Classic tale gets multicultural

Nov 23, 2012

Classic tale gets multicultural

After first appearing at the Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC) 13 years ago, Swiss-Colombian director/actor Omar Porras is on his way back there this weekend with a time-honored classic in tow. Porras’ Geneva-based Teatro Melandro company will stage William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” along ...

Nov 16, 2012

Theater wants to involve locals

The Tokyo-based Ryuzanji Company has been pushing the boundaries of contemporary drama since it was founded by director/actor Show Ryuzanji (whose real name is Shoji Fujioka) in 1984. Now, it is coproducing a huge musical with Toshima Ward centered on the northern Tokyo hub ...

Festival/Tokyo theater event to give Asia a starring role

Oct 26, 2012

Festival/Tokyo theater event to give Asia a starring role

Japan has been on a bit of a losing streak for a while now. In 2010, it was overtaken as the world’s second-largest economy by China, and in 2011 the nation was rocked by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the ensuing tsunami and ...

Dramatists explore the essence of language in new play

Oct 21, 2012

Dramatists explore the essence of language in new play

In a small studio just a seagull’s squawk from Tokyo Bay in the Higashi Gotanda district of Shinagawa Ward, a unique play titled “Understandable?” briefly delighted packed houses of baffled Japanese and others recently with its absurd-but-not, “abandoned- in-translation” dialogue devoid of subtitles. Showcasing ...

Kentaro makes hip-hop personal

Oct 18, 2012

Kentaro makes hip-hop personal

Almost the whole of Kentaro’s life has been devoted to dance — in particular to hip-hop dance — ever since he first saw it on television as an elementary school boy. Even today, as a well-known professional dancer who prefers not to reveal his ...

The woman who could bring Beppu back to life

Sep 13, 2012

The woman who could bring Beppu back to life

In Japan’s performing arts scene, it’s widely believed that 32-year-old Akane Nakamura is one of the country’s most famous globally known theater producers. As executive director of the theater production company Precog and the performing arts nonprofit Drifters International — which she founded in ...

Film star Satoshi Tsumabuki moves up to a new stage

| Sep 2, 2012

Film star Satoshi Tsumabuki moves up to a new stage

Wearing a headband and tracksuit, Satoshi Tsumabuki — the 31-year-old darling of the Japanese entertainment world — was easy to spot among a crowd of actors in a rehearsal studio in downtown Tokyo recently. He was there preparing for “Egg,” Hideki Noda’s new play, ...

'Our Planet' director focuses on Japan's locals

Aug 30, 2012

'Our Planet' director focuses on Japan's locals

Just three years ago, in 2009, Yukio Shiba burst to stardom at age 27 with his masterful first play, “Waga Hoshi” (“Our Planet”), which premiered in Tokyo and the following year scooped Japanese contemporary theater’s prestigious Kishida Kunio Award. “Up until then, even in ...

Public theater takes on a leading role

Jul 12, 2012

Public theater takes on a leading role

Once upon a time, Japanese contemporary theater shared the limelight with youth-cultural movements that were rocking the nation. Back then, in the late 1960s and ’70s, the avant-garde works of the angura (underground) theater scene had such an affinity with the radical student movement ...