Over the past decade, Shintaro Mori has made a name for himself in Japan's theater world as a director with a passion for plays in translation. So, true to form, next month at the ACM Theater in Art Tower Mito he is staging a double bill comprising Shakespeare's comedy "Twelfth Night" (or "What You Will"), which was written around 1601-02, and an adaptation of "I, Malvolio," by the contemporary English playwright, director and actor Tim Crouch.

Since he directed "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the same Ibaraki Prefecture venue in 2012, Mori has been eager to return, he said in a recent interview, having observed how its thrust stage and circular auditorium modeled on London's 16th-century Globe Theatre made it well-suited to staging the Bard's comedies.

Then, while studying in Ireland, Mori saw "I, Malvolio," the fourth of Crouch's Shakespearean adaptations that began with 2003's "I, Caliban." In that series, by reimagining one of a play's "secondary" characters, Crouch aims to connect Shakespeare with young audiences via narratives that don't always revolve around kings and queens, but deal with "common folk."