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 ...

Inside the kingdom of Kodo

Nov 12, 2014

Inside the kingdom of Kodo

As world leaders in the performing art of Japanese drumming, Kodo state on their website that their mission is: “To explore the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko (aka wadaiko), and to forge new directions for this vibrant living art form.” ...

High drama at Festival/Tokyo

Oct 29, 2014

High drama at Festival/Tokyo

News in March that 38-year-old Chiaki Soma had suddenly been removed from the post of program director of Festival/Tokyo, which she had held since it started in 2009, set many theater lovers worrying about the future of the flagship drama event whose stature at ...