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Kuro Tanino leaped into the spotlight in November 2007 with a production of Henrik Ibsen’s tragicomedy “The Wild Duck” that was almost sold out for a month at Theater 1010 in Tokyo’s Kitasenju.

A practicing psychiatrist, the 32-year-old Tanino and his Niwa Gekidan Penino (Garden Theater Penino) company, which he founded in 2000 with a few university friends, had previously been on the fringes of the theater world, where they put on avant-garde — even “postdrama” — productions. One work involved the “cast” going to Shibuya and chatting up girls on the street, with the only audience being the women themselves or any passersby who realized what was going on.

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