Oriza Hirata’s 1995 Kishida Drama Award-winning “Tokyo Notes” opened in Japan for the first time in four years Sunday, after touring overseas to critical acclaim. Now being staged at the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Kinshicho by Seinendan, the company Hirata founded in 1983, this portrait of Japanese life seen through encounters in an art gallery seating area could hardly have a more magnificent or appropriate “theater” to play in.

Hirata first presented this calm, superficially mundane play in 1994 at his home base, the Komaba Agora Theater in Tokyo’s suburban Komaba Todaimae. The 40-year-old exponent of a unique drama style he terms “contemporary colloquial theater theory,” Hirata often has several actors speaking about different things at the same time, or speaking so softly they are hard to hear. They enact what he terms the “quiet and uneventful moments in life.”

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