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Yukio Ninagawa to form a theater company for senior citizens
 Following his appointment as artistic director for the Sainokuni Saitama Art Theater in January 2006, director Yukio Ninagawa announced the formation of a new theater company for senior citizens named “Saitama Gold Theater.” This experimental company is to be part of Ninagawa’s efforts as artistic director to open up new areas of expression and it will be open to people over the age of 55. A total 1,266 people turned out for the company auditions, or 60 times the number of openings. Mr. Ninagawa himself served as one of the judges for the auditions, which took Three Sisters, King Lear, and Sotobakomachi as the audition subjects. The selections for the roughly 20 acting position open are expected to be announced in early April. When talking about his desire to “create a new type of theatrical expression based on personal histories of older people,” Ninagawa cites the example of the Polish director Tadeusz Kantor who is known for his The Dead Class in which former elementary school classmates who have grown old talk about their memories. The first performances from this new Ninagawa undertaking are planned for the spring of 2007.
For his ambitious creative activities in 2005, Ninagawa won two prestigious awards in the Asahi Performing Arts Special Award and the Yomiuri Drama Grand Prix. For 2006 he already has six productions scheduled to be staged by November. Attention is focus on Ninagawa’s production of Byakuya no Valkyrie, his second attempt to bring plays by Hideki Noda to the stage, following Pandora no Kane, and more.
+Outline of “Saitama Gold Theater”
Actors:Approx. 20
Requirements:People seeking to become professional actors (experience not asked about). As a rule applicants must be over 55 years of age. Must be able to attend rehearsals five days a week between April 2006 and March 2007
Rehearsal hours:Five days a week (4-5 hours a day)
Basic lessons:Acting, voice and movement, dance, Japanese buyo traditional dance
Special lessons: Theatrical fighting, classroom lectures
+Yukio Ninagawa 2006 production schedule
Feb. 3-19, 2006
Comedy of Errors by Shakespeare
Saitama Arts Theater, etc.
Apr. 21-May 7, 2006
Titus Andronicus by Shakespeare
Saitama Arts Theater, etc.
*There will also be performances in the UK at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (June 16-24) and Theatre Royal Plymouth (June 29-July 1)
May 7-30, 2006
Byakuya no Valkyrie by Hideki Noda
Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon
July 6-30, 2006
’Tis Pity She's a Whore by John Ford
Bunkamura Theater Cocoon
Sept. 6-Oct. 1, 2006
Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon
Nov. 2006 (planned)
Work undecided
Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon