Social awareness takes center stage

Dec 27, 2012

Social awareness takes center stage

Japan’s calamities of March 2011 — the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, and the start of an ongoing nuclear disaster — changed not only the social awareness of the general public who make up theater audiences, but also how dramatists approached their work. ...

From an underdog in the U.S. to Japan's top dog

Nov 29, 2012

From an underdog in the U.S. to Japan's top dog

Two years ago, 32-year-old director/translator Eriko Ogawa returned to Japan after 10 years in New York and presented a riveting production of “The Late Henry Moss,” Sam Shepard’s 2000 Pulitzer prize-winning tale of loves and hatreds in a frontier family way out West. Though ...

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, ...