas,” about the Iraq War, which questioned the meaning of democracy and freedom in the instant-reaction, life-and-death conditions of live-fire conflict. In its review, The Toronto Star ...

May 21, 2010

Your chance to star with two stage legends

Two titans of Japanese theater, contemporary dramatist Hideki Noda (who has also triumphed three times directing kabuki plays at its Kabukiza mecca) and star kabuki actor Kanzaburo Nakamura, will team up on stage at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space in Ikebukuro from Sept. 5-28 to ...

'Obsession' eyes values through the lens of dance

May 21, 2010

'Obsession' eyes values through the lens of dance

Saburo Teshigawara’s first-ever duet dance program, titled “Obsession” — with his regular ensemble partner Rihoko Sato — is now being staged at Theatre Cocoon in Shibuya after an ecstatically received May 2009 premiere at the Art Rock Festival in St. Brieuc in Brittany, France. ...

Directing the flow of theatrical creativity

May 21, 2010

Directing the flow of theatrical creativity

Any time you go to a theater in Japan you are sure to be handed several colorful flyers for other shows — and among them you will almost certainly find the face of Tetsuya Chiba. At 46, and the father of three boys, Chiba ...