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May. 15, 2012
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Pre-events begin for Fuji no Kuni – World Theater Festival 2012 (from April 28 / June 2 – July 1)
The Fuji no Kuni - World Theater Festival 2012 (World Theatre Festival Shizuoka under Mt. FUJI 2012) of the Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC) got a fresh start last year after its name was changed from the Spring Arts Festival Shizuoka. Its second holding in 2012 celebrates the 15th anniversary of the founding of SPAC with a program of 12 works of theater, dance, music film and more from Japan and nine other countries.
As a pre-event before the start of the festival, a series of free street performance of a work Journey from Italy was presented at several venues around the prefecture during the “Golden Week” holidays from April 28th to May 6th.
The SPAC Festival will open two works directed by the artistic director, Satoshi Miyagi. They are the play Mahabharata – Nalacharitam - that premiered in 2003 and won the 3rd Asahi Performing Arts Award and his production of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt that premiered at SPAC on 2010 and was later invited to the Colombia International Theater Festival. Also on the program, BATIK will perform the world premiere of Ikuyo Kuroda’s OTARUDORI, the new version of a the work performed at last year’s Festival/Tokyo as a work in progress, and Hideki Noda will direct a Japanese version of his play THE BEE.
From overseas come the Nature Theater of Oklahoma, USA with a performance of Life and Times – Episode 1; and appearing at SPAC for the third time will be Olivier Py from France with a production of Romeo and Juliet; also returning to SPAC from Switzerland Omar Porras brings a production of L’Eveil du Printemps; a new work by Ong Keng Sen titled The Continuum: Beyond the Killing Fields depicts Cambodia under the Pol Pot regime; and remarkable Australian talent Tim Watts brings a unique puppet theater production titled The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer. All of these works are being performed for the first time in Japan.

Festival Outline
This is an international theater festival organized by the Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC), which was founded in 1995 by Shizuoka local government as Japan’s first publicly-funded performing arts organization with its own resident actors, technical and production staff, based at its own facilities, including a theater and rehearsal studios. The mission of SPAC are not only creating original pieces, but also inviting sophisticated artistic companies / individuals, as well as developing human resources who seek for expression in performing arts. In 2011, its name was changed from the Spring Arts Festival Shizuoka to the Fuji no Kuni - World Theater Festival and is now held each May at four venues in Shizuoka city including the Shizuoka Performing Arts Theater and the Shizuoka Performing Arts Park. Based on the concept that Fuji no Kuni (the land of Mt. Fuji = Shizuoka) can be connected to the world through theater, the festival presents productions by Japanese and foreign directors. The festival’s director is the SPAC artistic director, Satoshi Miyagi.
+Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC)