Nagatsuka probes into Pinter's 'Betrayal'

Sep 10, 2014

Nagatsuka probes into Pinter's 'Betrayal'

“During the 2010 Tokyo run of my play ‘Anti-clockwise Wonderland,’ I held a reading workshop of ‘Betrayal.’ That set me thinking I’d like to act one of the men in the love-triangle drama. So now at last I find myself doing that — and ...

'Hamlet' marks take #18 in Shakespeare for Children series

Sep 3, 2014

'Hamlet' marks take #18 in Shakespeare for Children series

“When I acted a nursemaid in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in the first program of this Shakespeare for Children series, I was surprised that no children made fun of a man in that role — they naturally accepted that theater is fundamentally fiction and just ...

SGT's oldies take dance in stride

Aug 27, 2014

SGT's oldies take dance in stride

In 2006, when the world-renowned director Yukio Ninagawa announced open auditions for Saitama Gold Theatre — a project he launched with the slogan, “If you are over 55, let’s create theater together and go on a foreign tour” — there were cynics eager to ...

'Babel' dance speaks volumes

Aug 20, 2014

'Babel' dance speaks volumes

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet have lots in common. Both are 38 and grew up in Belgium with a foreign parent — one from Morocco in Cherkaoui’s case and one from France in Jalet’s. Both are also globetrotting choreographers and dancers who share ...

Emoto brothers' 'Godot' looks set to startle

Jul 30, 2014

Emoto brothers' 'Godot' looks set to startle

“First off, we probably used to think we were too young to do ‘Waiting for Godot,’ because it’s sometimes uncomfortable talking like gnarled old men,” 27-year-old Tasuku Emoto said during a recent Japan Times interview with him and his younger brother Tokio, 24, who ...

'Cuckoo's Nest' still flies in the face of oppression

Jul 23, 2014

'Cuckoo's Nest' still flies in the face of oppression

Among the astonishing outburst of new American cinema in the 1970s, Milos Forman’s multi-Oscar-winning “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” offered most Japanese moviegoers their first encounter with the peculiarly piercing eyes of Jack Nicholson, who played its central character, Randle P. McMurphy. Now, ...

Europe rewards edgy dramatists

Jul 16, 2014

Europe rewards edgy dramatists

Tim Etchells, artistic director of Forced Entertainment, the English company whose “The Coming Storm” was a highlight of last year’s Festival/Tokyo, told me then that they now play abroad more than at home — mainly because festival organizers pay their costs. In contrast, producers ...

Lessons of suicidal Cowra breakout remain unlearned

Jul 9, 2014

Lessons of suicidal Cowra breakout remain unlearned

At around 2 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, 1944, 1,104 Japanese soldiers and sailors armed only with knives, forks and a few baseball bats poured out of their huts at the Cowra prisoner-of-war camp 300 km west of Sydney in the Australian state of ...

'Blast!' comes marching back with a '' from its Tokyo drummer

Jul 9, 2014

'Blast!' comes marching back with a '' from its Tokyo drummer

“It was my hugely fortunate destiny to come across ‘Blast!’ and, as I am 39 this year, I would like to perform it with a heartfelt ’39′ message [because, in Japanese, three is san and nine is kyu, which is phonetically 'thank you'],” Tokyo-born ...

Female dramatists dispel gender concern

Jun 18, 2014

Female dramatists dispel gender concern

Last month in Berlin, in a conversation with Annemie Vanackere, artistic director at the city’s cutting-edge Hebbel am Ufer company, she was saying how she loved contemporary Japanese theater, and how HAU had worked with several Japanese dramatists. Then she suddenly asked me: “Why ...