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ActingPlay-makingWriting

Kikai-ga-shima

By April 28, 2019November 26th, 2019No Comments

In mid-2014, YTG was commissioned to create a piece for an international school theatre festival. Our mandate was something that was Japanese-themed, and we were told that our performance would follow a Noh theatre demonstration.

Co-creator Graig Russell and I had about six weeks to create this show. While we spent a lot of time devising in the rehearsal room, nearly every scene was written outside of the rehearsal room, using only tiny ideas that had appeared in rehearsal. (We both have strong writing backgrounds, so this isn’t surprising.) The show is about the nature of the theatre space and how it conflicts with reality. We follow two pairs of characters, one modern (Andrew and Graig, ostensibly the creators of the show), and one ancient (Naritsune and Yasuyori), as they try to puzzle their respective ways through the story of Shunkan (a Noh play derived from the Heike Monogatari), in which Naritsune and Yasuyori are featured characters. The modern characters address the audience directly, while the ancient characters respect the fourth wall. Eventually, the line between the creators and the characters becomes blurred.

This show was a lot of fun to create and perform, and we ended up touring it to Taipei the next summer.