The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Artist Interview
Keishi Nagatsuka is a leader of a new generation of contemporary theater artists who finds fantasy in the darker sides of the human character
Keishi Nagatsuka
Keishi Nagatsuka
Do you think that you would like to take your works to the international stage?
I am very interested to know how foreign audiences would react to the works we are doing on the Japanese small-theater scene. Not necessarily works based on the theme of war like my latest work, but perhaps the kind of family-centered works I have done until now. I am interested to see how those works would be received. If I had the chance I would like to present my works overseas, though I don't know whether it would be using Japanese actors or foreign actors.

It seems like the next generation younger than yours is absorbed completely in video games. Aren't you worried about the future of theater and whether this digital generation will be interested in coming to theaters to see live actors perform plays or eventually carrying on the theater tradition?
I am very conscious of this, but there is also a possibility that we are seeing only one aspect of the situation. There are young people who are not growing up in that [digital] way, and these are the ones I think we should have expectations for. The mass media loves to say that these games are creating a generation of fools, but there are surely some young people who use games as a means of communication, and there are some who discover through games the desire to be creative. So, I don't think we can generalize about the effect of gaming. I don't think you can simply say, "I'm afraid what these people are going to be like when they reach adulthood."

Are there any things in particular that you would like to try in the future?
If I get the opportunity, I would like to try working in film or video. I want to do straight plays as such, but I also want to create the kind of experiential theater where you don't know what is going to happen. I think it should be possible to do the kinds of things that make people want go to a certain theater in a certain city because they have heard about a unique kind of show going on there, like circus or "De La Guarda" (acrobat or dance shows for stand-up audiences) or "Blue Man Group: TUBES" (a performance group of three men all painted blue in New York). Even if it is on a small scale, I would like to try things like that one day.
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