There aren't many non-Japanese people working in the world of Japanese theater. That's a shame, because often an outside perspective can help spot weaknesses that the majority aren't able to see.

The Japan Times sought out some of these outside perspectives to get a sense of their thinking about the performing arts. With the Tokyo Olympics fast approaching, there may be no better time.

William Andrews, 34, works as a freelance writer, translator and editor. A longtime resident originally from England, he has organized the overseas public relations and translation for two of Japan's major theater festivals, Festival Tokyo and Kyoto Experiment.