In a special program being staged in the face of Covid-19 by Kanagawa Arts Theatre in Yokohama, Toshiki Okada — the renowned playwright, director and founder of the globe-trotting Chelfitsch theatre company — will stream a version of his latest work, a modern Noh-style play titled “Miren no Yurei to Kaibutsu” (“Unfulfilled Ghost and Monster”), from KAAT in June 2020.
“Miren no Yurei to Kaibutsu” (“Unfulfilled Ghost and Monster”) draws on a short kyogen sketch along with the contemporary Noh plays “Zaha” and “Monju” which are themed, respectively, on the late British female architect Zaha Hadid whose commissioned design for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic stadium was rejected before construction began, and the Monju fast-breeder nuclear reactor in Fukui Prefecture that was shut down in 2010 before it became fully operational.
For Okada, a Yokohama native, KAAT is his neighborhood theatre, and he has often appeared there since it opened in 2011. Along with its other scheduled productions, however, KAAT announced on April 15 that his play would have to be rescheduled due to the theatre’s closure because of Covid-19.
After that, though, the actors and staff continued working together through remote, online workshops and rehearsals to prepare the new work for public performance — a goal that was realized when KAAT and Okada decided to do just two special free online live readings on June 27 (Sat.) and 28 (Sun.) for theatre lovers worldwide.
For this special project, which excludes the kyogen element, the play’s full cast of Mirai Moriyama, Hairi Katagiri, Rui Kurihara, Shizuka Ishibashi and Shingo Oota will be joined by the famous vocalist Tabito Nanao in the role of the Noh chanter singing music by the Berlin-based musician Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Okada’s long-term collaborator who will play the music for this performance.
Each day there will be an online post-performance talk by Okada and Akira Shirai, KAAT’s artistic director.
The live streamings will start at 16:00 on June 27 and June 28 on YouTube at: https://www.kaat.jp/d/mirenonline.
Live stagings of the full production will be scheduled at KAAT in the future.