Theatres in Tokyo

This is very much a work-in-progress. As part of my efforts to provide resources on Japanese and Tokyo theatre in English I am compiling a list of major theatres, divided it into three sections: the “top dogs” (which includes both public and private producing houses); the main commercial theatres; and a handful of the fringe theatres. I have not included theatres that regularly stage traditional theatre or musicals. There are also many other small venues that mainly show dance.

Top Dogs

Bungakuza Atelier

Bunkamura: Theatre Cocoon

New National Theatre: The Playhouse

New National Theatre: The Pit

Owlspot Theatre

Setagaya Public Theatre

Setagaya Public Theatre: Tram Theatre

Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre (formerly Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space)

Commercial

Akasaka ACT Theatre

The Galaxy Theatre

The Globe

Honda Gekijou

Kichijoji Theater

Kinokuniya Hall

Kinokuniya Sazan Theater

Le Theatre Ginza

Nissay Theatre

Parco Theatre

Sunshine Theatre

Theatre Creation

Fringe (Shogekijou) [Very select list]

Akasaka Red Theatre

Atelier Helicopter

die Pratze

Honda Group: Ekimae Gekijou; Off Off Theater; Geki; The Suzunari; Rakuen; Theatre 711; Sotetsu (Yokohama)

Komaba Agora Gekijou

Mitaka City Arts Center

Morishita Studio

Nishi-Sugamo Arts Factory

PlanB

Shimokita Kukan Liberty

Shinjuku Baitasu

Shinjuku Theater Moliere

Stage En

Store House

Suitengu Pit

superdeluxe

Theater Green: (Big Tree Theater, Box in Box Theater, Base Theater)

theatre iwato

Theatre 1010

Tiny Alice

Ueno Storehouse

Closed:

Aoyama Theatre / Aoyama Enkei Theatre

Asahi Art Square

Benisan Pit

Gotanda Sonic

littlemore chika

Theater/Tops

20 responses to “Theatres in Tokyo

  1. William

    Found your site via Tokyo Art Beat.

    Just mentioned your guide in my weekly ‘Tokyo Thursdays’ piece on ‘Serge the Concierge’

    Here is the link
    http://www.sergetheconcierge.com/2009/11/gozilla-and-the-retirement-age-an-english-guide-to-theaters-in-tokyo.html

    Serge
    ‘The French Guy from New Jersey’

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  2. Hi
    I am looking for a contemporary japanese playwriter ? Any recommendation?

    Mikkel/Denmark

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    • @mikkelflyvholm

      Thanks for your comment and for reading my blog.

      What kind of plays are you interested in? For example, most Japanese contemporary playwrights are also their own directors and carve their own highly idiosyncratic niche. This means there’s a lot of disparity and it’s hard to compare, say, Toshiki Okada with, say, Junko Emoto or Oriza Hirata. Then there are artists like Kurou Tanino and Akira Takayama who aren’t playwrights.

      It’s nigh impossible to give glib “recommendations” without frames to work within, but one personal favourite of mine is Daisuke Miura.

      William

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  3. Hello William

    Maybe you can help us. We are a production company in Switzerland and would like to bring our show to japan. What’s the best way to do that? By writing the theatres directly or are there any booking agencies to contact? I saw on the theatre websites there is often no contact information availabe. How would you do it?

    Thanks
    Mike

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  4. Hello !

    May be you can help me : I’m a French student and I learnt theater in my university (to become stage director). I want to go to Japan to learn Japan’s theater. My university has two agreements with japanese ones: University of Tokyo and Nagoya University. But they don’t have any section on theater’s theory. I want to do my thesis on specific japanese forms, as nô or kabuki, but there is no place where I can learn about that ? It’s quite strange that I couldn’t find any theorical theater courses… Do you know where I can bring such courses ? Is there also pratical lessons of nô or kabuki in Tokyo or Nagoya ?

    Thanks,

    Charlotte.

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  5. I have a play about More Berg a famous baseball player, who spoke fluent Japanese and visited Japan several times in 1930’s. He was very famous in Japan like Babe Ruth. I would like to permier the play in Tokyo. I am looking for a partner to help. We have the play and money. Anybody interested please get back ASAP. Robert K. Producer

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  6. Hi,

    I have recently graduated from my university with a degree in Theatre Design and Technology. I have studied Japanese before (but still a beginner) and I have an interest in Japanese theatre and culture. I am looking at theatres listed on your site. Do you have any advice for someone looking to move to Japan and work as a Theatre Technician for a few years? I am not expecting to land a job in traditional theatric forms, however, I would like to work for a venue that hosts international and large shows. Any advice is appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Like

    • @Daniel Olson

      Japanese language ability would be a must. If you have this and some work experience, you may be able to get an internship or starting position. The theatre technician industry is quite small. The easiest way might be to study the credits of major productions on the commercial, public or fringe theatre scene and learn which companies are the leaders in the field.

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  7. William, As you are likely aware, those of us producing English language theater in Tokyo are typically trying to reach a small audience and therefore seek out houses from between 35-200 seats (smaller for straight shows and larger for musicals). What is really lacking is a list of houses from between 35-75 seats. If you could continue to add to that list then that would be amazingly helpful!

    Feel free to contact me if you want to share information.
    Ed Gilmartin
    Theater Manager
    The American School in Japan

    Like

  8. Hi William,

    I’m a Chinese-American actor/writer/producer currently representing A Night with MAO, an English language play about private life of the former Chinese leader that I wrote and starred in. I would like to explore the possibility to get it produced in Tokyo or other cities in Japan. I think that the subject matter could be of interest to both Japan and international audience, given the long and tricky relationship and history between Japan and China.

    Can you give me some opinion/advice on that?

    Thank you.

    Like

    • @Robert Lin

      Thank you for your comment.

      It certainly sounds like an interesting play and would likely be of interest to Tokyo audiences.

      There are a handful of fringe companies working in English. Depending on the scale of production you had in mind, a collaboration with one of these might bear fruit.

      Of course, most theatres are for hire and you could try to find the venue right for you, assuming you are self-producing.

      Otherwise, almost no one puts on plays in English (or other languages) unless you are a big name artist.

      Overseas plays get productions in Japanese at certain public and commercial theatres, though they usually need to have some sort of profile to get picked for translation in the first place.

      TPAM (every February) is the best place to meet local producers and network.

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  9. Surbhi Mittal

    Hi,

    I am surbhi from India. I have recently moved to Tokyo and looking for theatres which have english plays. Back in India I used to watch lot of plays .. Missing that here since most of the stuff is in Japanese. Any recommendations will be really helpful.

    Thanks,
    Surbhi

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  10. Thanx a lot very helpful – warm regards
    Svend E Kristensen
    Stageart Theatre
    Sew Flunk Fury Wit

    Like

  11. dungeonproject@gmail.com

    Hello from
    I am coming to Japan on Sunday – I will be in Tokyo for 2 weeks. I am looking to see some great modern dance performances.
    Can someone please advise what is the best show available on the 26th of June in Tokyo?
    I would also consider other dates – if the 26th June is not available

    Many thanks in advance
    .b

    Like

  12. Hello i’m Iacopo italian actor/writer/producer actually based in France. I will come to perform in Seoul with my company the first week of October and i would like to found some others job opportunities for spend some extra time in Tokyo oo somewhere in Japan. I found your web site and you look maybe the right person for give some good advise.
    Our web site for understand what we do :
    http://www.tonycliftoncircus.com

    many thanks in advance,
    All the best.
    Iacopo

    Like

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