Japan recast as a konbini state

by Mika Eglinton

Following its May world premiere in Mannheim, Germany, and a summer spent gathering great reviews from its European tour, “Super Premium Soft Double Vanilla Rich” finally debuted in Japan last week at the Kanagawa Arts Theatre in Yokohama. This latest work by cutting-edge playwright-director Toshiki Okada, 41-year-old founder of the ...

Dec 17, 2014

Acchi Cocchi spells festive fun for kids

by Kris Kosaka

Looking for a way to share some Christmas creativity with your children? The nonprofit Acchi Cocchi (Place to Place) holds its third annual Waku Waku (meaning “Exciting”) workshop of Christmas art, music and dance for children at Kanagawa Arts Theatre in Yokohama on Dec. ...

Get festive with a legend at Matsuyama's 'Nutcracker'

Dec 10, 2014

Get festive with a legend at Matsuyama's 'Nutcracker'

by Kris Kosaka

Christmas in the ballet world means “The Nutcracker,” and fans in Japan can take their pick from numerous productions of this mistle-toed magic originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov and premiered at the Marinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on Dec. 18, 1892, ...

Real-life Japan caricature cuts to the quick

Dec 10, 2014

Real-life Japan caricature cuts to the quick

by Nobuko Tanaka

Tomohiro Maekawa, the 40-year-old playwright, director and founder of Tokyo’s Ikiume (Buried Alive) theater company, is acclaimed in Japan’s theater world for his groundbreaking sci-fi works sometimes bordering on the surreal. Usually populated by ordinary people such as salarymen and working mothers of around ...

NNTT's 'Don Carlo' adds politics to love

Dec 3, 2014

NNTT's 'Don Carlo' adds politics to love

by Kris Kosaka

Although still only 41, the conductor Pietro Rizzo has already performed close to 50 different opera titles around the world, and he’s now back in Japan with Giuseppe Verdi’s “Don Carlo” — his third production for the New National Theatre, Tokyo. According to this ...

For 'Once,' Broadway spurns glitz

Dec 3, 2014

For 'Once,' Broadway spurns glitz

by Lindsay Nelson

Written and directed by John Carney, the award-winning 2006 musical film “Once” — a simple, bittersweet love story set in his hometown of Dublin and featuring wonderful music by co-stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova — was perfect on its own. Wouldn’t a Broadway ...

Sarajevo's fine MESS shines light from yet more darkness

Nov 26, 2014

Sarajevo's fine MESS shines light from yet more darkness

by Natsume Date

This year is the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, and among commemorations worldwide, in Sarajevo, in present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, there have been numerous events marking the June 28, 1914 assassination there of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife ...

French idol reflects on her Japanese droid son

Nov 26, 2014

French idol reflects on her Japanese droid son

by Mana Katsura

As a playwright, stage director, Osaka University professor, manager of the Komaba Agora Theater in Tokyo and leader of the city’s Seinendan theater company he formed in 1983, Oriza Hirata — whose “contemporary colloquial theater” set the scene for much of Japan’s new drama ...

Emoto's 'Shrew' questions to provoke

Nov 19, 2014

Emoto's 'Shrew' questions to provoke

by Nobuko Tanaka

“If I were a man doing the same work, no one would make any special mention of my gender, but I find I’m always being referred to by the media as ‘the female director, Junko Emoto.’ I don’t want to say that’s right or ...

Asia enriches the Bard's work-in-progress

Nov 19, 2014

Asia enriches the Bard's work-in-progress

by Mika Eglinton and Andrew Eglinton

Whatever would William Shakespeare make of it all if he were to journey now through Asia, where the interpretations of his works differ so much across vast regions, ethnic groups, cultures and languages? Since the 1990s, in the field of Shakespeare studies non-Anglophone productions ...