The performing arts are built on interactions between live audiences and artists — whether ballet dancers, circus performers, actors or whoever else — that help to create a magical extra dimension for both. So how, faced with COVID-19 and calls for social distancing, can theater deal with the current situation?

Even before Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s April 11 call for “self-restraint” when it came to nightlife — citing the risk of gathering in packed, poorly ventilated areas — many in the theater world had already realized that business as usual was no longer an option.

However, rather than counting off the days without doing anything, some troupes began experimenting with their art online.