Japan is undergoing something of a theatre-building boom at the moment.
The big news for Kanto is the Kanagawa Arts Theatre built by the local prefecture and set to open in Yokohama’s Yamashita in January 2011. Much like Ikebukuro’s Metropolitan Arts Space, the new theatre will contain three spaces, ranging from a large hall (2,488 seats) to a more intimate performance space (433 seats).
Despite the high-profile appointment of musical maestro Amon Miyamoto as artistic director the facility seems to be operating at least partly as a hire venue, rather than fully programming productions (like subsidised theatres in other countries). According to its stated goals it will create works itself and also co-produce, but the season has yet to be announced.
Meanwhile, up in Hokkaido the musical company Gekidan Shiki will open a new permanent base for its performances there. The 1000-seater will be the troupe’s tenth theatre in the country and should also be ready by January next year.