Shizuoka eyes theatrical bridge over to Avignon

Jun 1, 2012

Shizuoka eyes theatrical bridge over to Avignon

Stranger things have happened, and in the near future a vibrant cultural bridge across Eurasia may be built between the city of Shizuoka in the beautiful foothills of Mount Fuji, and ancient Avignon in the artists’ mecca of Provence in the South of France. ...

'Alien' actress at home with a robot

| May 20, 2012

'Alien' actress at home with a robot

Even today in the performing arts in Japan, gaijin (lit. “aliens”), as foreigners are called, are still often presented like something to be gawped at in a Victorian freak show. It was a bit like that when a new play called “Sayonara (Goodbye)” premiered ...

There is trouble on Kafka's shore

May 17, 2012

There is trouble on Kafka's shore

Seventy-six-year-old theater director Yukio Ninagawa is famed and honored the world over for his magnificently visualized stagings of Shakespeare and Ancient Greek tragedies — as well as modern Japanese plays. He was awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2002, and has ...

Monkeying around on the stage

May 4, 2012

Monkeying around on the stage

Britain’s longest-serving theater critic, Michael Billington of The Guardian newspaper, is famous for not lavishing praise on his subjects easily or often. So when Billington tipped his hat to “Kafka’s Monkey” in a 2009 review — rhetorically asking, “Is there anything Kathryn Hunter can’t ...

Acrobatic bicyclists to make Shizuoka a stage

Apr 27, 2012

Acrobatic bicyclists to make Shizuoka a stage

If your Golden Week schedule isn’t full yet, how about visiting a picturesque tea-growing district set against the backdrop of Mount Fuji and enjoying street theater performed by Italian artists? You can take your pick from eight performance venues staging events from this weekend ...

Songha prepares for a Wilde John the Baptist

Apr 12, 2012

Songha prepares for a Wilde John the Baptist

A year ago, Songha Cho changed his professional name to plain and simple Songha — explaining that there is no appropriate kanji for Cho, though there is for Songha. That problem, the third-generation Korean-Japanese said, is just one of many complications faced in daily ...

A modern take on American theater classic

Mar 16, 2012

A modern take on American theater classic

SIS Company’s new production of “The Glass Menagerie” by the U.S. playwright Tennessee Williams (1911-83) looks like a marriage made in theatrical heaven between one of Williams’ masterpieces and an impressive cast. In the central role of this loosely autobiographical drama centered on a ...

Let the theater help you become as free as a bird

Mar 15, 2012

Let the theater help you become as free as a bird

One day, William Tuckett’s big sister decided that she wanted to take ballet classes. Soon after, Tuckett’s mother realized that if both her children went to the class, she could have two hours free to herself. He may have had no choice attending classes ...

'TeZukA' animates the stage

Feb 17, 2012

'TeZukA' animates the stage

Choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is nutty about anime and manga. Speaking to him at a cafe in his native Antwerp, Cherkaoui drops all the right names into his conversation and gets as giddy as an otaku (obsessive) discussing Japanese pop culture. However, this 35-year-old ...

Drawing up a performance without talk

Jan 20, 2012

Drawing up a performance without talk

Language can sometimes be an obstacle for non-Japanese wanting to enjoy arts performances in Japan. In South Korea, however, artists are getting around this problem with theater programs that don’t use verbal elements. One of these is the recent success, “Nanta,” which is a ...