Strindberg's surrealistic 'Dream' heralds a pivotal era for KAAT

Mar 22, 2016

Strindberg's surrealistic 'Dream' heralds a pivotal era for KAAT

He doesn’t officially become Kanagawa Arts Theatre’s artistic director until April 1, but Akira Shirai wasn’t fooling when he declared, “I aim to make KAAT (the official acronym of his Yokohama base) a place where we take a whole fresh look at theater’s role ...

Zainichi dramas delve into Japan's shadows

Feb 23, 2016

Zainichi dramas delve into Japan's shadows

“At last, the masterpiece ‘Yakiniku Dragon’ (‘Korean Barbecue Dragon’) is going to be staged again!” The “!” that leaps up at the end of this sentence in a recent press release from the New National Theatre Tokyo surely reflects a widespread excitement on hearing ...

Theater academy pulls no punches

Jan 26, 2016

Theater academy pulls no punches

In a rehearsal studio at the Za-Koenji theater in west-central Tokyo’s Koenji district, trainee actress Yuuhi Suenobu was striving to act the role of a frightened young woman wandering aimlessly in a chaotic wasteland with her injured mother. The scene unfolding before me was ...

'Crazy Camel' helps butoh over the hump

Jan 23, 2016

'Crazy Camel' helps butoh over the hump

‘Many people have a preconception about butoh — that it is performed by dancers whose bodies are painted white. So when we debuted our current program, ‘Crazy Camel,’ in France, and we came on stage covered in gold-colored powder, the fans and experts there ...

Tao takes an innovative approach to drum shows

Jan 14, 2016

Tao takes an innovative approach to drum shows

The slogan goes, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Drum troupe Tao, however, thinks a successful show in Sin City could be the springboard to bigger things around the world. The globe-trotting wadaiko (Japanese drum) performance group has entertained some 6.5 million people ...

'Boys over Flowers' blooms on stage

Jan 7, 2016

'Boys over Flowers' blooms on stage

‘One Piece,” a new, modern entertainment-focused “Super Kabuki” play based on an eponymous manga series by Eiichiro Oda, closed last month after a hit Tokyo run that showed beyond doubt that manga-based productions are not the preserve of movies and television — where they ...