New 'Troilus and Cressida' looks like it's making history

Jul 21, 2015

New 'Troilus and Cressida' looks like it's making history

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Renowned as a problem play due to its tangled ambiguities and a storyline that cries out for a catharsis, “Troilus and Cressida” is among the most rarely staged of William Shakespeare’s 37 plays. In Japan, other than Yukio Ninagawa’s all-male 2012 production, whose spectacular ...

Young British directors take Tokyo by storm — but why?

Jun 23, 2015

Young British directors take Tokyo by storm — but why?

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This year it’s quite noticeable how many non-Japanese are directing plays in Tokyo — not frequent and famed visitors such as David Leveaux, Robert Lepage and Simon McBurney, but relative unknowns here making their debuts at two leading large commercial theaters that almost always ...

Dramatist brings citizens of all ages together

May 2, 2015

Dramatist brings citizens of all ages together

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Public theaters across the country are holding significantly more community productions and workshops aimed at local residents who are looking to get involved in performance art. Undoubtedly that’s in part thanks to the pioneering work of the nation’s leading dramatist on the world stage, ...

Orpheus descends on Japan

Apr 28, 2015

Orpheus descends on Japan

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Of all U.S. playwright Tennessee Williams’s many major works — including “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “The Glass Menagerie” — “Orpheus Descending,” which opens in Tokyo next week with a star-studded Japanese cast and multi-award-winning English director Phillip Breen at the helm, is among ...

Ninagawa still exploring in eighth take on 'Hamlet'

Feb 4, 2015

Ninagawa still exploring in eighth take on 'Hamlet'

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Yukio Ninagawa’s “cherry-blossom” staging of “Macbeth” at the Edinburgh Festival in 1985, with actors in that famously Scottish play sporting kimono rather than kilts, was a sensation due to its radical reimagining of so revered a work. Since then, the 79-year-old director’s uniquely visual ...

High drama at Festival/Tokyo

Oct 29, 2014

High drama at Festival/Tokyo

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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 ...

Show marks award of kabuki star's new name

Dec 18, 2013

Show marks award of kabuki star's new name

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Names matter, and in the realm of Japanese culture almost nowhere more than in kabuki, one of whose top names, Ennosuke IV, has just become artistic director of the Shunju-za theater in Kyoto. To mark this event, an exhibition titled “Ennosuke e no Kiseki” ...

Seven years on, and everyone's itching for more

Aug 10, 2013

Seven years on, and everyone's itching for more

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To date, including his all-male production of “The Merchant of Venice” that’s set to run next month at Sainokuni Saitama Arts Theater outside Tokyo, Yukio Ninagawa will have staged 29 of the 38 plays attributed to William Shakespeare — and his ambition to direct ...

Elderly Saitama theater troupe takes on world

May 14, 2013

Elderly Saitama theater troupe takes on world

A theater company of elderly actors led by renowned stage director Yukio Ninagawa has been busy rehearsing for a tour of Japan and Paris that kicks off on Thursday. Consisting of 41 members aged between 62 and 87, Saitama Gold Theater was formed in ...