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 ...

Ninagawa still exploring in eighth take on 'Hamlet'

Feb 4, 2015

Ninagawa still exploring in eighth take on 'Hamlet'

Yukio Ninagawa’s “cherry-blossom” staging of “Macbeth” at the Edinburgh Festival in 1985, with actors in that famously Scottish play sporting kimono rather than kilts, was a sensation due to its radical reimagining of so revered a work. Since then, the 79-year-old director’s uniquely visual ...

Yokohama fest offers a performing-arts feast

Jan 28, 2015

Yokohama fest offers a performing-arts feast

Since Tokyo Performing Arts Market began in 1995, the annual event has established itself as one of Asia’s leading trade shows for creators, producers and festival organizers — as well as being a great chance for general audiences to catch a wide range of ...

Avignon chief sees culture and politics sharing the stage

Jan 21, 2015

Avignon chief sees culture and politics sharing the stage

“The Avignon Festival is not only about shows and theater, but also about thinking, searching and seeking to understand the world and its politics — and offering an opportunity for three weeks’ intellectual life experience every year,” Olivier Py, the event’s artistic director, declared ...

French triumph frees SPAC pioneer to be bolder still

Jan 21, 2015

French triumph frees SPAC pioneer to be bolder still

Following on Olivier Py’s comment in the accompanying story that “everybody” at last year’s Avignon Festival loved Satoshi Miyagi’s “Mahabharata — Nalacharitam,” which Py, as the festival’s director, had awarded the honor of opening the event, I rolled up to Shizuoka Performing Arts Center ...

2014: New horizons opened up in Japan's theater world

Dec 24, 2014

2014: New horizons opened up in Japan's theater world

Looking back over the past 12 months in Japan’s theater world, it’s clear that one encouraging trend is a lessening of the capital’s dominance. Contemporary drama in this country has long been centralized on Tokyo, where major theaters plan their programs far in advance, ...

Silence is golden in art-comedy for all

Dec 17, 2014

Silence is golden in art-comedy for all

“I’ve been drawing pictures for as long as I can remember,” Kentaro Kobayashi said when I asked him how he came to be such a versatile and popular entertainer. Sporting a smart white shirt, the good-looking Yokohama native went on to explain that he ...

Real-life Japan caricature cuts to the quick

Dec 10, 2014

Real-life Japan caricature cuts to the quick

Tomohiro Maekawa, the 40-year-old playwright, director and founder of Tokyo’s Ikiume (Buried Alive) theater company, is acclaimed in Japan’s theater world for his groundbreaking sci-fi works sometimes bordering on the surreal. Usually populated by ordinary people such as salarymen and working mothers of around ...

Screen icon's son brings women's rights to the stage

Dec 3, 2014

Screen icon's son brings women's rights to the stage

“Since I was a child, I always wanted to devote my life to film as my father did,” Kenta Fukasaku said during a recent chat in which his late, great role model, the charismatic movie director Kinji Fukasaku, often figured. Yet, despite having made ...

Emoto's 'Shrew' questions to provoke

Nov 19, 2014

Emoto's 'Shrew' questions to provoke

“If I were a man doing the same work, no one would make any special mention of my gender, but I find I’m always being referred to by the media as ‘the female director, Junko Emoto.’ I don’t want to say that’s right or ...