Festival/Tokyo (F/T), Japan’s largest performing arts festival that has staged of 190 works with 1,522 performances and a total audience exceeding 420,000 in it previous seven holding, will be held again this year with the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre as the main venue and numerous other venues in tie-ups with the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo. Since the year before last, Sachio Ichimura has served as head of the Director’s Committee that selects the festival’s program under a council system. The main contents of the organizers’ program consist of invited works of contemporary theater from Europe and Asia, as well as multinational joint productions and a lineup of works by leading Japanese artists.
This year’s official program features 12 works and three original productions planned and produced specially for the festival, and held concurrently with F/T will an affiliated program of 18 works will be performed at venues around the Tokyo metropolitan area. The main works on the official program are Spanish director Angélica Liddell’s production All the Sky Above the Earth (Wendy’s Syndrome)
; Théâtre de la Ville-Paris director Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota’s production of Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinocéros
; Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC) director Satoshi Miyagi
’s production Hideki Noda’s embellished version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream
; Chiten leader Motoi Miura
’s production of Vladimir Mayakovsky’s Mystery-Bouffe
; Toshiki Okada
’s production God Bless Baseball
that recently premiered at the newly opened Asian Arts Theatre in Gwangju, South Korea; the Cultural Centre of Fujimi City, KIRARI FUJIMI artistic director Junnosuke Tada
’s production of Korean playwright Kiwoong Sung’s A Typhoon’s Tale
, among others. There will also be a restaging of the play Blue Tarp
(Kishida Drama Award winning work) created by director Norimizu Ameya
and students from Fukushima Prefectural Iwaki Sogo Senior High School in 2013 based on their experiences in the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (2011), the new production of which will include the original 2013 performance students and new participants.
During the festival’s run, the Asia Theater Festival will be jointly held (Nov. 13 – 15). As Vol. 2 of the Asia Series, the focus this time will be on theater of Myanmar.
This festival was launched in 2009 when the name of the Tokyo International Arts Festival being organized since 2002 by the non-profit organization Arts Network Japan (ANJ)
was renamed Festival/Tokyo and its programs revamped. The first holding was in the spring of 2009 and since the second holding it has been held in the autumn. The Program Director from 2009 to 2013 was Chiaki Soma, who presented festival programs including creation and performance of original domestic and foreign works, performances in public spaces and active encouragement of audience participatory theater, etc. From 2014, Sachio Ichimura serves as the head of the new Director’s Committee.