Tokyo's cozy 60-odd-seat Komaba Agora Theater isn't perhaps where you would expect a cutting-edge multilingual drama experiment to be staged, but that's just where Oriza Hirata has chosen to work his latest magic.

There, on a set made to look like a laboratory in the tropics, the playwright and director sweats over final preparations for the premiere of "In the Heart of a Forest" ("Sono Mori no Oku"), along with Japanese actors from his Seinendan company and others from the Korea National University of Arts in Seoul and students from the National Drama Centre of Limousin in Limoges, France.

Like the three previous plays in Hirata's "science series," which are set in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, France and Japan, this one again presents a group of researchers, doctors, students and business people intent, for different reasons, on identifying what differentiates apes, monkeys and humans.