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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 feature Japanese dramatists.

For instance (as readers of this page will know), Theatre Cocoon in Shibuya’s Bunkamura complex has already staged two major Anglo-Japanese collaborations, with rising star Thom Southerland at the helm of the musical “Titanic,” and his English compatriot, Phillip Breen, triumphing with Tennessee Williams’ dark social commentary, “Orpheus Descending” — both with all-Japanese casts.

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