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Updated: Oct. 8, 2021

Chiaki Soma, Kyoko Iwaki named next co-directors for Germany’s Theater der Welt Festival

It has been announced that Chiaki SOMA and Kyoko IWAKI will serve as the director team for the coming 2023 Theater der Welt Festival, which is organized once every three years by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) in collaboration with the host city in Germany. The new director team was an-nounced at the closing of the 2021 festival in Dusseldorf in July. Held since 1981, the Theater der Welt Festival for the first time solicited applications for the German host city for the 2023 holding, as well as open soliciting for applicants for the festival directorship post, the responsibilities of which include the role of programming director(s).The host cities chosen for 2023 are Frankfurt/Offenbach, and from the 70 applications for 2023 festival director received from 30 countries, Chiaki Soma and Kyoko Iwaki were selected as the director team. The two Japanese directors-elect are the first to be chosen from outside of Europe and both are affiliated with the arts-specialized not-for-profit organiza-tion Arts Common Tokyo, whose members have proven experience and success in production, com-munication and urban projects to support the new director team.

Theater der Welt
https://www.theaterderwelt.de/

Gisèle Vienne and Ryuichi Sakamoto named associate artists for the 2021 Holland Festival

It has been announced that the associate artists for the 2021 Holland Festival to be held in June will be the French-Austrian director, choreographer and stage art creator Gisèle Vienne and the Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Known for its proud history over six decades, the Holland Festival has continued to present cutting-edge performing arts not only from the Netherlands and Europe but from around the globe as well. Since 2019, the festival has selected one or two associate artists from whom new works are commis-sioned or recent works performed. Their presence also brings to the festival programs a spotlight on themes related to the respective associate artists. The associate artists for 2019 were choreographer Faustin Linyekula of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and contemporary artist William Ken-tridge of the Republic of South Africa, while the associate artist for 2020 was choreographer Bill T. Jones of the U.S.A. (due to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the festival was cancelled and online programs conducted instead).

As an artist whose works are known in Japan through appearances at Festival/Tokyo and Kyoto Experiment, Gisèle Vienne has been known internationally for her works using marionettes or man-nequins with human forms, or dolls wearing masks as main motifs, but in recent years she also uses actors and dancers. In her works, Vienne brings philosophical thought to her human figures and shows how human desires seemingly opposed to the themes of beauty, love and destruction are mutu-ally intertwined. At the coming Festival, she will present her newest work L’Étang (The Pond), which is a joint production with Holland Festival.

The Japanese composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto is known for his diverse musical works drawing on elements of classical music, contemporary and popular music as well as ethnic music. His album async, released in 2017, is a work which paints an audio portrait of the passing of time.

In recent years, Sakamoto has expanded his activities beyond music to include opposition to nuclear energy and support of environmental issues. Currently, Sakamoto is working in collaborating with the multi-disciplinary artist Shiro Takatani on a new work titled Time, an unconventional opera which is also a coproduction with the Holland Festival.

For the 2021 Holland Festival, both of the associate artists will present their newest or recent work.

Holland Festival
https://www.hollandfestival.nl/en/

British theatre company Forced Entertainment broadcasts “COMPLETE WORKS: TABLE TOP SHAKESPEARE: AT HOME” presenting all of Shakespeare’s plays staged for the home kitchen

The British theatre company Forced Entertainment has broadcast online for free its new series of plays “COMPLETE WORKS: TABLE TOP SHAKESPEARE: AT HOME”, in which the Shake-speare plays are performed by the company’s actors using the kitchen tables of their own homes. All 36 works have been broadcast on Forced Entertainment’s official website and on its YouTube channel (broadcast ended Dec. 31, 2020).

Since the company’s “COMPLETE WORKS” concept was launched in 2015, until recently the works had been performed in theatres as well as broadcasting video screenings, but as the COVID-19 pandemic caused theatres to be closed and restrictions prevented people from going out to public plac-es, the company turned to online broadcasts. Although the plays are performed by a single actor at their own kitchen table in a very simple form whereby common household items like carbonated drink bottles or detergent bottles are used to represent the characters in the plays, and though each tape is kept with a length of about one hour, the performances are still enough to convey the essence of the Shakespeare plays.

COMPLETE WORKS: TABLE TOP SHAKESPEARE: AT HOME
https://www.forcedentertainment.com/tabletop-live-catch-up/