'Tenimyu' 2.5-D shows net over 2 million tickets sold

Mar 31, 2015

'Tenimyu' 2.5-D shows net over 2 million tickets sold

There’s kabuki, noh, butoh, bunraku, regular plays, glitzy musicals and Japan’s unique all-female Takarazuka musical theater troupe — but another home-grown performance-art genre has for some time been carving a niche in this country’s diverse entertainment world in the shape of so-called 2.5-D musicals. ...

Summit spotlights school dramatists

Mar 25, 2015

Summit spotlights school dramatists

“Diversity is the outstanding attraction of high school drama, so I’m always appreciating afresh theater’s myriad charms,” the prominent director Keisuke Tanaka said with a beaming smile during a recent interview ahead of the fifth annual High School Drama Summit at Tokyo’s leading Agora ...

Psycho-drama mystery tests Tani's 'pop' principles

Mar 18, 2015

Psycho-drama mystery tests Tani's 'pop' principles

“Probably nobody ever got involved with theater the way I did,” Kenichi Tani said with a laugh, explaining that because his teachers at school were “really boring” he set his sights on becoming an interesting teacher in the future. “So I often skipped classes ...

'Titanic' set to sail into Japanese hearts

Mar 11, 2015

'Titanic' set to sail into Japanese hearts

English director Thom Southerland’s reworking of the megahit Broadway musical “Titanic” was an instant sensation when it opened in August 2013 at the popular midsize Southwark Playhouse in a trendy part of South London by the River Thames. With its whole run a sellout, ...

John Caird delivers home truths with 'Twelfth Night'

Mar 4, 2015

John Caird delivers home truths with 'Twelfth Night'

As an Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, John Caird may be one of the leading pillars of the English theater establishment, but in a recent interview with The Japan Times, this acclaimed director of plays, musicals and opera declared, “In a ...

'Mercury Fur' exposes a caring kind of depravity

Feb 18, 2015

'Mercury Fur' exposes a caring kind of depravity

After the premiere of “Mercury Fur” at Theatre Tram in Tokyo’s lively Sangenjaya district this month, Issey Takahashi, who stars in that dystopian 2005 play by Philip Ridley, declared: “I think this is a very dark prophecy, but as I was acting my character ...

No-frills dramatist casts Japan in a different light

Feb 11, 2015

No-frills dramatist casts Japan in a different light

The title of Yudai Kamisato’s new work “+51 Aviacíon, San Borja” references his grandmother’s address in Lima and the international telephone dialling code of Peru — but that only hints at the unusually cosmopolitan background of this 32-year-old Japanese playwright and director who also ...

Double bill seeks out unknowns

Feb 11, 2015

Double bill seeks out unknowns

Like many others in Japan’s rising performing-artist generation, 34-year-old Ney Hasegawa says he first felt the lure of the stage when he went to see shōgekijō (small-scale youth theater) plays while he was in high school. After that, he started taking an interest in ...