Tokyo Theatre Today: Conversations with Eight Emerging Theatre Artists

On November 6, Kyoko Iwaki’s book Tokyo Theatre Today: Conversations with Eight Emerging Theatre Artists will be published in Tokyo, followed by a UK book launch on November 30.

In the words of the author:

The eight playwrights and directors featured in this collection of interviews are the leading Tokyo contemporary theatre practitioners, who are now all being frequently invited to international theatre festivals. Here they discuss their backgrounds, core conceptual ideas, rehearsal techniques, and key works, in conversation with a journalist with over ten years’ experience covering the Japanese performing arts scene.

Fully bilingual in English and Japanese, this is the first book published in years to introduce the Japanese contemporary theatre scene to the foreign readers. It is an essential text for understanding Tokyo’s emerging theatre talent as well as important recent cultural trends in Japan.

There are interviews with: Akira Takayama (Port B), Shu Matsui (Sample), Toshiki Okada (chelfitsch), Hideto Iwai (Hi-bye), Tomohiro Maekawa (Ikiume), Daisuke Miura (potudo-ru), Kuro Tanino (Niwa Gekidan Penino), and Shiro Maeda (Gotanndadan).

The book will be available on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.co.jp, at NADiff a/p/a/r/t branches and other major booksellers in Tokyo, and is set to be sold in independent art bookstores in Europe from December.

[Full disclosure: I assisted with the English translations!]

2 responses to “Tokyo Theatre Today: Conversations with Eight Emerging Theatre Artists

  1. so cool! I gotta look for and buy this book:D I’ve just discovered ur blog and I have to admit it is a real treasure for me!!! keep it up!^^

    I study theatrology and I’m doing a project about contemporary Japanese theatre. Do you think that the artists that are put in this book are a good example of what is happening on the Japanese stage right now?:) Do you recommend any others? What is a tendency in Japan right now? People come to see a particular actor or rather a particular director?

    Thx in advance for help!!

    Like

    • @Alice:)

      Do you think that the artists that are put in this book are a good example of what is happening on the Japanese stage right now?:) Do you recommend any others? What is a tendency in Japan right now? People come to see a particular actor or rather a particular director?

      Yes, they are very good examples of what is happening in Japanese fringe theatre right now! Other key writer/directors from the same generation would likely include Keishi Nagatsuka and Ryuta Horai.

      In terms of “tendencies”, you’re asking a big question. Certainly in the commercial theatre, the main reason people buy tickets to see something is to catch their favourite celebrity on stage. In the fringe theatre, loyal supporters of a director or gekidan [troupe] also commonly make up large proportions of the audience. This leads to an undeniable case of preaching to the converted; i.e., theatre being made primarily for theatre fans. Contemporary theatre is often regarded as another example of a “subculture” in Japan/Tokyo. However, the people in this book have broken out somewhat into broader mainstream recognition and people who do not necessarily regularly go to the theatre hear of their work.

      Like

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