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“When I was studying English literature at the University of Tokyo, even though I had no theater experience at all, I got the chance to direct ‘Macbeth,’ ” 33-year-old Ryunosuke Kimura explained when we met recently at a rehearsal studio in downtown Tokyo.

“To start my research, I rented a video of ‘Ninagawa Macbeth’ — but I was amazed because it seemed entirely different from William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth,’ ” he recalled.

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