Samurai drama to put unique spin on evolution of theater

Mar 23, 2017

Samurai drama to put unique spin on evolution of theater

Japanese audiences will soon join those in Holland as the only people in the world with access to a theater whose seating area rotates to face a ring of multiple stages. So when Kazuki Nakashima’s acclaimed samurai drama “Dokurojo no Shichinin” (“Seven Souls in ...

To be or not to be ... so it seems

Mar 21, 2017

To be or not to be ... so it seems

John Caird is widely known as the co-director with fellow Englishman Trevor Nunn of “Les Miserables,” which opened in the West End 1985 and is still playing there in the longest-ever London run for a musical. However, Caird’s illustrious career as a writer and ...

CITA 'usher' points to need for a Japan theater shakeup

Feb 22, 2017

CITA 'usher' points to need for a Japan theater shakeup

You won’t be alone if you’ve never heard of the Tokyo-based International Centre for Theatre Arts, because few have seen any plays it has staged and anyway its focus is firmly on building a reputation outside Japan. Founded in 2012 by New Zealand-born James ...

Kimura's crazed 'Macbeth' for today

Jan 24, 2017

Kimura's crazed 'Macbeth' for today

“When I was studying English literature at the University of Tokyo, even though I had no theater experience at all, I got the chance to direct ‘Macbeth,’ ” 33-year-old Ryunosuke Kimura explained when we met recently at a rehearsal studio in downtown Tokyo. “To ...

Take your pick of the year's highlights in Japanese theater

Dec 27, 2016

Take your pick of the year's highlights in Japanese theater

From soccer minnows Leicester City winning the English Premier League to “That Election” in the (dis)-United States, 2016 has been a year of surprises, shocks and new directions. In Japan, as is par for the five-ringed sporting circus, 2020’s upcoming Tokyo Olympics have been ...

The waiting's over for stars of 'Billy Elliot'

Dec 27, 2016

The waiting's over for stars of 'Billy Elliot'

Eleven years after he saw “Billy Elliot” in London’s West End and was inspired to stage the musical in Japan with a Japanese cast, Yoshitaka Hori, president of leading production company Horipro Corp., could finally stand smiling at a Tokyo press conference called on ...

A golden age of theater for Japan's seniors

Nov 24, 2016

A golden age of theater for Japan's seniors

At the age of 91, Saitama resident Izumi Noguchi is speaking at his first press conference — at least as an actor anyway. “When I saw an advert in April inviting anyone aged 60 or older to audition for a new project called 10,000 ...

Festival/Tokyo speaks with a defiant voice

Oct 6, 2016

Festival/Tokyo speaks with a defiant voice

Press conferences are usually upbeat affairs, but at the one held to herald Festival/Tokyo — a two-month theater festival that kicks off Oct. 15 — Artistic Director Sachio Ichimura appears looking worried and begins proceedings by bemoaning the event’s financial situation and wondering aloud ...