Tokyo’s stage scene ranges from stately traditional noh to shockingly avant-garde performance art. The diversity of Japanese performing arts provides insights into what can seem a monolithic culture.

A Japanese Director’s World Debut

Young playwright Shu Matsui reflects quandaries in his pieces like the emptiness of modern life for many Japanese and the rapid aging of society. I spoke to him after his work appeared at Festival/Tokyo.

The New York Times, May 26, 2010

Shu Matsui’s “Hakobune (Ark)”. Photo by Gen Fujimoto.


Despite worldwide acceptance, grizzled Dairakudakan founder Akaji Maro insists butoh remains subversive. “They seem to be attracted to the bizarreness of it, like people are drawn to a haunted house at an amusement park.”

Metropolis, Nov 18, 2005

With 30 million people in the metropolitan area, Tokyo is also one of the world’s largest performing arts markets. This means that a plethora of international touring acts grace its numerous hi-tech venues. I’ve been privileged to be able to go backstage at numerous shows including Blue Man Group.

Blue Mind

It’s about finding your inner Blue Man, says Tokyo show’s Callum Grant

Metropolis, Sep 7, 2011


More articles:

Japan’s marquee theater fest defends free speech post-3/11

Festival/Tokyo 2012

The producer of Japan’s foremost stage showcase sees a cloud descending on free expression in the country. “In recent Japanese media… we can see a critical and dangerous increase in one-sided denunciations of risk-taking artists and art,” says program director Chiaki Soma in her notes for F/T12.

Metropolis, Oct 11, 2012

Million Dollar Quartet

Perkins, Lewis and Cash… Who are they?

Metropolis, Jul 31, 2012


Silent comedy gets the Tokyo treatment

Metropolis, Mar 14, 2012

Yokoso Kyogen

Manzo Nomura and Thane Camus bring “mad words” to the barbarians

Metropolis, Feb 15, 2012

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

American Idol’s Anthony Federov brings the biblical musical to Japan

Metropolis, Feb 17, 2011


Broadway star Amra-Faye Wright tries a familiar role — this time in Japanese

Metropolis, Jun 3, 2010


London’s International Theatre Company returns with a new take on the Bard’s most compact tragedy

Metropolis, May 6, 2010

Kiss of the Spider Woman

Black Stripe Theatre takes a timely new look at Manuel Puig’s meditation on politics and homosexuality

Metropolis, Apr 8, 2010