How can contemporary theater affirm its raison d’etre at a time when going to see it live is viewed by many as an “unessential” activity? Even now, our third year in the pandemic, many arts events continue to be canceled, curtailed or forced to find other means of representation.

Theater Commons Tokyo (TCT), which kicks off its sixth edition today and runs until Feb. 27 at various locations in Tokyo’s Minato Ward and also online, addresses this problem head on with a program titled “Unsynchronized Voices.”

“The pandemic continues to forcibly synchronize the world,” writes Chiaki Soma in her note as TCT artistic director. “(Its) endless waves are akin to an omnipotent choreographer with the power to instantly overwrite our behaviors and gestures.”