Yesterday afternoon, I attended a 3-hour workshop on the performance practice of the Ishinha theatre company. The workshop was led by long-running company actress, Mai Hirano, and four other performers from the group, and it was held in a studio space in the Enocojima Art, Culture and Creative Centre, in Awaza, Osaka.
On arrival at Heathrow Airport Terminal 3, I went through one of the "ePassport" control gates that are being rolled out to replace staffed desks. The UK government launched the third generation of eGates at Terminal 5 in October 2015.
The World Theatre Festival Shizuoka is an annual event run by the Shizuoka Performing Arts Center under the direction of Satoshi Miyagi. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
There are two shows in particular that I want to highlight: While I Was Waiting by Syrian playwright Mohammad Al Attar and Miyagi's production of Antigone.
Performance Encyclopaedia is a participatory project by the Toronto-based artist collective, Public Recordings. The premise is simple: a group of writers convene pre-performance to compile an encyclopaedia in response to the themes of "making" and "witnessing" performance. Audiences receive a copy of the text on entering the performance space and are given an hour to read the text in whichever way they choose.
The Japanese Society for Theatre Research held a 2-day conference at Kyoto Sangyo University under the heading 「シェイクスピア ローカル・グローバル」or “Shakespeare Local-Global.” The 2-day event, which ran from the 3-4 December 2016, was organized and led by Professor Masae Suzuki. I took part in a roundtable panel discussion on Shakespeare in higher education in Japan. Panelists included Timothy Medlock, Masaru Inoue and Masae Suzuki and commentators were Xiong Jieping and Shoko Yonaha.
Welcome to Performance Notes, a blog about contemporary theatre and performance in Japan and beyond.
Why start a new blog in 2017? Two reasons. First, as its title indicates, Performance Notes, is a space for short reflections or "notes" on the performances I see. In this sense it will serve as an informal archive and memory aid.