On document becomings and the documentary theatre

Article published in Konan Women’s University Journal of Literature and Culture (52):2015 p.9-15. Bibliographic data | Article download link Abstract The technological and cultural changes to the constitution and usage of documents often preempt, outperform even, the capacity of institutions to validate and integrate new document formations within their orders of signification. In such instances, the document…

In Search of Direction: Mapping, Materiality and Theatre Ecology in Rural Japan

Paper given at the IFTR 2016 Conference at the University of Stockholm, Sweden. Abstract For the past forty-five years, Yukichi Matsumoto and the Osaka-based Ishinha theatre company have been creating site-specific performances that explore the intersection of urban and rural life in Japan. The company’s most recent work, “Twilight” (2015), was devised in Soni Village,…

Kyoto Experiment #6

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on February 23 2016. “It may be wrong to mix different wines, but old and new wisdom make an excellent mixture.” So claims The Singer in Bertolt Brecht’s 1944 play, “The Caucasian Chalk Circle.” If so, there are few places where tradition and the avant-garde…

Ishinha performs ‘Twilight’ in rural Soni Village, Kyoto

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on August 25 2015. Tokyo may be Japan’s performing-arts hub, but a growing number of artists are swapping the strictures of its cultural marketplace for the creative and lifestyle benefits of life outside the capital. For the Osaka-based Ishinha theater company, however, there’s nothing new…

Performances at the sixth Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on July 21 2015. The sixth Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale is set to start July 26 in Tokamachi City and Tsunan Town in Niigata Prefecture, north-central Honshu. Though this mountainous region is known for picturesque wintry snowscapes and lush green summer rice fields, it is beset…

50 Years of Shakespeare at Konan Women’s University

Drawing on a range of interviews with past and present students and teachers, this book charts 50 years of annual student Shakespeare productions performed in English as a second language at Konan Women’s University in Kobe, Japan. When I began conducting interviews for this commemorative book in late 2014, I had three goals in mind. First, to…

Konan W.U. students mark 50 years of Shakespeare in English

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on March 31 2015. In 1964, the late Polish theater scholar Jan Kott wrote “Shakespeare, Our Contemporary,” an influential book that questioned the processes of producing Shakespeare in the here and now and whether the Bard’s texts should serve as clues for an archeological dig…

"Twelfth Night" and "I, Malvolio" at ACM Theater, Art Tower Mito

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on Feb 4 2015. Over the past decade, Shintaro Mori has made a name for himself in Japan’s theater world as a director with a passion for plays in translation. So, true to form, next month at the ACM Theater in Art Tower Mito he…

"Landslide World" – Shiki Goroshi's stage adaptation of "Lord of the Flies"

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on January 7 2015. Central to William Golding’s dystopian novel “Lord of the Flies” is the notion of violence as a social construct. “Maybe there is a beast … maybe it’s only us,” says the protective Simon before a hostile assembly of other schoolboys marooned…

Kansai region in midst of arts renaissance

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on Jan 1 2015. In its 2013 policy report, the Agency for Cultural Affairs vowed to build “a nation based on culture and the arts” through the promotion of regional festivals, artist-in-residence programs and other events. So what can we expect the Kansai region’s contribution…