This is the first in a two-part essay on the indomitable Osaka physical theatre company, Taihen.
Ethereal Materials: Being and Performance in Virtual Worlds
A research project on the state of the theatrical event in an age of virtuality.
From Agit-prop to Agit-docs in 1930s British Theatre
This article was published in Konan Women’s University Journal of Literature and Culture (59):2023 pp.47-57. Bibliographic data | Article download link Abstract Between 1931 and 1940, the Salford based Theatre of Action (TOA) produced a series of agit-prop plays that experimented with proto-documentary theatre forms, including the political review and the living newspaper. Among these plays was Newsboy (1935),…
Translation of “YAMAYAMA (I Would Prefer Not To)”
My translation of the play YAMAYAMA (I Would Prefer Not To), written by Matsubara Shuntaro in 2018, appears in Volume 8 of the ENGEKI: Japanese Theatre In the New Millennium series, published by the Japan Playwrights Association (JPA). The ENGEKI series (“engeki” means theatre in Japanese) brings new writing in Japan to an international audience….
On Kyoto Experiment 2022
This article was originally published in the Japan Times on September 29 2022. The Japanese government’s plan to ease visa restrictions for independent tourists and abolish the daily arrival cap by early October as well as the prospect of a nationwide travel discount program in the autumn are all welcome news for the country’s pandemic-stricken tourist hubs….
Translation of “Biome”
In May 2022, Mika Eglinton and I translated the play Biome for a production by the Umeda Arts Theatre (Osaka) staged at the Toshima Arts and Culture Theater in Tokyo from the 8th to the 12th of June 2022. The play was written by playwright and director Ueda Kumiko and it was directed by Takashi Isshiki. The…
Echigo-Tsumari and Setouchi triennials: Building communities in a time of upheaval
In a time of interlinked global emergencies, the arts play an important role in providing spaces for people to reflect and envision alternative futures. However, do large-scale in-person art events still have a place in our modern reality, given that sustainable living is at the forefront of public discourse and many modes of artistic expression and communication have gone online during the pandemic?
On Theater Commons Tokyo 2022 – “Unsynchronized Voices”
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? Theater Commons Tokyo tackles this issue head on with its program titled “Unsynchronized Voices.”
Kyoto Experiment Autumn 2021
This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on October 2 2021. In these pandemic times, the digital tools that connect people in the absence of travel have, by necessity, led to our voices taking precedence over our bodies. Fewer domains have felt the effects of this disembodiment more acutely than the performing arts. In…
Premonitions from the Past / Hauntings from the Future / Performance Experiments in Kyoto
Paper given online at the International Federation for Theatre Research Conference, Galway, July 16 2021. Abstract Kyoto’s annual international performing arts festival, Kyoto Experiment (KEX), marked its tenth anniversary in October 2019 and with it the end of a decade-long run for festival founder and director Yusuke Hashimoto. The 2020 edition of the festival, led…