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….

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…

Kyoto Experiment Spring 2021

The Kyoto Experiment (KEX) performing arts festival is marking the beginning of a new era. Not only does it have three new program directors at the helm, it also has a fresh logo and renewed focus on experimentation to boot.

On Theatre E9, a new black box venue in Kyoto

Theatre E9 Kyoto was launched in June 2019 and has quickly gained a reputation for producing challenging performance work. What’s at stake in creating a new black box theatre in 2019-2020? How does it tie into the wider regional and national theatre scene?

Kyoto Experiment Marks the End of an Era

The 10th edition of Kyoto Experiment marked the end of a decade-long labor of love for Yusuke Hashimoto, who stepped down as program director and passed the baton on to three new co-directors. What impact has this performing arts event had at home and abroad? What are some of the milestones in its story so far?

On the Theatre Olympics 2019 at Toga Village, Toyama

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on August 14 2019. Since the late 1970s, people from all over the world have traveled to the village of Toga in rural Toyama Prefecture to attend Tadashi Suzuki’s renowned acting classes or to see the Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT) and other invited artists…

On the Performing Arts Program at the Aichi Triennale 2019

This article was originally published in The Japan Times newspaper on July 30 2019. The political function of art is a perennial question in the field of aesthetics. In classical Athens, Plato argued that art as a form of imitation was limited in its ability to communicate knowledge about political life. In contrast, Aristotle saw…