The top entertainment stories of 2016

Dec 30, 2016

The top entertainment stories of 2016

The Japan Times newsroom selected these culture stories as the most important of 2016. 1. Nothing lasts forever: After conflicting reports dominated tabloids, J-pop act SMAP finally announced a breakup planned for New Year’s Eve. Regardless of whether it was in-fighting or exhaustion that ...

A golden age of theater for Japan's seniors

Nov 24, 2016

A golden age of theater for Japan's seniors

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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 ...

Renowned Japanese stage director Yukio Ninagawa dies at 80

May 12, 2016

Renowned Japanese stage director Yukio Ninagawa dies at 80

Stage director Yukio Ninagawa, renowned worldwide for his interpretations of plays by William Shakespeare and Greek tragedies, died Thursday of multiple organ failure caused by pneumonia, theater sources said. He was 80. Following his debut as a theater director in 1969, the native of ...

Young dramatists mark the Bard's anniversary in style

Apr 26, 2016

Young dramatists mark the Bard's anniversary in style

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Hot on the heels of Hideki Noda’s radical adaptation of “Richard III” being staged by Singaporean director Ong Ken Seng at Shizuoka Performing Arts Center from April 29 to May 1, another intriguing transformation of Shakespeare’s Machiavellian king will follow at Theatre Fuusikaden in ...

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 ...