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From Left to Right; Top line: Martha Graham in “Lamentation” © Soichi Sunami Photo courtesy of The Sunami Family, Miki Orihara © Tokio Kuniyoshi, Doris Humphrey © Soichi Sunami Photo courtesy of The Sunami Family  Bottom line: Seiko Takata in “Mother” Phote courtesy of Nanako Yamada, Konami Ishii in “Koushou” photo courtesy of Noriko Sato, Yuriko Kikuchi in “The Cry” ( 1936) Phote Courtesy of The Kikuchi Family

From Left to Right; Top line: Martha Graham in “Lamentation” © Soichi Sunami Photo courtesy of The Sunami Family, Miki Orihara © Tokio Kuniyoshi, Doris Humphrey © Soichi Sunami Photo courtesy of The Sunami Family

Bottom line: Seiko Takata in “Mother” Phote courtesy of Nanako Yamada, Konami Ishii in “Koushou” photo courtesy of Noriko Sato, Yuriko Kikuchi in “The Cry” ( 1936) Phote Courtesy of The Kikuchi Family

Dalcroze Gesture Master Class

With Miki Orihara and Special Guest Artist from Japan

Wednesday, May 15, 6-8 PM

Class will include learning Dalcroze 20 gestures and a section of Seiko Takata's "Mother(1938)

Free with RSVP. Space is limited!


RESONANCE III

A Preamble and Performance of Female Dance Masters

Featuring Miki Orihara

Thursday, May 16, 7 PM

Piano by Nora Izumi Bartosik

Pre-Performance guest lecture with Japanese professor of dance history

Translated by Naoko Katakami

In this solo concert, RESONANCE III, Miki Orihara will be dancing Martha Graham’s “Lamentation (1930)”, Doris Humphrey’s “Two Ecstatic Themes (1931)”, Seiko Takata’s work “Mother (1938)” Konami Ishii’s “Moon Desert (early 1930’s)” and Yuriko’s “Cry (1963)”.

Orihara will bring both American and Japanese early modern dance pioneers works and Yuriko Kikuchi’s work together to connect the lineage of her dance heritage.

Orihara studied at Takata/Yamada modern dance studio in Tokyo until she was 18, came to US, studied Limon/Humphrey, Graham, Horton, ballet, jazz as a young dancer in NY, then danced with Martha Graham for 27 years. Her mentor Yuriko Kikuchi, who is a former director of Graham Co, she studied in Japan with Konami Ishii.  Orihara will bring all of her teacher and teacher’s lineages together.

Miki Orihara in “The Cry.” (c) Tess Photography. Click to download.

Miki Orihara in “The Cry.” (c) Tess Photography. Click to download.

 
 

The Program

I - Lamentation (1930)

- Martha Graham

Martha Graham (1894-1991) has had a deep and lasting impact on American art and culture. She single-handedly defined contemporary dance as a uniquely American art form, which the nation has in turn shared with the world. Crossing artistic boundaries, she collaborated with and commissioned work from the leading visual artists, musicians, and designers of her day, including sculptor Isamu Noguchi and composers Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, and Gian Carlo Menotti.

Graham’s groundbreaking style grew from her experimentation with the elemental movements of contraction and release. By focusing on the basic activities of the human form, she enlivened the body with raw, electric emotion. The sharp, angular, and direct movements of her technique were a dramatic departure from the predominant style of the time.

Graham influenced generations of choreographers that included Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, and Twyla Tharp, altering the scope of dance. Classical ballet dancers Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, and Mikhail Baryshnikov sought her out to broaden their artistry. Artists of all genres were eager to study and work with Graham—she taught actors including Bette Davis, Kirk Douglas, Madonna, Liza Minelli, Gregory Peck, Tony Randall, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, and Joanne Woodward to utilize their bodies as expressive instruments.

During her long and illustrious career, Graham created 181 dance compositions. During the Bicentennial she was granted the United States’ highest civilian honor, The Medal of Freedom. In 1998, TIME Magazine named her the “Dancer of the Century.” The first dancer to perform at the White House and to act as a cultural ambassador abroad, she captured the spirit of a nation. "No artist is ahead of his time,” she said. “He is his time. It is just that the others are behind the time.”


III - Mother (1938)

- Seiko Takata

Seiko Takata entered Tokyo Music School (now Tokyo University of the Arts). After dropping out of the university, she studied at the imperial theater with the Italian dance/theater/opera director Giovanni Vittorio Rosi. The opera department closed in 1916, and  Rosi opened the Asakusa Royal Hall in October of the same year to perform the opera, Seiko Hara joined with Takada Masao and others. The original surname of the stage name is named after Nobuko Hara.

In 1918, 23 years of age, she married Masao Takata and changed her stage name to Seiko Takata. The Royal Hall closed in February 1919. In May of the same year,

Rosi left for the US, Shochiku Company opened the Asakusa Opera in Asakusa Park's Six Wards to form the "New Star Kabukidan". Takatas participates in this. In August 1920, Negishi Yoshinosuke, a third generation Negishi entertainment pulled out Takatas, Kintaro Shimizu, Shizuko Shimizu and Rikizo Taya and Kinsei Hotta from the Royal House to form the "Negishi Kabukidan". On October 11, the same year, they performed a launch performance at the "Kinryukan" run by Negishi. The Asakusa Opera bloomed, centered on the Kinryukan and the Opera.

In 1922, Seiko, with her husband, left for European countries and the United States, and studied dance in various places. Japan was hit by the Great Kanto Earthquake on September 1, 1923, Tokyo, the capital was destroyed, Asakusa six wards collapsed, and the Asakusa opera went to its end. Takatas came back to Japan in 1924 and opened Takata Dance Institute.

Seiko’s husband Masao Takata died at the age of 33 on May 24, 1929. After her husband's death she continued to dance.

In October 1939, Seiko was named among the judges of the dance section of the Korean Art Award together with Baku Ishii. Also around this time, she competed for popularity with Ishii's disciple's dancer, Sai Sho Ki.

World War II ended on August 15, 1945, Seiko with Goro Yamada opened the Takata-Yamada Dance Company after the war. When an exhibition of fifteen self-selected contemporary art exhibitions was held in 1950, a former Western-style work "Seiko Takata of Spanish Costume" (production year unknown) drawn by Yoshizaburo Kojima was exhibited.

In 1959, Seiko formed the All Japan Art Dance Association (now the Modern Dance Association) and became chairman. In the same year, she was awarded the a Purple Ribbon Medal, and in 1970 she was awarded the 4th Order of the Precious Crown. Eguchi Takaya, Hiraoka Tonanao, Ozawa Atsuko, Ando Tetsuko, Mika Yoriko and many other dancers were raised.

In 1976, one year after leaving the chairman of the Modern Dance Association and becoming an honorary chairman, she died on March 19, 1977, she was 81 years old.


V - The Cry (1936)

- Yuriko Kikuchi

Yuriko Kikuchi – known throughout her entire career solely as Yuriko – is an honoree for this year’s NAAP Gala. She is an American Japanese dancer and choreographer. Born in San Jose, California in 1920, she began her dance training with the Konami Ishii Dance Company in Tokyo in 1930. Yuriko returned to the United States in 1937 where she joined Dorothy Lyndall's Junior Dance Company in Los Angeles. From 1941 to 1943, Yuriko continued to teach dance even as she was interned alongside other Japanese Americans in a World War II relocation camp. In 1943, she moved to New York City and that following year joined the Martha Graham Dance Company where she danced, choreographed, directed, and taught for 50 years (Clytemnestra, Appalachian Spring, Cave of the Heart, Dark Meadow, Primitive Mysteries, coaching generations of dancers including Miki Orihara and Mikhail Baryshnikov). Along with her modern dance credits, Yuriko has also danced in Broadway shows (The King and I, Flower Drum Song), television, and film. For 6 years she performed internationally with her own dance company. She is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship award for choreography (1967), the Bessie Award (1991), an honorary doctorate from Boston Conservatory (2006), and the Martha Hill Dance Fund Lifetime Achievement award (2012).

Miki Orihara in “The Cry.” (c) Tess Photography. Click to download.

Miki Orihara in “The Cry.” (c) Tess Photography. Click to download.


II - Two Ecstatic Themes (1931)

- Doris Humphrey

Humphrey (1895-1958) is renowned for her groundbreaking choreography and her innate sense of musical ability and form. She began her career early, opening her own dance school in Chicago in 1913 at the age of 18. In 1917, she joined the Denishawn School of Dancing and Related Arts in California and began performing in the United States and Asia.

Humphrey and fellow dancer Charles Weidman left the Denishawn school in 1928 and started the Humphrey-Weidman Company in New York City. Humphrey developed a new style of dance around the principles of fall and recovery, utilizing the body’s potential to travel between the polarities of balance and imbalance.

Central to Humphrey’s approach to dance was her belief in its power to communicate pathos, complexity, and the richness of life through motion and gestures. Her work also reflected current events and concerns, capturing the American spirit.

In 1945, arthritis forced Humphrey to retire from performing, so she joined the José Limón Dance Company in New York as its artistic director. There she choreographed the masterpieces "Day on Earth," "Night Spell," and "Ruins and Visions."

Her various works reflect her mastery of the intricacies of large groups and emphasis of sculptural shapes.

Humphrey's book, The Art of Making Dances, in which she shared her observations and theories on dance and composition, was published after her death and is still used as a guide for fledgling choreographers.


IV - Moon Desert (early 1930’s)

- Konami Ishii

When Konami Ishii was 15, she learned to dance with her brother-in-law Baku Ishii, very important figure in Japanese modern dance, and stepped on the first stage at “Sinking Temple” and “Young Centaur and Nymph” during Baku Ishii’s commemorative tour of Europe in 1922 at the Imperial Theater, Tokyo. At the end of the same year, Baku and Konami performed Japanese Creative Dance in Europe and other countries.

In 1926, Baku and Konami visited the US then back to Japan.   She was a member of the Baku Ishii Dance Poetry Institute, and appeared in the works of Baku Ishii with Sai Sho Ki et al.

Konami left Baku’s studio,  open the Ishii Konami Dance Research Institute independently in 1955, and later devoted herself to dance education at Jiyugaoka, Tokyo.  Leading dance artsts including Momoko Tani, Yuriko (Yuriko Amemiya (Kikuchi)), Akiko Kanda, Ayako Ishii and Noriko Sato studied at this studio.


Miki Orihara in “The Cry.” (c) Tess Photography. Click to download.

Miki Orihara in “The Cry.” (c) Tess Photography. Click to download.


About the Artists

Miki Orihara, Dancer

Miki Orihara is best known for her work as a principal dancer in the Martha Graham Dance Company, for which she earned a Bessie Award in 2010. In addition to performing an extensive range within the Graham repertory, including many of Ms Graham’s signature roles, she has worked closely with the renowned Japanese-American dancer, choreographer and director, Yuriko, preserving her unique approach to the Graham Technique. She has performed with various prominent companies and choreographers including Yuriko, Elisa Monte, Jean Erdman, Mariko Sanjo, Jun Kono(Japan), Buglisi/ Foreman Dance, Twyla Tharp, Stephen Pier, Martha Clarke, Anne Bogart/SITI company, and Robert Wilson. In 2001, she was invited to dance at the New National Theater in Japan. In 2006, she was a guest artist with Pascal Rioult Dance Theater for their France Tour. On Broadway, she appeared in the role of “Eliza”and“Topsy”in the production of “The King & I” directed by Christopher Renshaw, choreographed by Jerome Robbins and Lar Lubovitch. In 2015, she was invited to perform with the Theatre of Yugen’s production of “Mystical Abyss” directed by Yuriko Doi in Denver, CO.

Orihara began her training in Japan at an early age in traditional Fujima Japanese Dance.  She studied at Takata/Yamada Dance Studio in Tokyo. After graduating from Bunka Gakuin high school in Tokyo, she came to New York to study at the Jofferey Ballet School. She then received scholarships to study at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. In 1983 she became one of the original members of the Martha Graham Ensemble and shortly thereafter joined the Martha Graham Dance Company. In 2011, she earned a BA in Dance from SUNY Empire State College.

As a choreographer, Orihara premiered her solo work “Searching Dimensions” in New York in 1995 and later presented “Passage”, “Serious Garden”, and “End of Summer” in NYC and Tokyo. In 2001, she presented an 8 women piece “VOICE” for M’Deux Ballet in Nagoya, Japan followed in 2008 by “Stage”.   She created “Prologue” in 2014, and “Shirabyoshi” is a work she collaborated with Kyogen/Noh actor Tanroh Ishida premiered in 2017.  

Orihara assists master teacher and choreographer Yuriko in her Graham technique classes, reconstructions and choreography. She has also been a guest teacher at UCLA World Arts and Culture Department, Atlanta Ballet, State University of Florida, the Ailey School, Peridance, The Hartt School, Arts International in Moscow with Takako Asakawa, the New National Theater Ballet School in Tokyo, Les Etés de la Danse in Paris, Henny Jurriens Foundation in Amsterdam and numerous other workshops and schools throughout the world. She is currently on faculty at the Hartt School and the Martha Graham School. As a regisseur of Martha Graham’s work, she has been setting works world wide, including Diana Vishneva’s “Dialogue” and for Wendy Whelan of New York City Ballet.

Orihara served as the Movement Designer for Jen Silverman’s “Crane Story” directed by Katherine Kovner and as the Casting Producer/Dance Director for mishmash/Miki Orihara music videos which were released Summer 2014.

With the Japanese filmmaker, Tomoko Mikanagi, Orihara created the film “Broken Memory”. Commissioned by the CORDA foundation for David Rosenmann-Taub, it was featured at Dance on Camera Festival in NYC in 2017. She is in the process of making “ Two Women” with Tomoko.

Orihara released a Martha Graham technique Beginner Level DVD in collaboration with Dance Spotlight and the Martha Graham Center in 2018, and is in process of making Intermediate and Advanced level.

Orihara produced and curated the benefit concert “Dancing for JAPAN 2014”, as well as her first solo concert, “Kyomei-Resonance”, at the La MaMa theater in New York City in May, 2014.  

In April 2017, Orihara was featured in the inaugural performance of “Peace is...”at the United Nations by invitation from the Permanent Mission of Japan. Orihara produced “Dancing for JAPAN 2017”and co-producing “Resonance II” at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, curated and directed the inaugural performance of “NuVu Festival” in 2018.  

Orihara presented the second “NuVu Festival” past week and finally in this “Resonance III”, she is presenting American and Japanese early modern dance works and Yuriko’s work. This will display similarity and comparison in both countries, and Japanese modern dance influenced American modern dance, and display gap between both countries.

Orihara is the recipient for Japan Foundations’ Tour grant for 2018/2019 for “Resonance III”.


Nora Izumi Bartosik, Piano

Described as a “young talent in a class of her own” (Osterländer Volkszeitung), “marvelous… with elegant grace” (Le Dauphine) and “fully in command of her craft” (Harvard Crimson), pianist Nora Bartosik has performed internationally as a soloist and in chamber ensembles in the United States, Germany, Austria, Bahrain, China, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

She has performed in venues including the Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Gesellschaft für Musiktheater in Vienna, the Théâtre de la Ville in Valence, France, and the Casa da Música in Porto, Portugal. She is the winner of the Concours International de Piano Teresa Llacuna (France, 2013) and the Karl Bergemann Sightreading Competition for Pianists (Germany, 2011) as well as the laureate of 3rd prizes at the Premio Silvio Bengali Val Tidone Music Competition (Italy, 2015) and the International Blüthner Piano Competition (Austria, 2013). She has performed with orchestras including the Philharmonic Orchestra Altenburg-Gera, the Harvard Bach Society Orchestra, the Harvard Mozart Society Orchestra and the Harvard Pops Orchestra. She has worked with conductors including Thomas Ades, Stefan Asbury, Aram Demirjian, Gemma New, Akiko Fujimoto and Thomas Wicklein.

Nora Bartosik was invited to perform at the prestigious Tanglewood Festival as a Piano Fellow in the 2018 summer season, where she also appeared in Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music. She has performed in other international festivals including the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Saoû Chante Mozart Festival in Saoû, France, and the Festival des Nuits d’été in Macon, France. Her interest in chamber music and new music has led her to perform at the HARMOS Chamber Music Festival in Porto, Portugal, the Max Reger Forum in Bremen, with the Ensemble for New Music in Leipzig and as a guest artist at the Festival Baltimore. She has also performed regularly as a collaborative pianist, most recently working with the New Camerata Opera in New York City to produce an evening of American vocal music featuring the poetry of Emily Dickinson and to stage Gian Carlo Menotti’s chamber opera The Medium in its version with piano. Beyond her regular performance activities, she has served on the jury of the 2017 Suffolk Piano Teachers Foundation Piano Competition on Long Island and given recitals in Harvard University’s historic Sanders Theater to benefit afterschool arts programs for children in the Boston area. 

Nora Bartosik holds a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Music and German Literature from Harvard University, a Master of Arts and postgraduate diploma in piano performance from the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, and a Konzertexamen (Artist Diploma) degree in solo piano from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig. She also attended the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover upon the invitation of noted piano pedagogue Karl-Heinz Kämmerling. She wrote her undergraduate honors thesis on Swiss Appenzeller folk music, and her master’s thesis with distinction on the performance and interpretation of Maurice Ravel’s Valse Nobles et Sentimentales for piano. She was a two-time recipient of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Fellowship and received scholarships from Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Germany.

Her primary teachers have included Jacques Rouvier in Salzburg, Karl-Heinz Kämmerling in Hannover, Gerald Fauth in Leipzig, Patricia Zander and Robert Levin in Boston, and Jan Jiracek von Arnim in Vienna. She has also performed in masterclasses with artists including Daniel Barenboim, Emmanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, Leon Fleisher, Dmitri Bashkirov, Garrick Ohlsson, Paul Lewis, Peter Serkin, Paul Badura-Skoda, Boris Berman, Alexander Jenner, Arie Vardi, Yoheved Kaplinsky and Menahem Pressler. Nora Bartosik is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance at The Graduate Center, CUNY under the guidance of Professor Ursula Oppens. She is on the faculty at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey.


 

Haru no Yugen Kai

- Kyogen in the Spring -

Theatre of Yugen presents its signature traditional Japanese comedies in English

This spring we present two plays. One, Setsubun (The Eve of Spring), celebrates the annual Japanese festival to welcome in spring by scattering beans to chase away misfortune.  She is left home alone to prepare the traditional beans when she receives a surprise visit from a demon from the Isle of Horai, the island of treasures.  He quickly falls in love with the beautiful woman and tries to seduce her with funny songs and dances from the traditional kyogen repertoire, along with some very lascivious innuendoes.  The play ends with the ceremonial shouting “Fuku wa uchi!  Oni wa soto!” - “In with fortune!  Out with demons!”

The other, Kakiyamabushi (Persimmons and the Mountain Priest), is a classic story of a brash mountain priest who decides to slake his thirst on juicy, juicy stolen persimmons.  He is discovered by the local farmer, who decides to have some fun by “mistaking” the yamabushi for various kinds of animals.  A demonstration of various animal noises and gestures makes this play a true delight.

Directed by Yuriko Doi and Lluis Valls

 
 
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FEATURING:

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Lluis Valls

Lluís Valls (Demon in Setsubun) acts, directs, and writes for the theatre. He has studied Noh with Richard Emmert, Akira Matsui, and Kinue Oshima (Kita school), Kyogen with Yukio Ishida and Yuriko Doi (Izumi school), and Kotsuzumi Noh drum with Mitsuo Kama (Ko school), as well as training in butoh, Suzuki method, and clowning. A graduate of SFSU, Mr. Valls has been a disciple of founder Yuriko Doi since 1993 and served as Theatre of Yugen’s Joint Artistic Director with Jubilith Moore and Libby Zilber from 2002 - 2008. He has worked on dozens of productions at Theatre of Yugen, including Blood Wine, Blood Wedding, (1997), Norton, I (2003), Frankenstein (2003, 2004), The Old Man and The Sea (2005), Moon of the Scarlet Plums (2003, Japan 2005), The Cycle Plays (07/07/07), Mystical Abyss (2012, Denver 2015), Erik Ehn’s Cordelia (2011, NY's La MAMA 2012), Emmett Till, a river (2013), This Lingering Life (2014), and The Red Demon (2016).


Photo by Lisa Keating

Photo by Lisa Keating

Nick Ishimaru

Nick Ishimaru (Woman in Setsubun) received a BA in Performing Arts from Colorado State University (2005), where he directed a kabuki adaptation of Macbeth, and a Masters in Drama from San Francisco State University, (2009). His work explores a combination of Western and traditional Asian performance techniques for original creations, along with work in conventional musical theatre and Shakespeare. Ishimaru has trained in noh and kyōgen with Theatre of Yugen for over seven years, and has studied kabuki, jingju (Beijing Opera), and nihon buyo (traditional Japanese dance) at the University of Hawaii. He has presented his work at the Association for Asian Performance international conference, and taught master classes on noh and kyōgen at both the high school and collegiate level.

In October 2016, he opened his debut as Theatre of Yugen’s Artistic Director, The Red Demon by Noda Hideki. Since then he has directed May Mayhem (2017,) Power Plays (2018), and A Noh Christmas Carol (2017 and 2018). He performs regularly in the Theatre of Yugen’s traditional repertoire as well.


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Fenner

Fenner (Yamabushi in Kakiyamabushi) is a multi-disciplinary artist who enjoys working in ensemble theater. They have appeared on stage with Theatre of Yugen in Power Plays (2018), and as Master of the House in Busu, and with Ragged Wing Ensemble, Naked Empire Bouffon and Marzipanik theater co. Other artistic achievements include pedaling a play across the United States with Agile Rascal bicycle Touring Theater and producing/directing Picasso’s fever dream play Desire Caught by the Tail.


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Meryn Macdougall

Meryn MacDougall (Farmer in Kakiyamabushi) is a Bay Area actress working in the stage, film, voice over, and print fields. She is thrilled to be working with Yugen once again. She wants to thank Nick and the Yugen community for the wonderful training and opportunities they have given her. She would also like to thank her husband and puppy for all the support. www.merynmacdougall.com


Yuriko Doi

Director

Yuriko Doi was born in Tokyo and introduced to the Japanese traditional theater of Noh and Kyogen at an early age. She has earned M.A.s in Drama from Waseda University in Tokyo and from San Francisco State University. She has studied with the most esteemed masters of Kyogen and Noh: Mansaku Nomura, Shiro Nomura and Yukio Ishida in Japan, and in December 2013, she joined Japanese Kyogen Master Yukio Ishida on stage in Tokyo to portray the blind husband in Kawakami (The Kawakami Headwaters), a role she revised in Theatre of Yugen’s SORYA! in 2014.

Ms. Doi founded Theatre of Yugen in San Francisco in 1978 where she has served as its Artistic Director, a teacher and a producer of classical, contemporary and original fusion works of Japanese theater. She has directed many classical Kyogen comedies such as Boshibari, Kakiyamabushi, and Busu. Ms. Doi has worked with playwrights Carol Sorgenfrei, John O’Keefe and Erik Ehn in creating new works such as Blood Wine, Blood Wedding, Crazy Horse, and Moon of the Scarlet Plums, which in 2005 was invited by the Aichi World Expo to perform in Japan, and afterward made a U.S. national tour. She most recently directed Mystical Abyss in September 2012 which will tour to Denver and Fort Collins in September, 2015. Ms. Doi has been a recipient of the CAC individual artist in residency, the NEA Folk Arts Fellowship, the NEA Expansion Arts, the Peninsula Foundation Grant for Individual Artist, Culture Award of Japan, US Citizen Association (Nichi Bei kai) and the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Outstanding Achievement Award in direction (1994) and choreography (2001).

In 2004, Ms. Doi was honored when Theatre of Yugen was recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for “excellence in the pursuit of a more improved understanding of Japan, its culture and its people.”

HELEN

March 28 -April 27, 2019

Fridays 8pm, Saturdays 8pm, Sundays at 1:30pm

Saturday, April 20 & 27 also at 1:30pm


Written by Ellen McLaughlin

directed by Shannon r. davis

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Ellen McLaughlin’s Helen, a modern adaptation of Euripides’ classic, explores beauty, gender, archetypes, societal expectations, and war.

The gods have imprisoned the notorious Helen of Troy in an Egyptian hotel room. For 17 years, she awaits her rescue.

Featuring

Adrian Deane as Helen, LEticia Duarte as Servant, Steven Flores as Menelaus,

Helen wu as Io, Stefani Potter as Athena

Special Events

  • Friday March 29: OPENING NIGHT!

    Ticket includes post-show reception with food and drinks with the cast and crew of Helen

  • Sunday March 31, April 7, April 14: Post-show talkbacks

    In classic Theatre of Yugen fashion, we’ll be hosting talkbacks with select members of the cast and production team following our Sunday matinees. Free for all audiences.

  • Sunday April 21, 4:00: New Beginnings, an Oestara celebration

    Theatre of Yugen is celebrating the Old Ways this year with food, games, and witchy blessings after our last Sunday matinee.

    $5 general admittance or Included with admission to the performance.

    • Egg coloring, to celebrate the return of Spring

    • Face painting for all ages

    • Rune readings with Shannon R. Davis

    • Painted mask making

    • Learn to smudge with sage

    • Planting seeds with love and wishes for the year

  • Saturday April 27, 8 PM: Closing night

    Say goodbye in style with a closing night toast with Theatre of Yugen. Included in admission.


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THE LEGEND

The gods have replaced Helen with a phantom and whisked the real woman away to an Egyptian hotel room to await her judgement or rescue. After seventeen years of solitude, endless routine, and one serious fly infestation, company arrives. Will their stories save her? Can the woman transcend the icon?

Theatre of Yugen’s Helen is foremost a story by, about, and for women.  It makes space for a group of people from traditionally marginalized groups, in the creation of a narrative with a woman/POC/queer-led team: director, assistant director, production assistant, stage manager, and designers.

Director Shannon R. Davis explains, “We’ve intentionally hired an all woman/queer/POC artistic team to create a new vision of an age-old story. For centuries, Helen has had her story told by men, mostly straight white men. McLaughlin wrote an unbelievably witty script, giving authorship back to the women historically scorned. We’ve gone a step further by making the full team ‘non-traditional’ and have taken our dynamic and diverse lived-experiences into account in conceiving the design and feeling of the show. We’re taking an ancient story about women and the duplicitous roles society expects us to play (especially as they pertain to the male gaze), beauty and it’s idolization, and shoving it back in the face of the oppressors… With artful beauty and grace… of course. We want to help empower women to take agency and authorship of their own stories.”

The design and direction teams all identify as women or non-binary, while the cast and crew comprise heavily of indigenous and Native artists. Given the three Native-identifying actors and Native director, this production will weave elements of Native culture into characters and scenarios in the traditionally Greek play. One particular change of interest is Io. In Greek mythology, Io is a young shepherdess that is about to be ravaged by Zeus. Hera catches Zeus about to defile Io, so rather than have Io murdered by Hera, Zeus turns Io into a cow. She is sent to wander the earth, plagued by gadflies that Hera has cursed her with. In Native Lakota Sioux tradition, there is a figure called the white buffalo woman, a messenger, or prophet that transforms into a white buffalo. If a man looks at her with lust, she will turn him to dust. If he reveres and honors her, she shares ancient knowledge, such as how to survive famine, and how to pray and be one with the earth.

In this production, Io is a messenger, a visitor, a refugee, who teaches Helen about herself through stories, Io’s and Helen’s. Mixing these two cross-cultural legends/icons presents an opportunity to tell a Native story through a more familiar lens. As does Menelaus. The actor portraying Menelaus, Steven Flores (Oregon Shakespeare Festival) is Comanche and Mestizo. With the director, he is creating an anachronistic soldier from the Indian American wars, Vietnam War, and the 2 World Wars. As Menelaus is a representation or archetype of soldiers from all wars, he will upend the peaceful Native stereotype, humanizing the archetype further by showing that Natives, too, participated in violence and wars.

Theatre of Yugen’s Artistic Director Nick Ishimaru shares why the company chose Helen for its 40th season on ‘Memory:’ “After conducting an extensive review of its history, accomplishments and future relevance, with the approval of the Board of Directors and the senior staff, Theatre of Yugen will relaunch in 2019. While continuing its unmatched contribution to sustaining and innovating Japanese theatre in the US, the relaunched company will expand its mission to advance multisensory experiences through the design and performance of classic works alongside emergent voices, working interculturally by placing disparate communities into collaboration. To that end, the performances of Helen will formally announce and showcase the expanded performative aspiration of the company, which, in this case, will center LGBTQ+, POCs, and women.”


Cast

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Adrian Deane (Helen) (she/her/hers) - Bay Area-based actor/producer has performed in theatre, short films and features. Recent credits: feature documentary, Breaking the Cycle, about a family’s journey with multiple generations of Huntington’s Disease; and the West Coast premiere of Seen/By Everyone (Yugen).  

Adrian Deane talks about her upcoming role of Helen of Troy at Theatre of Yugen's "Helen" written by Ellen McLaughlin. Directed by Shannon R Davis. March 29th-April 27th, 2019. www.theatreofyugen.org

 
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Leticia Duarte (Servant) (they/them/theirs) - Oakland based Radical Queer/Actor. Chippewa , Mexican-Mestizo, mixed with European Colonizers, African-American mutt. Duarte has performed in theater, film, television, and industrials. Recent credits include; Season 2, episodes 2,3, & 6 of The North Pole Show, Brooklyn Bridge (Townhall Theatre), King of Cuba (Central Works), and The Normal Heart (Theatre Rhinoceros). 

 
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Steven Flores (Menelaus) (he/him/his) - San Francisco-based/Bi-Coastal. Descendant of the Comanche/Mexican-Mestizo bloodline, and Native American medicine worker in study, Seketemaqua/Luke in Manahatta at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Other credits: Last of the Caucasians (The Barrow Group Theater Company, NY) Delusion: The Blood Rite (Haunted Play). Public performance art: The “Universe” in The Invisible Realm Art Show. TV/Film: The Monster Project, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

 
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Helen Wu (Io) (she/her/hers) - San Francisco-based. A Bay Area native, Helen is Chinese-American and fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Helen has studied acting at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and American Conservatory Theater’s Studio A.C.T. Outside of acting, Helen enjoys being a member of the San Francisco Choral Society. Helen is thrilled to be part of the cast of Helen at Theatre of Yugen.

 
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Stefani Potter (Athena) (she/her/hers) - is San Francisco-based. Credits include: Gertie in Oklahoma, Bianca in Othello (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Liesl in The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins (Sierra Repertory Theatre); Trixie in Rocky Horror Picture Show (Merced Playhouse); Lady Larken in Once Upon a Mattress (Gaslight Conservatory). Training: BFA in Performing Arts, SOU.

Meet Stefani Potter from Theatre of Yugen's Helen by Ellen McLaughlin. Directed by Shannon R. Davis. She discusses what it is to play the iconic Goddess, Athena; and what it is to be a woman in today's beauty culture. March 29th-April 27th, 2019. www.theatreofyugen.org


Production Team

Shannon R. Davis (Director) is San Francisco-based, a descendant of the Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Saami people. 2018 Phil Killian Directing Fellow at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Credits: Othello (associate director, American Repertory Theatre); Othello,  Manahatta (assistant director, Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Adulting for Beginners (Musical Café/Ashby Stage); Religomania (Exit Theatre/SF Fringe Festival); Monsters & Wild Things (Brava Theater Center). MFA in Directing/Acting (UW-Madison) & trained with Moscow Art Theatre USA- Harvard.

McKenna Moses (Production Manager/Stage Manager)

Ella Cooley (Sound Design)

Ariel Quenell-Silverstien (Costume Design)

Miranda Waldron (Light Design)

Randy Wong-Westbrooke (Set Consultant)

Miranda Waldron (Light Design)


Production Photos

by Devlin Shand

Theatre of Yugen presents  Helen  by Ellen McLaughlin. Helen (Adrian Deane, right) meets her first visitor in 17 years, former cow, Io (Helen Wu, left), Directed by Shannon R. Davis. Photo by Devlin Shand, Click image to download

Theatre of Yugen presents Helen by Ellen McLaughlin. Helen (Adrian Deane, right) meets her first visitor in 17 years, former cow, Io (Helen Wu, left), Directed by Shannon R. Davis. Photo by Devlin Shand, Click image to download

Theatre of Yugen presents  Helen  by Ellen McLaughlin. Servant (Leticia Duarte, left) goes through the ritual of telling Helen (Adrian Deane, right), a story. Directed by Shannon R. Davis. Photo by Devlin Shand, Click image to download

Theatre of Yugen presents Helen by Ellen McLaughlin. Servant (Leticia Duarte, left) goes through the ritual of telling Helen (Adrian Deane, right), a story. Directed by Shannon R. Davis. Photo by Devlin Shand, Click image to download

Theatre of Yugen presents  Helen  by Ellen McLaughlin. Athena (Stefani Potter, right) relishes the bloodshed of the Trojan War as she smears herself with Helen’s (Adrian Deane, left) makeup. Directed by Shannon R. Davis. Photo by Devlin Shand, Click image to download

Theatre of Yugen presents Helen by Ellen McLaughlin. Athena (Stefani Potter, right) relishes the bloodshed of the Trojan War as she smears herself with Helen’s (Adrian Deane, left) makeup. Directed by Shannon R. Davis. Photo by Devlin Shand, Click image to download

Theatre of Yugen presents  Helen  by Ellen McLaughlin. Helen (Adrian Deane, left) suffers the confusion and bewilderment of her husband Menelaus (Steven Flores, right). Directed by Shannon R. Davis. Photo by Devlin Shand, Click image to download

Theatre of Yugen presents Helen by Ellen McLaughlin. Helen (Adrian Deane, left) suffers the confusion and bewilderment of her husband Menelaus (Steven Flores, right). Directed by Shannon R. Davis. Photo by Devlin Shand, Click image to download


A Sneak Peek

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A Noh Christmas Carol

December 7-30, 2018

“…mysterious, suspenseful and alive with possibility.“

  • Lily Janiak, SF Chronicle

Fridays at 7 PM, Saturdays at 2 PM and 7 PM, Sundays at 4 PM

TICKETS NOW ON SALE!!

$15 student, $35 GEneral Admission, $45 VIP

Industry Preview December 6 @ 7 pm - all tickets $15

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Video by Alex Sinclair

A Noh Christmas Carol returns!

“With a clever production team and skillful cast, Ishimaru has created an evocative version of Dickens’ tale based on a poetic 1993 adaptation, with some familiar dialogue, by Theatre of Yugen founder Yuriko Doi.”

  • Leslie Katz, SF Examiner

Yugen’s beloved adaptation utilizes the traditional Japanese theatre forms of noh, kyōgen, kabuki, and the avant garde dance form butoh to retell the Dickens classic.

The story is transposed to early Meiji era Japan, the parallel period to Victorian England.  Ebezo Sukurooji [Ebenezer Scrooge] receives a visit from his deceased business partner Jakube Mashima [Jacob Marley] warning him to change his miserly ways or be doomed to linger forever as a hungry ghost.  The miraculous interventions of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet-To-Come take Sukurooji on a wondrous journey through time and memory to remind him of a life beyond business and profit.

This powerful story of redemption, with it moments of otherworldly magic and mystery, make for a perfect parallel to classical Noh drama; the living and the ethereal coexist in a delicate and beautiful liminal space that so perfectly evokes Yūgen, or profound grace.

Artistic Director, Nick Ishimaru says, "The world of Noh is unlike anything we get to experience in Western theatre.  It is a liminal space where spirits come and go, and the corporeal interact freely with the phantasmal. As a theatre form, it relies on physicalized conventions to contain this liminal space.  As my teacher Yuriko Doi always says, Noh and Kyogen are about the art of the internal, rather than the external. The word “Yugen” itself describes an ephemeral beauty that is felt, not seen. It is often described in imagery, like a flight of geese appearing and disappearing behind the clouds, or the sun sinking behind a flower-clad hill."

Ishimaru continues, "Utilizing Yugen's signature Japanese theatre styles and vast stock of traditional costumes, we present a visual and musical spectacle that gives new life to this classic Christmas story.  With fresh new designs, reimagined staging, and a powerful ensemble cast of five, A Noh Christmas Carol is a production not to be missed!”


Special Events -

  • December 7th: Opening night reception

Join the cast and crew of A Noh Christmas Carol for an on-stage reception following the opening night performance! Attendance is included with the price of admission. Refreshments will be provided by Arizmendi Bakery, Dandelion Chocolate, and more!

  • Ever Sunday: post-show talk back

    Have thoughts? Questions? We have answers! We live for your feedback! Following every Sunday performance will be an on-stage talk back with the director and select cast members. Stay after the show to ask us your burning questions and learn more about the behind-the-scenes secrets of this miraculous production. Talk backs are free to all audiences.


‘Years of training by the five member cast is evident in every body movement and fan execution.  The haunting chained Mashima is a feat of bare courage!”

  • Karen Carlson, Marinscope Papers

FEATURING:

Photo by Molly Kate Photography

Photo by Molly Kate Photography

Simone Bloch (Sukurooji) is a French-American performer who has danced and acted in numerous shows in the greater Bay Area since 2001. In France, she has performed with various experimental companies, including with the Noh /Kyogen Master Jungi Fuseya. She is also a certified Somatic Movement Educator and teaches French and German.

 
Photo by Kirsten Lara Getchell

Photo by Kirsten Lara Getchell

Zoe Chien (the Men) holds a BFA in Theatre from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.  She originated the role of Angie in Lucy Thurber's play East Coast Curriculum when it premiered in New York City in 2017. Since moving back to California in June, she has been in Elizabeth Flanagan's Frodo Lives with 3Girls Theatre Co, and Besties with Left Coast Theatre Co, as well as the SF Olympians Festival. She is currently in rehearsals for Gary Soto's The Afterlife with SF Youth Theatre. Zoe is thrilled to make her Theatre of Yugen debut. MDT Agency, zoechien.com.  

 
Photo by Joshua Bushueff

Photo by Joshua Bushueff

Steven Flores (Mashima/Kurogo) is a bi-coastal actor recently transferred from Oregon after wrapping Manahatta world premier play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is a descendant of the Comanche, Mexican Mestizo bloodline, and medicine worker in study. Other credits: Last of the Caucasians (The Barrow Group Theater Company, NY) Delusion: The Blood Rite (Haunted Play), Fenton in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Chino in West Side Story, (Marysville Community Auditorium); the Prince in Rumpelstiltskin (The Acting Company, CA). Public performance art: The “Universe” in The Invisible Realm Art Show, The “Skinny Man” in Pikroy Minya Gipsy’s, Blank inBlank” the Slender Man, TV/Film: The Monster Project, It’s Always Sunny. Education: Herbert Berghof Studio,

 
Photo by Tim Blair

Photo by Tim Blair

Mikah Kavita (The Women) is an actress and teaching artist in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Acting for the Stage and Screen from Azusa Pacific University. She is happy to reprise her role as The Women in Theatre of Yugen’s A Noh Christmas Carol. Previous credits include dirty butterfly (Anton’s Well Theater Company), KML Presents Barb (Killing My Lobster), Voices From The Edge (Cultural Odyssey with Rhodessa Jones), Jubilee (B8 Theatre Company). You can find her on Instagram @mikahkavita.

 
Photo by Cynthia Smalley

Photo by Cynthia Smalley

Rachael Richman (the Christmas Ghosts) is an actor, writer, and theater-maker. Recent credits include Man of La Mancha at Custom Made Theatre (Dulcinea), The Speakeasy at the Palace Theatre (Charlotte), and The Brothers Karamazov (Alyosha) in Hudson NY. Past New York area and international credits include: The Public Theater, La Mama, The Whitney Museum, Flea Theatre, HERE Arts Center, New Dramatists, PS 122, Art Farm, Bristol Valley Theatre, and the Art Monastery Project in Italy.


Mashima [Marley] (Steven Flores) haunts Sukurooji [Scrooge] (Simone Bloch). Photo by Shannon Davis.  Download in high res here

Mashima [Marley] (Steven Flores) haunts Sukurooji [Scrooge] (Simone Bloch). Photo by Shannon Davis. Download in high res here

The Ghost of Christmas Past (Rachael Richman) shows Sukurooji [Scrooge] (Simone Bloch) a vision of his youth. Photo by Shannon Davis.  Download in high res here

The Ghost of Christmas Past (Rachael Richman) shows Sukurooji [Scrooge] (Simone Bloch) a vision of his youth. Photo by Shannon Davis. Download in high res here

Mashima {Marley] (Steven Flores) pays his old business partner Sukurooji [Scrooge] (Simone Bloch) a visit. Photo by Shannon Davis.  Download in high res here

Mashima {Marley] (Steven Flores) pays his old business partner Sukurooji [Scrooge] (Simone Bloch) a visit. Photo by Shannon Davis. Download in high res here

Kurando [Cratchit] (Zoe Chien) and his wife (Mikah Kavita) at dinner as Sukurooji [Scrooge] (Simone Bloch) watches happily. Photo by Shannnon Davis.  Download in high res here

Kurando [Cratchit] (Zoe Chien) and his wife (Mikah Kavita) at dinner as Sukurooji [Scrooge] (Simone Bloch) watches happily. Photo by Shannnon Davis. Download in high res here

Mashima [Marley] (Steven Flores) haunts Sukurooji [Scrooge] (Simone Bloch). Photo by Shannon Davis.  Download in high res here

Mashima [Marley] (Steven Flores) haunts Sukurooji [Scrooge] (Simone Bloch). Photo by Shannon Davis. Download in high res here

Mashima [Marley] (Steven Flores) comes back from beyond the grave. Photo by Shannon Davis.  Download in high res here

Mashima [Marley] (Steven Flores) comes back from beyond the grave. Photo by Shannon Davis. Download in high res here

Mashima [Marley] (Steven Flores) comes back from beyond the grave. Photo by Shannon Davis.  Download in high res here

Mashima [Marley] (Steven Flores) comes back from beyond the grave. Photo by Shannon Davis. Download in high res here

 

Seen/By Everyone

West Coast Premiere

Co-Produced with Five on a Match

"Breathtaking ... A surprise" —NEW YORK TIMES

"Powerful ... Compelling" —TALKIN' BROADWAY

October 5-21, 2018

Thursday - Saturday @ 7 pm

Sundays @ 4 pm

Tickets: $15 student, $35 General Admission, $45 VIP

Special $15 Preview Thursday, October 4 @ 7 pm

"Fascinating ... Intriguing" —NEW YORK THEATRE REVIEW


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Seen / By Everyone is a "thought provoking" (OFF OFF LINE) mashup of the uniquely 21st century experience of mourning and moving on in the digital age of social media. Cat videos, photos of ultrasounds, proclamations of loneliness, and the endless gloating of lives well-lived coexist with heartfelt final goodbyes to, now, ghosts in the machine. What does it mean to live, die, grieve, and keep living in the era of over sharing?

Seen / By Everyone is an exploration of death and grieving in the hyper-connected age of social media. The play consists entirely of found text culled from social media. Over two years, thousands of comments and posts pulled from a variety of social media platforms were collaged together. Placed next to each other, they formed conversations, and through this process, distinct voices emerged. The five members of Five on a Match then created a play from these voices, all mourning in their own ways, set in a bar on the banks of the river Styx.

Seen / By Everyone was created as a piece of conventionalized physical performance, deriving movements from images found on Greek pottery. In this West Coast Premier, Theatre of Yugen and Five on a Match will partner to incorporate elements of Noh theater into a new  production because of Noh’s close relationship to the subject matter and desired physicalized performance.  

Seen / By Everyone uses found text to illuminate the intimacy of people’s online revelations and tells a story of how we are now returning to an era, like the Greeks before us, of public mourning. The play explores how this technology has turned all users into chroniclers of their own lives and the lives of others. It also highlights the humor found when there is no barrier between the heartfelt and profound and the banal and crass. A deeply felt remembrance of someone just passed away is butted up against the latest SNL clip-gone-viral. What that culture-mashing moment looks like is played out in real life.

Presenting Seen / By Everyone in San Francisco gives the people who are actively involved in shaping social media platforms a chance to hear the words of the people who use these platforms as a de-facto town square, a place to find connection in an increasingly transient society and raise their awareness of how their products impact society at large.

The San Francisco audience is, perhaps more than any other, uniquely situated to shape the next modes of social media. As the home of Silicon Valley and meeting place of hundreds of unique cultures, the Bay Area is the perfect place to continue refining this story of how we die, grieve and keep on living in the era of the over share. The Bay Area audience is prime because it includes those that are working at Facebook, Twitter, et al and are shaping our lives in ways that are incredibly powerful, but also many for whom social media is their link to a national voice. This production also seeks to explore how social media gives a platform for members of underrepresented communities to engage in a nation-wide dialogue. To engage them, Theatre of Yugen will continue to offer pay-what-you-can nights and reaching out to community organizations to offer free or discounted tickets. In presenting Seen / By Everyone, it will help that very technology become ever more empathetic and truthful to the lives of those that use it.

"Effective ... Fun" —THE REVIEWS HUB


SEEN / BY EVERYONE was originally produced by Five on a Match June 4th–25th, 2016 at HERE Arts Center in New York City, hailed for its "Refreshing curiosity ... Talented actors" —THE HIGHLIGHTER


About the Artists

THE CAST

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ADRIAN DEANE (Maggie)

ADRIAN DEANE is back with Yugen!  After a holiday season run as The Three Spirits in Yugen's "A Noh Christmas Carol" last year, Deane returns, again as a spirit of sorts, which she chooses to take as a compliment from her director as to her stirring spirit-uality.  Deane has also performed with Town Hall Theatre, FaultLine Theater, Role Players Ensemble Theatre, Douglas Morrisson Theatre, most recently with Anton's Well Theater, and others. She will next perform with Indra’s Net for their December production of an original play based on the life of Stephen Hawking (as Jane Wilde Hawking).  Thank you to Five on a Match for working to make sense of fragments of lives as a single story to tell, to Nick and the entire Yugen team for letting this West Coast team try its tongues and bodies at it, and to this cast for socially suffering together for two months. It’s been a hashtag pleasure. www.adriandeane.com.

 
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ALAN COYNE (Art)

This is Alan's first show with Theatre of Yugen. He has previously worked with SF Shakes, Livermore Shakes, BACT, Custom Made, Golden Thread, Lafayette Town Hall Theatre, and most recently, with We Players on Caesar Maximus. He has also written for SF Olympians, ShortLived, and Group Hug. You can see him (and Deane) this December as Dr Stephen Hawking, with Indra's Net Theater at the Berkeley City Club.

 
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ENORMVS MUÑOZ (Writer/Producer/Actor: Bartender)

Credits include This Lingering Life (Theatre of Yugen & Cake), Sidewinders (Cuttingball), The Oskar Trilogy (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley), A Language Of Their Own (Kumu Kahua) and Dogs Body (Theatre of Yugen w/Dah Teatar). He has been performing with Theatre of Yugen snce 2005, is a founding member of Five on a Match, clowns with Fou York, and is a burlesque performer. www.enormvs.com

 
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ANNIKA BERGMAN (Elizabeth)

Annika is thrilled to return to the Theater of Yugen after premiering there last winter in Noh Christmas Carol. She has dabbled in a variety of theater and film work with some favorites being Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, and Bonnie in Bonnie and Clyde. She's honored to help bring this show to life, and is grateful to everyone who made it possible. annikabergman.com

 
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J.J. VAN NAME (Helen)

J.J. Van Name (Helen) Honored to make her West Coast debut with Theatre of Yugen. Performed extensively on East coast including 20 years at Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre: Actress/Text Coach; PEW grants: Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare & Co. Off-Broadway: Sinclaire/SEALED FOR FRESHNESS-New World Stages, Bertie/MOTHER TONGUE-GayFest NYC.  In memory of my nephew Clint.






 
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PAUL RODRIGUES (John)

Paul (Rodrigues) is excited to be joining Theater of Yugen for the first time, and to be working with Nick Ishimaru again, having been directed by him in The Land of Infants in 2009. Previous roles in 2018 include Mark in American Jornalero directed by Tioni Collins with Ubuntu Theater, and Jackson in Champagne directed by LeeAnn Dowd  with 6 New Plays. Up next will be Barbarella with Dreams on the Rocks Productions in December. For more credits and photos, go to rodriguespaul.com and enjoy the show!











 
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STEPHANIE WHIGHAM (Roxy)

Thrilled to be joining Theatre of Yugen for the first time, Stephanie was most recently seen in Mercy Killing at PianoFight. Notable roles include Anna in Closer, Estelle in No Exit, and Cleopatra in Antony & Cleopatra. She is also the graphic designer for Awesome Theatre, Tabard Theatre and San Jose Stage. www.stephaniewhigham.com




 


Production Team:

Nick Ishimaru -- Director: Nick Ishimaru was trained originally as a musical theatre performer and started exploring Japanese theatre while studying at Colorado State University (BA, 2005), where he directed a kabuki adaptation of Macbeth. He went on to study at San Francisco State University, (MA, 2009). His work explores a combination of Western and traditional Asian performance techniques for original creations, along with work in conventional musical theatre and Shakespeare.,His directing work at Theatre of Yugen includes The Red Demon by Noda Hideki, A Noh Christmas Carol, and the Fermentation Laboratory.  Previous directing work includes It Ain’t Me by Claire Rice (original), Land of Infants by Meghan O’Patry (original), and Kaguya (original adaptation).  Other recent production work includes A Minor Cycle by Greg Giovanni (original; actor and fight choreographer), This Lingering Life by Chiori Miyagawa (original; actor), and several traditional kyogen plays with the Theatre of Yugen (actor).

Liz Brent -- Costume Designer: Liz Brent is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator. She specializes in costume design, construction, and wardrobe organization with a decade of experience and a background as a performer.  She is a Colorado native who graduated from CU Boulder and lived in Japan before moving to San Francisco. Her favorite shows include otherworldly elements of the fantastic and mythical. More of Liz’s work can be seen at http://www.lizb.work/

Ella Cooley -- Sound Designer: Ella Cooley is a local theatre-and-music maker and educator. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz (‘13) with a B.A in Theatre Arts and moved to San Francisco shortly thereafter to focus on making music; sound design is a fulfilling way for her to experience both of these worlds at the same time. Ella spends her daytime hours working at Theatre of Yugen as Office Manager and teaching music and theatre to little ones. She recently received a TBA Award for her work on The Winter’s Tale (Ragged Wing Ensemble).

Joshua McDermott -- Scenic Designer: Joshua McDermott was graduated from the University of Hawai'i with a M.A. in Asian Theatre, specializing in the Japanese avant-garde.  He has been working and designing in the bay area since 2005 and is employed as the Technical Director for the performing arts and social justice program at the University of San Francisco, where he is the coordinator of the Tech and Design Certificate.  

Brittany Mellerson -- Lighting Designer: Brittany Mellerson is an East coast native and a graduate of Point Park University’s Conservatory Program – with a BFA in Theatrical Lighting and Sound Design. Brittany is the resident lighting designer for Lamplighters Music Theatre and Master Electrician at The Magic Theatre in San Francisco’s Fort Mason. Recent credits include lighting design for The Gondoliers with Lamplighters, RE: with Tim Rubel Dance, Urinetown with Monta Vista High School and Absolutely Fabulous! With the Royal British Theatre Co. Up Next! : Pirates of Penzance with Lamplighters Music Theatre and lighting design for the 45th Annual Telluride Film Festival.

Eteya Trinidad -- Projection Designer

Written by FIVE ON A MATCH:

Matthew Cohn’s (Writer/Producer) is a New York-based artist. New York: Don Juan Comes Back From The War (Lenfest Center for the Arts); Seen/By Everyone (playwright/performer with Five on a Match, at HERE Arts Center); Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream (New Place Players); The Country Wife (Odyssey Productions); Babette's Feast (The Connelly Theater). Regional: Oslo, A Doll’s House, and The Importance of Being Earnest (Northern Stage); Measure for Measure (Elm Shakespeare); Rhinoceros (Mighty Theater). He is also the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Vox Theater. www.matthewcohn.com

Amir Darvish’s (Writer/Producer) New York Theatre: Seen/By Everyone, This Lingering Life, I Came To Look For You On Tuesday, The (*) Inn, Taxi To Janna, and the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway one-man show: Mercury. 2010 NY Innovative Theatre Award recipient for Outstanding Featured Actor in Psych and a 2009 NY MITF Best Actor Nominee for Higher Education. Film & TV: “Madam Secretary”, “Shades of Blue”, “Person of Interest”, “Bar Karma”, “Running Wilde”,  “Love Magical” and “Month to Month”. www.AmirDarvish.com

Meg MacCary (Writer/Producer) played Queen Isabella in the popular web series The Adventures of Jamel: The Time Traveling B-Boy. Her New York credits include City Girls and Desperadoes with Austin Pendleton (Theater for the New City), This Lingering Life (HERE), Dinner With Friends directed by Pam MacKinnon (Roundabout), I Came To See You On Tuesday (La MaMa), The (*) Inn (Abrons Art Center), The Tempest (Target Margin), Seen / By Everyone (playwright/performer with Five on a Match, at HERE.) She’s performed regionally at the Guthrie and La Jolla Playhouse. She won an Obie Award for her performance in Rinne Groff’s What Then. She plays Blair in Yaara Sumerak's short film American Daddy. Meg co-founded Clubbed Thumb and served as co-artistic director for 13 years. Next up: The Peanut Butter Show with Little Lord. www.megmaccary.com

Jen Taher’s (Writer/Producer) credits include Immersion at NYTW (Emerging director fellow showing), Yvette and the Wild Shame (Signature), Asking for Trouble (EST), Flying Snakes in 3D and Dead People (both at Ice Factory), 9 to 5 - a drag queen version at the Castro Theater, San Francisco, National and International Tour of Chuck Mee's Bobrauschenbergamerica with SitiCo, and La Femme est Morte at PS122 & Edinburgh Fringe (Best Acting Ensemble Award).

 

YIA 2018: Healing Through Art

 
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What Is Yugen In Action?

Yugen In Action is a yearly two-night event that brings together artists from different disciplines to showcase short pieces around a central theme.

This year. we asked six local performers to explore the intersection of art and community. The resulting performance weaves together their poetry, dance, and dialogue, demonstrating that art is made with the intention of building and healing our communities. We invite audiences into this space not only to listen, but to be heard-- each night will be proceeded by a dialogue between audience and performers.

JULY 27th - 28th, 2018
$10 - $30
7pm

 

 

Featured Artists

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The Angel Inside Us All

Sountru, a.k.a Angel

"An intro to an extraordinary and other-worldly being who has landed on earth and begins questioning what makes humans human [...] The probing questions of Angel have always concentrated on drawing on the deep humanity and intelligence of the ordinary SF resident he interviews. Subjects he has covered in the past are love, friendship, soul, and much more. It isn’t just the questions he asked, but his skilled improvisational interaction with his subjects that is revealing of a deep connection to the human heart. He questions, but he also inspires thought in these interactions. The subtle process that Angel guides is usually a surprise to his guests and audience."

Sountru aka Angel has been a performer & resident of San Francisco for 38 years. Sountru has performed 2 shows previously at Yugen under the name: Multi Media Story Band. Sountru honed his improv skills in the early days of Bay Area Theatre Sports (BATS). He also performed in Solo Mio at Fort Mason (so long ago he can’t remember the date). Besides performing, Sountru also enjoys teaching other writers/solo performers to bring their work to the stage. Sountru has showcased his students work at Yugen.

“Through The Golden Gates” (a YouTube series featuring Angel’s heavenly arrival in SF and following him in his transformation from innocent newbie to seasoned talk show host) has been in development for 9 years but has been on hiatus for the past 7 years as Sountru has taken responsibility for his sister’s two children because of her death.

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directed by: Pat Mayo


Pat Mayo, a retired organizational administrator, has always been drawn to the creative worlds of theater, dance, multi-media art, and film. Consistent and intimate exposure to creativity was nurtured through her own family of artists and later in her circle of artistic friends. This creative influence combined with her analytical mind developed a unique eye for artistic expression. She has collaborated with friends in their productions of stand-up comedy, theater pieces, promotional videos, and documentaries. In addition to her direction of Angel (aka Sountru) in this Yugen production and his upcoming TTGG talk show at Yugen, her current collaborative project includes filming, scripting, and production of a documentary of five Japanese-American Bay Area artists honoring their ancestors at Manzanar Internment Camp called “Granddaughters’ Journey: Ephemeral Glimpses From Behind Barbed Wire.”

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Get Uncomfortable
Nicia De'Lovely

Nicia De'Lovely is an Oakland, CA Poetess, Creative, Survivor and Anti-Sexual Abuse Activist. She is the Founder and Director of Nicia De'Lovely Presents, an independent/ grass-root production that creates survivor-based performances for awareness, prevention and healing of sexual abuse. She's creator of the renowned roaming recital "Get Uncomfortable," a provocative survivor-based performance inciting dialogue to end sexual abuse, and "GOD'S: Guiding Our Daughters," a semi-annual concert luncheon for local women in transition. Nicia is the author of three self-published poetry books, has performed on stages nationwide as a soloist and as a leading poet of Oakland's acclaimed anti-sex trafficking/ anti-CSEC performing troupe, "CEREMONY" by Regina Evans, Abolitionist/ Entrepreneur/ Director/ Freedom Writer.

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The Last Omiyage
Judith Kajiwara

Judith Kajiwara is an independent Butoh solo performing artist, choreographer and teacher who lives in Oakland. She began her Butoh career in 1997 with her first solo performance, The Ballad of Machiko, at NOHspace. She is a life-long dancer who teaches Butoh and urban dance classes in the East Bay. In 2013, she formed OnenessButoh, an ensemble of Butoh enthusiasts who regularly train and perform her stage productions. She and OnenessButoh will premiere Ode to Minamata, performed with live taiko drumming, in Spring 2019.

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The Joyce Project
Nan Busse

"The Joyce Project": weaving experiences in heart and sound inspired by the city of Oakland, CA.

Visual artist, dancer, choreographer, sometime musician in the Bay Area for over 20 years, Nan Busse is passionate about the unity of movement and text, improvisation with New Music musicians and the performance/creation of movement scores. Her most recent work, “A sentence is inside itself....” (Best of SFfringe) is a meeting of Gertrude Stein and Samuel Beckett illustrated in music, movement and text. A dancer by trade, M.F.A. from UC-Irvine; proudly based in Oakland, CA.

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Cindy Webster


An admirer of classical music and musical theater, Cindy Webster creates soundscapes using found objects, found sound and effects. She has appeared at San Francisco, Dublin, Zootown and Grass Valley Fringe Festivals, The Diasporas Festival, trees, film. She is happy to be part of “Yugen in Action”.

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Dolores
Nicky Martinez

"Dolores is about Vladimir Nobakov's "Lolita" and how I dissect and analyze the piece of literature and trying to address why it is still classified as a Romance Novel and how that is wrong. I am trying to deconstruct our societal tendencies of perpetuating bad behavior learned from media sources, like sexual abuse and misogyny. Beginning with this well known book of a 40 year old man who falls in love with a 12 year old girl, and how the lens of his perspective warps society to feel sorry for him and believe that he really was in love instead of in lust, and demonize a little girl for "using" him and "breaking his heart". The piece is named Dolores because many people don't know Lolita's real name because of this warped perception. We only hear and see the man's point of view and never the little girl's. So I'm providing a platform for Dolores to finally speak out."

Nicky Martinez is a Program Manager at CounterPulse and a 2016 University of San Francisco graduate of the Performing Arts and Social Justice program for Theater. They are a native Bay Area Latinx genderfluid queer theater arts maker that has experience with playwriting, acting, and directing. They have worked as an actor with these respected theaters: Magic Theater, Z-Space, Dragon Theater, The Imaginists, Bindlestiff, Pianofight, and others. Their playwriting work has been recognized by USF honoring them the Gender Justice award for their work. They enjoy presenting art that deals with difficult issues that usually become silenced in society and uses art to provide a platform and voice for the silenced.

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Bones
Khala Brannigan

"My newest work, Bones, reflects nature itself, accessing the innate wisdom and feminine intuition that lives within our bodies. As a series of solos and duets, this new work aims to identify the inner battles that prevent us from experiencing our wild selves. For me, bones are a symbol of death and rebirth - a research of the soul. Though we may not share the same personal histories in society, bones could symbolize the truth of equality - once we dig deeper, we find that we all share the same matter."

Khala Brannigan, a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico began her training with Moving People Dance Theatre under the direction of Ronn Stewart and Layla Amis. Brannigan is a LINES Ballet Training Program alumna of 2011-2013 and and since graduating, she founded Brannigan Dance Works. As a choreographer, Brannigan has formerly collaborated with local opera singers, musicians, visual artists, video designers and more. Her work has been included in West Wave Dance Festival, Summer Performance Festival, San Francisco Dance Film Festival and SF International Arts Festival. As a dancer, Brannigan is currently working with Robert Moses’ Kin.

Are you ready to resist?

 
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Unity Through Community

May 4 - 13, 2018

Fridays and Saturdays at 7

Sundays at 4

Approx. 2 hours, with one intermission and one brief interlude.

Stand up and act out

May Mayhem returns this year with Power Plays.  Theatre of Yugen is deeply indebted to the history of civil rights, community, and social justice that the current President and his administration are so flagrantly disregarding.  So we’re fighting back with our favorite weapon: satire.

Kyōgen satirizes those in power, revealing them to be no better (or sometimes even worse!) than the common man.  Theatre of Yugen is excited to present two classic kyōgen plays, A Religious Dispute and Wrestling With a Mosquito, and premiere two contemporary kyōgen adaptations, Those Mushrooms and All Wrecked Up.


THE CLASSICS

A Religious Dispute features two traveling priests, both on their way home to the capital from sacred pilgrimages.  When they meet on the road, they decide to travel home together. But not all is as it seems! They soon discover that they are from rivaling Buddhist sects and end up engaged in a convoluted philosophical debate, each trying to prove their theology more profound and appealing that then other.

With Lluis Valls, Nick Ishimaru, Ryan Marchand, and Sara Matsui-Colby

Directed by Yuriko Doi

 

Wrestling With a Mosquito finds a samurai lord in want of new servants for his retinue.  His loyal retainer goes and brings back the spirit of a man-sized mosquito by mistake!  The samurai lord, eager to demonstrate his grandeur, unwittingly challenges the blood-thirsty mosquito to a wrestling match.  Who will win in this struggle of two ridiculous titans?

With Ryan Marchand, Nick Ishimaru, Sara Matsui-Colby, and Lluis Valls

Directed by Yuriko Doi


NEW ORIGINALS

Those Mushrooms, adapted by the cast, presents a story of unity and resistance in the face of a bafoonish leader.  A down-on-his-luck small town American goes to the White House to ask the President how he will live up to his campaign promises.  The President tells him that the root of his problem is really those strange and unusual “mushrooms” that no one seems to be able to get rid of, and promises to do something about it.

                                                                                 With Fenner, Nick Ishimaru, Virginia Blanco, Sara Matsui-Colby, Chris Petallano, Ryan Marchand, and Meryn MacDougall

Directed by Nick Ishimaru

Playing on the modern app-based “sharing economy” and delusions of Reefer Madness is All Wrecked Up, adapted by Sheila Berotti and the cast.  When a party hostess needs to hold a party to out party all parties, who can she turn to but her favorite delivery boy?  Offering a of under-the-table “green” compensation for an off-the-record job, the two quickly find that just because you have money, doesn’t mean you have a clue.

With Ryan Marchand and Meryn MacDougall

Directed by Nick Ishimaru

 

Akira Kurosawa Film Series

Brimming with action while incisively examining the nature of truth, "Rashomon" is perhaps the finest film ever to investigate the philosophy of justice.

Through an ingenious use of camera and flashbacks, Kurosawa reveals the complexities of human nature as four people recount different versions of the story of a man's murder and the rape of his wife.
 

Join us before the screening for an interview with Theatre of Yugen's founder, Yuriko Doi, on her experience directing Rashomon at TheatreWorks. It is a conversation not to be missed!


Doors at 6pm.

OTHER FILMS IN THIS SERIES

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PAST:
yojimbo (1961) - 4/21/18

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Prior to the film, our Artistic Director Nick Ishimaru presented a lecture on the conflict of giri and ninjo, "duty" and "human feelings," that form a central theme in Edo-period drama.

Past:
ran (1985) - 2/17/18

At the age of seventy, after years of consolidating his empire, the Great Lord Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsuya Nakadai) decides to abdicate and divide his domain amongst his three sons. Taro (Akira Terao), the eldest, will rule. Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu), his second son, and Saburo (Daisuke Ryu) will take command of the Second and Third Castles but are expected to obey and support their elder brother. Saburo defies the pledge of obedience and is banished.

Past:
Throne of blood (1957) - 10/28/17

Returning to their lord's castle, samurai warriors Washizu (Toshirô Mifune) and Miki (Minoru Chiaki) are waylaid by a spirit who predicts their futures. When the first part of the spirit's prophecy comes true, Washizu's scheming wife, Asaji (Isuzu Yamada), presses him to speed up the rest of the spirit's prophecy by murdering his lord and usurping his place. Director Akira Kurosawa's resetting of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" in feudal Japan is one of his most acclaimed films.

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a communal experience in the round

December 30 @ 4 p

December 31 @ 2 p

 

The Fermentation Symposium is the culmination of the year-long NEA supported “The Fermentation Laboratory,” an exploratory process that seeks to combine the aesthetics of food with the aesthetics of live performance.  

Capitalizing on the opportunity to collaborate with top artistic, culinary, and scientific talents, we have develop a multi-sensual performance combining food and performing arts that brings to mind the aesthetic quality of yugen – an indescribable beauty that is perceived with our deepest senses.

The result is a unique performance collaboration between Theatre of Yugen Artistic Director Nick Ishimaru, U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network’s Kyoko Yoshida, AEDAN Fermented Foods chefs Mariko Grady and Eri Shimizu, Dr. Carol A. Ishimaru, Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota St. Paul and an expert in microbial education and teaching science through performance, Bay Area-based contemporary dance artists Megan and Shannon Kurashige of Sharp & Fine dance company, and Shinichi Iova-Koga of inkBoat dance company.

The project is inspired by the many ways fermentation influences Japanese cuisine - sake, soy sauce, miso - and the mysterious ways the uniquely Japanese organism Koji is key to fermentation and to biological processes.

We asked each artist to find something about a dish for the evening that inspired them and create a performance that brought that inspiration to life.  In turn, disparate forms of performance have been brought together and served alongside the dishes that inspired them, creating a truly total theatrical experience using all five senses.  

With these distinguished talents from different disciplines, Theatre of Yugen will develop a new theatrical event where theater and food intertwine to evoke a deep inner fulfillment. The 2017 Fermentation Lab research and development have been taking place throughout the year for the chefs and artists to inspire each other and develop ideas.  The outcome will be shared with the public as a “Fermentation Symposium” on December 30th and 31st at NOHSpace.  We have devised material for an immersive dining experience that uses the intersections of food and taste with theatre, text, music and dance as the foundations for crafting a new kind of live performance and culinary event.

Mariko Grady (founder/chef) and Eri Shimizu (chef/culinary event manager) of AEDAN, renowned specialists of fermentation food in the Bay Area will lead the culinary direction of the 2017 Fermentation Lab and the public presentation event titled “Fermentation Lab Symposium”.

The company has also invited Dr. Carol Ishimaru to San Francisco to share her knowledge as an expert in plant biology and her experience bridging the divide between science and communication.

In September, we had a smaller work-in-progress showing of the Lab, titled “Fermentation: A Tasting & Performance” as part of the development process for the “Symposium” event.   Megan and Shannon Kurashige with three additional members of their dance company, Sharp & Fine, collaborated for the first time with local koto master Shoko Hikage, while Eri Shimizu served sample portion of delicacies using fermented food products.  The tasting event was extremely informative for the culmination event which will be joined by Shinichi Iova-Koga, renowned Bay Area performance artist, Nick Ishimaru of Theatre of Yugen, and by Mariko Grady as MC.

 

Ready to dine with us?


The Menu

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Tofu Datemaki

One of the traditional Japanese New Year food, made with egg and fish, but I arrange the recipe using Amazake and Shiokoji Tofu

 

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Kabura-sushi

Turnip and salmon Koji pickles. Traditional winter food in Ishikawa Prefecture, Middle Northern Part of Japan, using Koji and big turnip and ferment for days. The red and white color mean celebration

 

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Shiokoji-chicken with root vegetables

Another staple of New Year Dish in Japan, called "Yahata-maki, or Yawata-maki". Burdock and carrots rolled in fish and meat. Burdock represent long and healthy life and prosperity

 

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Miso Dengaku

Tofu or simmered daikon with miso sauce. Dengaku is name of a dish but also the name of dance which used to perform at rice planting time wishing good crops

 

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O-zouni

Mochi soup. There are various kind of Zouni in Japan depend on region. For Fermentation Lab, I'm planning to make Kyoto Style Zouni with Aedan's Kyoto Sweet Miso. It has a kind of milky, rich, sweet flavor

 

Kuromame and Amazake Dessert

Sweet Black beans is one of the three inevitable dish for Japanese New Year. I'm thinking to make 2 layer dessert with Kuromame and Amazake, black and white

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The People

Photo by Lisa Keating

Photo by Lisa Keating

Nick Ishimaru

(Director/Performer) was trained originally as a musical theatre performer and started exploring Japanese theatre while studying at Colorado State University (BA, 2005), where he directed a kabuki adaptation of Macbeth. He went on to study at San Francisco State University, (MA, 2009). His work explores a combination of Western and traditional Asian performance techniques for original creations, along with work in conventional musical theatre and Shakespeare.  Ishimaru has trained in noh and kyōgen with Theatre of Yugen for over seven years, has studied kabuki and jingju (Beijing Opera), and nihon buyo (traditional Japanese dance) at the University of Hawaii.  He has presented his work at the Association for Asian Performance international conference, and taught master classes on noh and kyōgen at both the high school and collegiate level.  

 

 

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Kyoko Yoshida

(Co-Director/Production Manager), director and founder of U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network (CTN), has served the performing arts field for over 30 years as a presenter, producer and consultant, with a focus on artistic and cultural exchange between the U.S. and Japan.  Since 2011, she has been working with National Performance Network and Visual Artists Network as a staff consultant for its Japan program. Based in San Francisco since 2007, she also designs and manages selected programs with Theatre of Yugen.

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Mariko grady

(Chef/Performer) performed as a lead actress and voice artist of Pappa TARAHUMARA, a performance company based in Tokyo, for 30 years. She moved to San Francisco in 2000. Immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Mariko started to sell her home-made fermented foods to raise funds for the victims. Mariko joined the incubator kitchen program at La Cocina in May 2012 and founded AEDAN Fermented Foods. She frequently conducts various educational workshops about her products.

Eri Shimizu

(Chef) is Event & Catering Manager at AEDAN Fermented Foods. She also works with Delica at Ferry Building Market Place and Bon nene in Mission, developing their menu. Eri graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2016. She is a certified International Health Food Master in Traditional Chinese Medicinal Cuisine, a holistic cooking theory based on the Eastern Yin-Yan philosophy, and organizes educational workshops. She is also a food and travel writer for Japanese magazines. 

Photo by Megumi Konishi

Photo by Megumi Konishi

Photo by Benjamin Hersh

Photo by Benjamin Hersh

 MEGAN KURASHIGE

(Performer) co-founded SHARP & FINE (S&F) in 2011. She also performs with Liss Fain Dance, where she has been a company member since 2010. She has previously worked with choreographers Christian Burns (burnsWORK), Alex Ketley (The Foundry), and Amy Seiwert, and performed with Ballet Pacifica and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal. She studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the direction of Summer Lee Rhatigan and the Academy of Ballet under the direction of Richard Gibson. She is also a writer. Her short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies and she is a 2008 graduate of the Clarion Writers' Workshop at UCSD.

SHANNON KURASHIGE

(Performer) co-founded S&F in 2011. She has also performed with Liss Fain Dance since joining the company in 2010, and previously worked with Christian Burns (burnsWORK), Alex Ketley (The Foundry), and Amy Seiwert. Shannon attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied under Melissa Hayden, and graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in biology. She also received extensive training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the tutelage of Summer Lee Rhatigan. Shannon is also an artist and freelance graphic designer.

Photo by Benjamin Hersh

Photo by Benjamin Hersh

Photo by Surabhi Saraf

Photo by Surabhi Saraf

SHINICHI IOVA-KOGA

(Performer) has co-directed works with Anna Halprin, Ko Murobushi, Sten Rudstrøm, Yuko Kaseki, Takuya Ishide and KT Nelson(ODC).  He has co-created performances with with music groups Rova Saxophone Quartet and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum.  As a guest Director, he has worked with AXIS Dance Company.  As a dancer, he has worked as a member of the Russian Dance Theater company Do Theatre, Butoh/installation art based TEN PEN CHii in Germany with Yumiko Yoshioka, Hiroko and Koichi Tamano’s Harupin Ha, and Larry Reed’s Shadowlight Theater.  Shinichi has been teaching dance composition at Mills College since 2009. He was named one of the “25 to watch” in 2008 by Dance Magazine and awarded a “Goldie” award by the SF Bay Guardian in 2007.

Photo by Dave Hansen

Photo by Dave Hansen

Carol A. Ishimaru

(Science Consultant) received her B.S. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University and is now a Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul. She has been the Chair of the Department, President of the American Phytopathological Society, received an Emmy Award for her documentary work on the wheat rust pathogen, and has been awarded the title of Fellow of APS, the highest honor in her field in the nation.  Her plenary session “Communicating Science” at the APS Annual Meeting in 2013 demonstrated how simply describing plant pathology through performance can have a profound impact on understanding science in the public realm.

 

 

 

miwa kaneko

(Production Assistant) has worked in the arts and entertainment field in a variety of roles. As a tango dancer, she performed in the Off-Broadway show Let’s Speak Tango. At the John Gore Organization, she then facilitated Japan tours of Broadway musicals, including A Chorus Line and Dreamgirls. As a project manager at Gorgeous Entertainment, she most recently worked for Japan Day @ Central ParkKafka on the Shore at Lincoln Center Festival, and Prince of Broadway. She holds a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.


The Companies

AEDAN Fermentation Foods:               

Aedan brings Japanese fermented foods that are essential to flavor and health of every traditional Japanese meal to your table. We hand craft these foods in small batch, bringing you the foundation you need to craft fresh, healthful meals for you and your family.

Our cornerstone product is hand-crafted fresh koji (Aspergillus oryzae) Koji is a natural, enzyme rich ingredient that is the starter to make miso, soy sauce, sake, shochu, mirin and vinegar. Using Aeden’s fresh handmade Koji and Koji projects you can craft numerous nourishing meals loaded with Umami.

Our goal is help you create harmony in your family, body, taste and environment by sharing these Japanese traditional products to an American market. We hope to do this in the following way.

  • Harmony for the family table

Provide ingredients that are low maintenance, easy way to infuse flavor and healthy into every dish you feed your family.

  • Harmony for your body

Build strong immune system and prevent food allergies by helping the digestive system with probiotics in fermented foods. Using Koji also lowers your salt intake, as you can use 50% less salt to get the same flavor.

  • Harmony for Taste

Koji is a super effective natural marinade for tenderizing and enhancing meats, and the secret ingredient to bring out the umami taste in meats and fish.

  • Harmony for environment

The fermented nature of the products provide easy food preservation without refrigeration! The natural ingredients and simple production process of Koji is gentle to the environment.

 

Sharp & Fine's PETER AND THE WOLF Choreography & direction: Megan Kurashige & Shannon Kurashige New composition & musical direction: Theo Padouvas Created in collaboration with the cast and with inspiration from Sergei Prokofiev Premiere: October 2014, ODC Theater, San Francisco Cast: Marissa Brown, Katharine Hawthorne, Max Judelson, Megan Kurashige, Shannon Kurashige, Joshua Marshall, Theo Padouvas, Aram Shelton, Carson Stein

Sharp & Fine:     

Sharp & Fine is a San Francisco based contemporary dance company founded in 2011 by sisters Megan Kurashige and Shannon Kurashige. We create performance work that brings together physically exacting choreography, structured improvisation, emotionally nuanced text, and live music to explore the power of theatrical narrative within the context of dance. Our choreography is informed by both the technical rigor of ballet and the human intensity of contemporary forms.

Sharp & Fine has been a company in residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dancesince 2012. Both Megan and Shannon are alumnae of SFCD and continue to take regular classes there. SFCD provides extraordinary, multi-disciplinary training rooted in classical ballet and the development of contemporary movement for serious dancers through a year-round program and summer intensives. SFCD is directed by Summer Lee Rhatigan and engages a faculty of outstanding educators.

 

inkBoat:                       

inkBoat is a physical theatre and dance company founded by Shinichi Iova-Koga in 1998. The company performs in theaters and site specific locations. Repertory and research integrate the interplay of multiple artistic disciplines and viewpoints, both experimental and traditional, resulting in original performance compositions. Themes and subjects arise from meticulous examination of everyday life, with primary content arising from the body, resulting in both refined and raw expressions.

We derive inspiration from working in wild, natural settings and urban existence.

inkBoat has been awarded 5 Isadora Duncan Awards (Izzies): 2015’s “95 Rituals” received a Special Award; 2011’s “Line Between” received Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design;

"Crazy Cloud" and "Line Between" http://www.inkboat.com

2008’s “c(H)ord” received Outstanding Achievement in Company Performance;  2004’s “Ame to Ame” received Outstanding Achievement in Company Performance; and 2003’s “Heavens’ Radio” received Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design.

inkBoat has been presented by numerous venues, including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF), ODC Theater (SF), Japan Society (NY), Red Cat (LA), Southern Theater (MN), University of California (Riverside) Painted Bride (Philadelphia), Vancouver Dance Festival, Dock 11(Berlin), Fabrik Potsdam(Germany), Schloss Bröllin(Germany), Kunsthaus Graz (Austria), Divadlo Disc (Prague), Plan B (Tokyo) and Die Pratze (Tokyo).

 

U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network:      

U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network (CTN) was founded as an international project of Arts Midwest, headquartered in Minneapolis, MN in 2001 with its mission to provide leadership, vision, information and support to enhance cultural trade between the U.S. and Japan. After its successful and productive operation of five years in the Midwest, CTN relocated to the Pacific-rim city of San Francisco in 2006 and became an independent nonprofit organization.

In the Bay Area, CTN presented a number of Japanese artists including Mansaku-no-Kai (2012), Ko Murobushi in collaboration with inkBoat (2012-13), Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project (2015), and SCARABE (2016) as part of San Francisco International Arts Festival (www.sfiaf.org). CTN also co-presented/collaborated with Theatre of Yugen on “Mystical Abyss” in 2012, “Crazy for Words” project in 2015, and “The Fermentation Lab” in 2015-2017.

Beside presentations and productions, CTN specializes in building knowledge in the professional community and creating long-lasting working relationships between and among field colleagues.  In this capacity, CTN has led more than a dozen delegation trips by American arts professionals to Japan and by their Japanese counterparts to the U.S. Over 120 performing and visual arts professionals have participated in and benefitted from the research and presentation trips organized by CTN to date.  CTN Director, Kyoko Yoshdia, has been working as Project Director/Consultant for the U.S.-Japan Connection, an international program of the National Performance Network and Visual Artists Network (npnweb.org), headquartered in New Orleans, LA since 2011.

The Fermentation Lab:
A Tasting And Performance

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"The Fermentation Lab: A Tasting And Performance" imagines a new kind of theatrical experience.

Once you share a meal with someone, you consume the same organisms and forever have something in common.

With generous support from the National Endowment of the Arts, Theatre of Yugen in cooperation with the U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network has spent the past year bringing together artists from a wide range of fields from microbiology to modern dance in a project titled "The Fermentation Lab." 

The Lab is inspired by the shared aesthetics between skilled performers and master chefs.  Is the beauty of food not an art in and of itself?  Like the process of fermentation, the Lab is powered by the esoteric and unseen microbial world of chemical transformation.  In that unseen, internal world, lingers the sublime.  Where there is the sublime, there is yugen.  

Participants initially gathered in December of 2016, in a small communal gathering with AEDAN Team Captain Mariko Grady to make and prepare miso, which has been fermenting all year long.  From that moment of shared inspiration, the artists branched off and grew in their own directions, ruminating on everything from the chemical processes involved in transforming one substance into another, to methods for imparting knowledge of science and nutrition to the community, to pondering how to express tastes through sound and movement.


September 16th, 2017, 7 PM

marks the first public exhibition of these combined efforts.

Our honored guests will be served visual and aural delights created by master performers Shoko Hikage and the sister duo Sharp and Fine. Paired with these are petite culinary delights created by Eri Shimizu of AEDAN Fermented Foods, which serve as the inspiration for each moment, creating a total sensory experience that combines the aesthetics of food and performance.  

$40 General Admission gets you a reservation.  $50 VIP tickets get you free drinks from Theatre of Yugen's well-stocked concessions all night.  $20 Student tickets are available as well with a photo ID.  And as a special treat, AEDAN Fermented Foods is selling their unique bento boxes for $15!  Reserve yours through the box office!

Moving beyond mere dinner theatre, The Lab will use the opportunity to sit and eat together to create a new understanding of community and shared experience for theatre-goers.


The Artists

Shannon Kurashige co-founded S&F in 2011. She has also performed with Liss Fain Dance since joining the company in 2010, and previously worked with Christian Burns (burnsWORK), Alex Ketley (The Foundry), and Amy Seiwert. Shannon attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied under Melissa Hayden, and graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in biology. She also received extensive training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the tutelage of Summer Lee Rhatigan. Shannon is also an artist and freelance graphic designer.

Megan Kurashige co-founded SHARP & FINE (S&F) in 2011. She also performs with Liss Fain Dance, where she has been a company member since 2010. She has previously worked with choreographers Christian Burns (burnsWORK), Alex Ketley (The Foundry), and Amy Seiwert, and performed with Ballet Pacifica and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal. She studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the direction of Summer Lee Rhatigan and the Academy of Ballet under the direction of Richard Gibson. She is also a writer. Her short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies and she is a 2008 graduate of the Clarion Writers' Workshop at UCSD.

Shoko Hikage is a koto (Japanese zither) player who resides in the San Francisco, where she continues to pursue her music. Her first teacher was Chizuga Kimura of the Ikuta-ryu Sokyoku Seigen Kai in Akita Prefecture, Japan. From 1985, she received special training from the Iemoto (Grand Master) Seiga Adachi. In 1988, Hikage graduated from Takasaki College with a major in koto music. She was then accepted as a special research student at the Sawai Koto Institute under Tadao and Kazue Sawai.

Eri Shimizu is Event & Catering Manager at AEDAN Fermented Foods. She also works with Delica at Ferry Building Market Place and Bon nene in Mission, developing their menu. Eri graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2016. She is a certified International Health Food Master in Traditional Chinese Medicinal Cuisine, a holistic cooking theory based on the Eastern Yin-Yan philosophy, and organizes educational workshops. She is also a food and travel writer for Japanese magazines.

Mariko Grady performed as a lead actress and voice artist of Pappa TARAHUMARA, a performance company based in Tokyo, for 30 years. She moved to San Francisco in 2000. Immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Mariko started to sell her home-made fermented foods to raise funds for the victims. Mariko joined the incubator kitchen program at La Cocina in May 2012 and founded AEDAN Fermented Foods. She frequently conducts various educational workshops about her products.

 

Production Team

Kyoko Yoshida (Production Manger), director and founder of U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network (CTN), has served the performing arts field for over 30 years as a presenter, producer and consultant, with a focus on artistic and cultural exchange between the U.S. and Japan.  Since 2011, she has been working with National Performance Network and Visual Artists Network as a staff consultant for its Japan program. Based in San Francisco since 2007, she also designs and manages selected programs with Theatre of Yugen.

Nick Ishimaru (Director) was trained originally as a musical theatre performer and started exploring Japanese theatre while studying at Colorado State University (BA, 2005), where he directed a kabuki adaptation of Macbeth. He went on to study at San Francisco State University, (MA, 2009). His work explores a combination of Western and traditional Asian performance techniques for original creations, along with work in conventional musical theatre and Shakespeare.  Ishimaru has trained in noh and kyōgen with Theatre of Yugen for over seven years, has studied kabuki and jingju (Beijing Opera), and nihon buyo (traditional Japanese dance) at the University of Hawaii.  He has presented his work at the Association for Asian Performance international conference, and taught master classes on noh and kyōgen at both the high school and collegiate level.

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Friday May 26th and Saturday May 27th

A night of comedy, fusion, and confusion!  

As part of our year-long Fermentation Laboratory, we're cooking up something special!

Theatre of Yugen is looking at what happens when you take something old and something new and mix 'em together

NUKEGARA

We begin the evening with the English-language premiere of the classic kyogen play Nukegara (The Demon’s Shell).

In this play, a cross between a buddy comedy and a comedy of manners, banquets have become all the rage.  So the Master of the House asks his best servant Taro to secure some fish for a feast.  But before Taro can leave the house, they have to share a toast or two. After all, only the best sake can go with the freshest fish!  Hi-jinks ensue as the Master teaches Taro the value of holding your liquor.

Director - Yuriko Doi

Taro-kaja - Lluis Valls

Master - Nick Ishimaru

TOMORROW'S SOUND

Closing out the evening will be a workshop excerpt from a brand new play, Tomorrow’s Sound, a meditation on the ephemeral nature of sound and time, written and composed by Zhoushu Herakleitos Ziporyn.

Utanojo is a traveler from far away who has settled in a remote village after finding the woman of his dreams, Mie.  The village has begun to suffer from some mysterious ailment that no one can find a cure to.  As Utanojo searches for a way to help his new-found home, the God of Sound decides to pay him a visit, offering the cure in a Faustian bargain.  Performance techniques from kyogen, noh, and kabuki infuse the piece, set against a completely original soundscape.

Directors - Nick Ishimaru and Zhoushu Herakleitos Ziporyn

Utanojo - Ryan Marchand

Mie - Meryn MacDougall

God of Sound - Lluis Valls

Utainin/Villagers - Ben Baker and Nick Ishimaru

Spring Celebration: Alchemy

 

Theatre of Yugen is pleased to host our celebrated donors and patrons for a night of transformative magic!  Join us for a night of food, drinks, and a silent auction.  The evening will include a kyōgen presentation by the newest students of Theatre of Yugen.

“Alchemy” is grounded in the five Daoist elements of Fire, Water, Earth, Wood and Metal, called “gogyō” (五行) in Japanese, reflecting the accretive and adaptive nature of Japanese culture.  Theatre of Yugen bares the hallmarks of this adaptive process and honors those origins through its work.

We will be presenting our newest artistic collaborators in a performance of The Owl and the Mountain Priest, celebrating Theatre of Yugen’s tradition of synthesizing kyōgen in English.  Further highlighting that synthesis, our artists will be presenting segments of their own work, demonstrating the wide variety of skills Theatre of Yugen enjoys working with.

The menu aligns with the five elemental flavors of sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy, created from a mix of traditional Japanese and contemporary Californian ingredients to create new fusion food.

Finally, the evening caps off with both a silent and a live auction. Items include tickets to other theatres, music from a range of thrilling musicians, and fabulous excursions with glamorous guests!

Given the current political climate, our grant funding from the National Endowment of the Arts and other critical sources is in peril. In order to continue to provide quality performances and educational outreach we are actively reaching out to broaden our donor base-- and hope we can welcome you and your friends into the Yugen family.

We've set a base goal that will help us succeed in this current year, and are setting up some exciting stretch goals that will allow us to provide more programming in 2017 and 2018.

Your financial support provides crucial funds to a small theater with a big mission that often operates on a shoestring budget (our current printer uses chopsticks because there is no paper tray). Thank you for your generosity as we enter our 38th season-- we look forward to seeing you at "Alchemy"!

 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAWRENCE RICKFORD - ALL IMAGES PROPERTY OF THEATRE OF YUGEN

 

THE RED DEMON

written by Hideki Noda and translated by Roger Pulvers

directed by Nick Ishimaru

Hideki Noda's The Red Demon tells the story of a creature who washes up on the shore of a small beach town.  Reddened from long exposure to the elements and seemingly unable to speak a human language, the residents of the town immediately label him a demon, come from the sea to eat them.  The Demon's lone advocate is an outcast known only as That Woman, who sees in the Red Demon a mirror image of her own rejection.  Together with her simple-minded brother Tombi, and an amorous suitor, Mizukane, their journey of discovery illuminates humanity's behavior in moments of intercultural conflict, focusing on racist fears of immigration and society's struggle with intolerance. 

Through satire, wordplay, wit, and a shocking surprise ending, The Red Demon asks this central question:

How do we identify humanity, in both ourselves and others?

 

Show Information

at NOHspace, 2840 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, 94110

OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 13, 2016

 

 

TICKET PRICES

$20 GENERAL ADMISSION; $18 STUDENT ADMISSION

$25 FOR "DEMON ENTHUSIASTS" - INCLUDES A FREE DRINK!

$15 ADMISSION FOR OCTOBER 27 PREVIEW

 

 

SHOW TIMES

Preview - Thursday, October 27 at 8pm

OPENING NIGHT!    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28 AT 8PM

Saturday, October 29 at 8pm    |    Sunday, October 30 at 5pm

 

Thursday, November 3 at 8pm    |     Friday, November 4 at 8pm    |    Saturday, November 5 at 8pm

 

Friday, November 11 at 8pm    |    Saturday, November 12 at 8pm    |    Sunday, November 13 at 5pm

 


Creative Team

PRODUCTION TEAM

Liz Brent - Costume Designer

Allie Khori - Production Manager

Zach Kopciak - Dramaturg

Yusuke Soi - Scenic Designer & Properties Master

Kevin Sweetser - Sound Designer

Maximilian Urruzmendi - Lighting Designer

 

CAST

 

Ayelet Firstenberg - That Woman

Steven Ho - Tombi

Norman Muñoz - Mizukane

Lluís Valls - The Red Demon

 

Director Nick Ishimaru

Nick Ishimaru, Project Director and Theatre of Yugen’s current Interim Artistic Director Nick Ishimaru (San Francisco) was trained originally as a musical theatre performer and started exploring Japanese theatre while studying at Colorado State University (BA, 2005), where he directed a kabuki adaptation of MacBeth. He went on to study at San Francisco State University, (MA, 2009) and pursued additional graduate work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  Ishimaru lives in San Francisco where he is a director and performer. His performances include works with AMP (2008 - 2009), San Francisco State University, Theatre of Yugen and the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus. Ishimaru's work explores a combination of Western and traditional Asian performance techniques for original creations, along with work in conventional musical theatre and Shakespeare. Previous directing work includes Assassins by Stephen Sondheim, It Ain’t Me by Claire Rice (original), Land of Infants by Meghan O’Patry (original), and Kaguya (original adaptation). Other recent production work includes A Minor Cycle by Greg Giovanni (original; actor and fight choreographer), This Lingering Life by Chiori Miyagawa (original; actor), and several traditional kyogen plays with the Theatre of Yugen (actor).

 

Cast Members

 

Ayelet Firstenberg "That WomaN"

Ayelet Firstenberg recently moved to Berkeley from NYC where she performed off-Broadway with Vital Theatre and worked with Manhattan Rep, NAAP, White Plains PAC, Write Act Rep, and Your Name Here. In Los Angeles she has worked with Performance Riverside and the Morgan-Wilson Theatre, winning a StageSceneLA award for her portrayal of Roxie in Chicago. Since moving to the Bay she has performed with SF Footlights, Musical Cafe, and most recently was seen as Dolores in Ray of Light’s The Wild Party. She is a recent graduate of A.C.T.’s Summer Training Congress. More at www.AyeletFirstenberg.com

 

STEVEN HO "TOMBI"

Steven is excited to make his debut with Theatre of Yugen as Tombi in The Red Demon. He was last seen as Berowne in Silicon Valley Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost. Past productions include Cymbeline (Foothill College & Theatre of Others), In the Heights (CSU East Bay), and West Side Story (Stage1 theatre). He is a recent graduate of the Foothill College Conservatory. When not performing on stage, he can be found working as an Emergency Room Technician at the Stanford ER.

 

ENormvs Muñoz "MIzukane"

Enormvs; actor, dancer, educator. Principal dancer at the Polynesian Cultural Center 1997-2005. Choreographer and dancer Te Vai Ura Nui Tahitian Dance Ensemble 1995-2005. Founding member of two all male burlesque troupes: SF Boylesque and The Bohemian Brethren. Founding member, writer, producer of the theatre company Five On A Match. Television Credits: North Shore, Even Stevens. Stage Credits: Seen / By Everyone (HERE Arts Center), This Lingering Life (Theatre of Yugen), Sidewinders (Cuttingball Theatre), The Fantasticks (SF Playhouse), Dog’s Body (Theatre of Yugen / Dah Teatar), Language of Their Own (Kumu Kahua Theatre)

 

 

LLUÍS VALLS "THE RED DEMON"

Lluís Valls acts, directs, and writes for the theatre. He has studied Noh with Richard Emmert, Akira Matsui, and Kinue Oshima (Kita school), Kyogen with Yukio Ishida (Izumi school) and Kotsuzumi Noh drum with Mitsuo Kama (Ko school), as well as training in butoh, suzuki method, and clowning. A graduate of SFSU, Mr. Valls has been a disciple of founder Yuriko Doi since 1993, performing in her direction of modern Noh play The Well of Ignorance by Dr. Tomio Tada, the Kabuki/Flamenco fusion Blood Wine, Blood Wedding, Moon of the Scarlet Plums (2003, Japan 2005), and Mystical Abyss (2012, Denver 2015). From Spring 2002 to Fall 2008, he worked collectively with Theatre of Yugen's Joint Artistic team, Jubilith Moore and Libby Zilber, to create the original experimental pieces The Clay Play (2002), Norton, I (2003), Frankenstein (2003, 2004), The Old Man and The Sea (2005), Don Q (2006), and the all-day The Cycle Plays (07/07/07). Under Jubilith Moore's direction Mr. Valls has performed in Erik Ehn’s Cordelia (2011, NY's La MAMA 2012), A Minor Cycle (2012, Philadelphia 2013), Emmett Till, a river (2013) and This Lingering Life (2014). Mr. Valls is also a Founding Member of Theatre Nohgaku (since 2001) which has performed to critical acclaim in London, Dublin, Oxford and Paris, and of Clowns on a Stick (since 2012). Mr. Valls was an Artist in Residence at San Francisco's School of the Arts from 2009-2014.

 

Production Team

 

COSTUME DESIGNER LIZ BRENT

Liz Brent is a multi-disciplinary artist who specializes in costume design and construction. She has worked for the ODC Dance Company and Teen Company the Dance Jam, and many Bay Area and national choreographers including Grisha Coleman, Sean Dorsey, Jenny Stulberg, Yayoi Kambara, Namita Kapoor, and Tanya Bello. She was involved in the video music production for Jim James’ A New Life, and art direction for the short film Interloping. Liz has a BFA and Honors Magna Cum Laude in Dance, a Bussie Award in Costume Technologies, and a Minor in Religious Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is also a Phi Beta Kappa Member, a certified yoga instructor, a regular contributor of artwork and writing to the website Stance on Dance, and an editor of health and nutrition articles by Sebastian Grubb.

Dramaturg zach kopciak

Zach Kopciak is a deviser, producer, dramaturg, performer, and director specializing in non-traditional theatrical forms and contexts. Currently based in San Francisco, where he has worked with The Speakeasy, First Person Travel, The Circus Center, Bonfire Makers, and RAWdance, he is thrilled to be a part of this challenging piece of work. In the past, Zach has also worked with Guerilla Science in New York and D.C., Kid Cactus in Los Angeles, and with Secret Cinema, Shakespeare's Globe, The Box, and Enter Level5 in London, where he received his MA from the Central School of Speech and Drama.

SCENIC DESIGNER & PROPERTIES MASTER YUSUKE SOI

Yusuke Soi is a Japanese native, now a Theatrical Designer in the Bay Area. He’s been a Prop Master at Thrillpeddlers since 2013, and recently joined Bay Area Children's Theatre as a Technical Director after working for New Conservatory Theatre Center and Palo Alto Children. He studied Set Design at San Francisco State University and has been active since 2013. His work includes: recent prop design for Ferocious Lotus Company’s Crane, set designs for Los Altos Stage Company’s Bat Boy the Musical and Hillbarn Theatre’s 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. His next designs will be for Marin Theatre Company’s summer camp shows, and Tri-School Production’s 2016-2017 season productions. Yusuke is happy to be back to Theatre Of Yugen where he performed at Shinsai, a fundraiser to benefit victims of the Fukushima disaster, directed by Nick Ishimaru.

SOUND DESIGNER KEVIN SWEETSER

Kevin Sweetser is a Bay Area Sound and Video designer. Based out of San Francisco he can usually be found working on new and creative projects at, Z Space, Stanford University, or pretty much any theatre that will let him in the door. His work as a sound designer extends to live concerts and venue installations.

LIGHTING DESIGNER MAXIMILIAN URRUZMENDI

Maximilian Urruzmendi was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Uruguayan immigrant parents and has been lucky enough to be living and working in the bay with amazing communities for the past five years.

 

Yugen in Action

Series Presentation #2 - June 3 & 4 at 7pm

In the 2015/16 SeasonTheatre of Yugen presents a two-part presentation series inviting Bay Area artists to create, revive or develop work for a two-night presentation and artists' engagement event at NOHspace. Yugen in Action is thematically linked to Theatre of Yugen’s Fall 2016 premiere of The Red Demon, and uses the same motifs of “Immigration & Alienation,” as the starting point for participating artists.

Proudly Featuring the Following Works:

They Came Like Fire  

Written by Roy Conboy, Directed by Ryan Marchand

Two women from different worlds share the same pains as they relive the terror of losing their homes to ravenous forces that consume everything in their path. 

 

The Cave of Slutzk

Written & Directed by Hanna Pesha

When a young Jewish girl living under Stalin befriends a Dragon, she finds a dangerous ally in her fight to maintain identity and survive.

 

Shoot a Civilized World

Created by Hiroko & Koichi Tamano

Urged to find our own time, to run away from the wheel of the Economic Rise of Japan. Then, an impostor whispered "an American big show..."

Mimi's Suitcase

Written & Performed by Ana Bayat

1 woman, 27 characters, 4 languages. True story of a European-educated young woman returning to her native Iran after the revolution.

 

PLANET CLOWN AND THE COSMIC SWIRL

Created by Christina Lewis 

PLANET CLOWN AND THE COSMIC SWIRL is an absurdist look at our very fragile and confused relationship with our home.

 

Algor Mortis

Directed by David Silpa

Algor Mortis is a dance-theater exploration of what happens when the steps we take to connect with the world don't work as we hope.

 

 

Scroll down for more Info about each piece! (In alphabetical order by Artist's last name)


Mimi's Suitcase  -  Written and performed by Ana Bayat

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ABOUT MIMI'S SUITCASE

Winner of Audience Choice Award for Best Play at 2016 Iranisches Theatre Festival in Heidelberg, Germany, Mimi's Suitcase is the true story of a teenage girl who returns to her native Iran from Spain in the midst of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war. This involuntary uprooting and the adventures that follow awaken engaging questions about identity, language, culture, displacement and homeland in this entertaining and heart-warming universal coming-of-age journey of resilience, humanity and, above all, hope.   

Mimi’s Suitcase premiered in New York City on November 15, 2015 and will next be performed at Hollywood Fringe Festival on June 17, 18 and 19, 2016.

ABOUT ANA BAYAT

Ana is a seasoned, multilingual stage, on-camera and voice over actor-linguist with extensive experience in theatre, film and language consultation. She has traveled extensively and lived in Barcelona, Tehran and London before settling down in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ana is fluent in five languages including Spanish, Persian, French, German and English, and can get by in Catalan and Italian. Her natural aptitude for languages and accents make her casting variability richly universal.

 

They Came Like Fire - Written by Roy Conboy, Directed by Ryan Marchand

Sandra, a former San Francisco Mission district resident, and Sandy a former resident of Lake County California recount their harrowing escapes from the ravenous forces that displaced them both from their homes. The pain they experience in such loss makes them kindred spirits of sorts, however no matter how similar their agony in the aftermath They Came Like Fire touches upon where these women’s experiences diverge; and the differences between the destructive forces of nature and the darker forces of human nature.

Performed By

Alix Cuadra: Sandra    -    Sheila Berotti: Sandy    -    Ryan Marchand: Dancer    -    Golda Sargento: Guitarist

 

ROY CONBOY (Playwright)

Roy Conboy is a writer, director, and teacher of Latino/Mixed Blood descent.  For more than 20 years he has been the head of the Playwrighting Program at San Francisco State University.  His most recent play is In Hollow Time: A Blues Mystery on the Recession, which was developed and produced at San Francisco State in 2014.  Other recent work includes My Tia Loca’s Life of Crime at Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble in Santa Ana, and Bindlestiff Studios in San Francisco.  His children’s play, El Canto del Roble/The Song of the Oak, is presently being toured through Central California schools by PCPA Theaterfest of Santa Maria.   Other productions have been seen at Teatro Esperanza, the Mark Taper Forum/Taper Too, Teatro Vision of San Jose, East Los Angeles Repertory, Teatro Latino in Minneapolis, Teatro del Pueblo in St. Paul, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio, Teatro Milagro in Portland, and Cucucuevez in Santa Ana.

As an educator Roy has helped raise the SFSU Playwrighting Program to national prominence.   He has created numerous opportunities for student writers, including GreenHouse, and the SFSU Fringe.  His former playwriting students include, among many others: Marcus Gardley, Peter Nachtrieb, Karen Macklin, Brian Thorstenson, Prince Gomolvilas, Trevor Allen, Garret Groenveld, Rodrigo Duarte Clark, Evelyn Pine, Elizabeth Gjelten, Claire Rice, and Nick Pappas.

Ryan Marchand (director)

Ryan Marchand is an actor, director, and theatre educator who grew up in Los Angeles, but has made his home San Francisco since completing his BA in French, and his minor in Theatre Arts at San Francisco State University. It was there that Ryan studied extensively with Barbara Damashek; was first introduced to Roy Conboy as part of the Fringe Festival; was first introduced to Asian theatre styles studying the Suzuki Actors Training Method with Dr. Yukihiro Goto; and was first introduced to Theatre of Yugen and Noh & Kyogen training. Since then Ryan has appeared with Theatre of Yugen in a Kyogen style adaptation of Candide, as well as the world premiere of This Lingering Life by Chiori Miyagawa.  Ryan is also Artistic Director of Handful Players, now celebrating their tenth year of operation; providing free after school musical theatre training to the Western Addition.

 

 

PLANET CLOWN AND THE COSMIC SWIRL

Christina Lewis & the  Clown School of San Francisco 

PLANET CLOWN AND THE COSMIC SWIRL is an attempt to look at the dynamics that are leading humans to destroy our planet. Through the use of humor we aim to shed light on the absurdity of our compulsive and addictive relationship to to our planet and it's resources.

 

Christina Lewis

has been teaching and performing Clown and physical theatre for 30 years. She began her journey at Oberlin College as a member of the Oberlin Mime Troupe, and continued her exploration in San Francisco in the 80's , participating in Street theatre, and studying Clown with Arina Isaacson and Drama Therapy at CIIS. She now runs the Clown School of San Francisco which is dedicated to training people of all ages in the vulnerable and venerable art of Clowning.

 

 

The Cave of Slutzk - Written and Directed by HANNA PESHA

The Cave of Slutsk takes you back to 1920s Belarus. Stalin is in power. In this setting, a young Jewish girl fights to maintain her faith and identity, and to help her family's collective farm survive. When she befriends a Dragon named Pogrom she finds a dangerous ally. As hard land in the Belarusian countryside keeps her family below their Bolshevik production quota, she must rely on magic and choose between the faith of her birth and the collectivism of her new immigrant life. At once haunting and humorous, The Cave of Slutsk will stay with you.

Performed By

Christopher Weddle: Pogrom    -    LeighAnn Cannon: Raz    -    Gino Rose: Maxim

HANNA PESHA

 

Hanna Pesha grew up half in Oakland and half in rural Mendocino County. She is a writer, artist and first time director. She worked in film on the production end of Mother Story and the feature-length Paradise Cove. She has been published in Arcata Free Press, The Steelhead Special, Sparkle and Blink, Banana Pitch, and Bay Area Generations.  She has taught with California Poets in the Schools, been an artist in residence at the Mendocino Art Center, and has facilitated workshops for domestic violence survivors through Poets and Writers.

 

 

ChristopHer Weddle

Christopher Weddle is an actor, carpenter, and writer that was forged in the Piney Woods region of Texas. He bounced from state to state as a carpenter before landing in Berkeley seven years ago. A graduate of Waterfront Playhouse & Conservatory, he has appeared onstage in A Dreamer Examines His Pillow at Phoenix Theatre and as Mike Dillon in Body Electric Productions staging of Good People at Waterfront Playhouse. Later this year he will appear as Bob the Bartender in the West Coast premiere of Black River Falls. You can catch him on screen at the Castro Theatre in July as a the cold-blooded killer Scarface Jack in Scary Cow’s Ghost in the Gun written and directed by Andrew Chen and later in the summer as Jasper Higgins in An Unplanned Awakening. He makes his television premier as Darryl Norris in July in Episode 8 of I Almost Got Away With It on the Discover ID Channel.

 

 

LEIGHANN CANNON

has been performing in theatre and film around the Bay Area since she was a young girl. Most recently she was seen on the stage as Chava in Hillbarn Theatre's production of Fiddler on the Roof. Favorite productions include: Amadeus (Katherina Cavalieri) at Hillbarn Theatre, Jesus Christ Super Star (Featured Ensemble) at Coastal Rep., and Hello, From Bertha (Bertha) at Muhlenberg College.  She holds a BA in both acting and directing from Muhlenberg College. 

 

GINO ROSE

Gino has appeared in numerous local theatre productions, including the role of Nicolas in Pinter’s ONE FOR THE ROAD (Performers Under Stress); Baptista in TAMING OF THE SHREW (Half Moon Bay Shakespeare Co.), and Sorin in SEAGULL (College of Marin). He’s in the feature film: WHITE RABBIT, and has done other dramatic films as well as national corporate and commercial productions.   He is an accomplished writer and solo performer.  He performed his evening length, solo piece THE FORMER GENE THOMAS, A Work In Progress at the Meisner Technique Studio Theatre; and, he will be appearing again shortly as part of SOLO SUNDAYS at Stagewerx Theatre.  He is a graduate of the Meisner Technique Studio, where he is also a faculty member.  He is represented by Look Talent, and is a university professor and a published poet.

 

 

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Algor Mortis (Working Title)

Director: DAVID SILPA

We are presenting an excerpt of a piece tentatively titled "Algor Mortis", which will comprise the second act of an evening-length dance-theater experience to premier this October. "Algor Mortis" examines the mechanisms that allow us to form connections with the the world and people around us, with particular emphasis on what happens when those methods don't work. It seems like one of the most common denominators between people is that we all experience alienation from our shared experience, despite differences of magnitude and quality between different people. Can we find solidarity in the awareness of our mutual alienation, and can our understanding of our shared alienation open ways of overcoming the paradigms that entrench us in damaging thought patterns?

Performers / Ensemble

 Jenny McAllister & Kiplinn Sagmiller

 

David Silpa

is a dance and theater artist based out of Oakland. He is currently working with 13th Floor and Wei-Shan Lai & Co., as well as developing an evening length performance to premier this October. He is an alumnus of the University of San Francisco, where he is employed as a general chemistry lab TA.

Polyhedron Company

is a production company focused on experience design, founded in 2016. Polyhedron seeks to create immersive performances that ask fundamental questions about existence and consciousness, as well as how these relate to our shared reality. Our debut performance -- The Summoning -- will premier at Babe Lab in Oakland this October, as a magical investigation into the ties that bind the world together. Working across disciplines, we seek to combine scientific perspective with dynamic performativity to create a unique and expansive performance experience.

JENNY MCALLISTER

is Artistic Director of 13th Floor, and a member of Deborah Slater Dance Theater, Lizz Roman & Dancers and Twisted Oak. She’s previously performed in the work and companies of Chris Black, Keith Hennessey, Fellow Travelers and detour dance among others.  Her background is a mix of dance and theater; her early training included A.C.T. and Oakland Ballet, and she’s studied release and partnering extensively with Joe Goode, Lizz Roman and Scott Wells.

KIPLINN SAGMILLER

is a Bay Area transplant who graduated from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa and went on to dance with various companies from Hawaii, San Diego, Seattle and now the Bay Area. She's trained in ballet, modern, jazz, aerial silks, acrobatics, parkour, belly dance and loves AcroYoga. You may have seen her recently in Constants & Variables, SFMAF, Levy Salon, Dance Monks: Nomad or at events around the Bay. Kiplinn currently teaches at the Athletic Playground in Emeryville, CA, and Flying Studios in Oakland.

 

 

Shoot a Civilized World

 

CREATED BY

HIROKO & KOICHI TAMANO

Sound by KITARO

Performed By

Hiroko & Koichi Tamano, Ronny Baker and Martha Matsuda

 

"Butoh based on Life" ... ( but, Oh ! )

We did not know how to stop floating weed & convenient Tokyo life style. We had to go to Nowhere Land.

From LA to SF bay area, we took Route 5 - of which people said "there is Nothing..."  Old Oak trees welcome us.  Super tall old black man said "Hi" when we pass each other. Dogs ignored us and rested in the shade of sidewalk trees. 

Butoh dance theater, every night in Punk Rock Houses.  ( but, Oh ! ) on the way back from Canada, we got "Cancel" stamped on our passports... Bor~der ~ ....

 

Koichi Tamano  

Born 1946, Shizuoka, Japan.
Butoh pupil under Tatsumi Hijikata since 1965.
In 1976, at SFMOMA, the first Butoh appearance in USA.

Hiroko Tamano

Born 1952, Fukuoka, Japan.

Butoh pupil under Tatsumi Hijikata since 1972.

West Berkeley neighbor since 1979.

 

 

 

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Yugen in Action

Series Presentations at NOHspace  - April 1 & 2, June 3 & 4 at 7pm

 

In the 2015/16 Season, Theatre of Yugen will present a two-part presentation series inviting Bay Area artists to create, revive or develop work for a two-night presentation and artists' engagement event at NOHspace. Yugen in Action is thematically linked to Theatre of Yugen’s Fall 2016 premiere of The Red Demon, and will use the same motifs of “Immigration & Alienation,” as the starting point for participating artists.


SERIES PRESENTATION #1

On April 1 & 2 we are proud to present a Staged Reading of A Glass of Water  

Written by Freddy Gutierrez, based on a novel by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Friday, April 1st & Saturday, April 2nd

Doors open: 6:30pm, Reading: 7pm

Tickets are available at the door on a sliding scale of $5 - $15


Freddy Image for Website.jpeg

Freddy Gutierrez

- vato de aquellos, MFA, Oakland based Writer, Teaching Artist, and Cultural Worker. Freddy inspires and nurtures writers to move from the page to the stage and the street. Freddy has taught with Youth Speaks, Chapter 510, the Oakland Public Library, the University of San Francisco, and Stanford University. He facilitates writing and performance arts spaces with men and youth who are policed, imprisoned, and marginalized by the prison-industrial complex. Freddy has read and performed at cultural centers, universities, jails, and juvenile halls throughout Northern California. Currently he is co-directing a performance project at San Quentin State Prison that is known as the Artistic Ensemble. Freddy’s work has been published by Arte Público Press/University of Houston, Nomadic Press, Econo Textual Objects, The Acentos Review, and POOR Magazine; and was featured as LoWriter of the Week selected by U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.

 

 

Jimmy Santiago Baca

Born in New Mexico of Indio-Mexican descent, Jimmy Santiago Baca was raised first by his grandmother and later sent to an orphanage. A runaway at age 13, it was after Baca was sentenced to five years in a maximum security prison that he began to turn his life around: he learned to read and write and unearthed a voracious passion for poetry. 

During a fateful conflict with another inmate, Jimmy was shaken by the voices of Neruda and Lorca, and made a choice that would alter his destiny.  Instead of becoming a hardened criminal, he emerged from prison a writer. Baca sent three of his poems to Denise Levertov, the poetry editor of Mother Jones. 

The poems were published and became part of  IMMIGRANTS IN OUR OWN LAND,  published in 1979, the year he was released from prison. He earned his GED later that same year. He is the winner of the Pushcart Prize, the American Book Award, the International Hispanic Heritage Award and for his memoir "A Place to Stand" the prestigious International Award. In 2006 he won the Cornelius P. Turner Award. The national award recognizes one GED graduate a year who has made outstanding contributions to society in education, justice, health, public service and social welfare.

Baca has devoted his post-prison life to writing and teaching others who are overcoming hardship. His themes include American Southwest barrios, addiction, injustice, education, community, love and beyond. He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries, and universities throughout the country.

In 2005 he created Cedar Tree Inc., a nonprofit foundation that works to give people of all walks of life the opportunity to become educated and improve their lives.

Baca is currently finishing a novel, a play and three poetry manuscripts to be published in 2007. He is also producing a two hour documentary about the power of literature and how it can change lives.

Please contact us at info@theatreofyugen.org or 415.621.0507 to reserve a ticket or for more information

 

Resonance | Answer July

 Dance Performance & Jazz Piano Concert

Featuring Miki Orihara and Senri Oe

Co-PRoduced by Theatre of Yugen 

In Association with BaySpo 

May 12 - 15, 2016

nohspace - 2840 Mariposa st, sf ca 94110

THURS, MAY 12: 8PM

Community Night - General Admission $20, Students and  Working Artists $15

FRI, MAY 13: DOORS AT 6PM, SHOW AT 7PM

Fundraiser for Theatre of Yugen $40, Includes Silent Auction, Preshow Appetizers, Show & Reception to Follow!

 SAT, MAY 14: 8PM

General Admission $25 & Student Prices $18

SUN, MAY 15: 5PM

General Admission $25 & Student Prices $18

 

Resonance, a combination dance performance and concert piece, pairs Orihara -- a principal dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company -- with renowned jazz pianist Senri Oe. Together, they'll share exciting new works inspired by the timeless stories and themes of dance masters like Graham, Isadora Duncan and Jose Limón, set to the sounds of Chopin, Mendelssohn and more. For the second act, Oe will present a solo jazz piano concert. Selections will include sneak peeks of tracks from his newest album entitled Answer Julya poetic whimsical jazz view of the world, which is slated to release in July of 2016.


About the Artists

 

 

MIKI ORIHARA

Dancer

Miki Orihara, a principal dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company, began her training in Japan at an early age in traditional Fujima Japanese Dance. After graduating from Bunka Gakuin high school in Tokyo, she came to New York to study at the Joffrey Ballet School. Then received scholarships to study at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. In 2011, she earned BA in Dance from SUNY Empire State College.

In 1983 she became one of the original members of the Martha Graham Ensemble and thereafter shortly joined the Martha Graham Dance Company. She has performed with various other prominent companies and choreographers as well. These include Yuriko, Elisa Monte, Jean Erdman, Mariko Sanjo, Jun Kono(Japan), Buglisi/Foreman Dance, Twyla Tharp, Stephen Pier, Martha Clarke, Anne Bogart and SITI company, and Robert Wilson. In 2001, she was invited to dance at the New National Theater in Japan. In 2006, she was a guest artist with Pascal Rioult Dance Theater for their France Tour. On Broadway, Ms Orihara appeared in the role of “Eliza” and “Topsy” in “ The King & I” directed by Christopher Renshaw, Choreographed by Jerome Robbins and Lar Lubovitch.

As a choreographer, she premiered her solo work/performance “Searching Dimensions” (1995) in New York. Her recent works are “Passage”, “Serious Garden”  and “End of Summer” . These works were well received at their openings in Japan. In 2001, Ms Orihara presented an 8 women piece “VOICE” in Nagoya, Japan followed in 2008 by “Stage”.

Ms. Orihara assists master teacher and choreographer Yuriko in her Graham technique classes, reconstructions and choreography. She has also been a guest teacher at UCLA World Arts and Culture Department, Atlanta Ballet, State University of Florida, the Ailey School, Peridance, The Hartt School, Arts International in Moscow with Takako Asakawa, the New National Theater Ballet School in Tokyo, Les Etés de la Danse in Paris, Henny Jurriens Foundation in Amsterdam and numerous other workshops and schools throughout the world. She is currently on faculty at the Martha Graham School.  As a Regissuer on Martha Graham’s work, she has been setting works on world wide, include Diana Vashineva’s “Dialogue” and Wendy Whelan of New York City Ballet.

Ms. Orihara served as a Movement designer for Jen Silverman’s “Crane Story” directed by Katherine Kovner and a Casting Producer/Dance Director for mishmash*Miki Orihara’s music videos which will be released Spring/Summer 2014. Ms. Orihara is in process of making Martha Graham technique DVD, collaboration with Dance Spotlight and Martha Graham Center.

In 2010, She received a New York Dance and Performance (BESSIE) Award for her contributions to dance.

SENRI OE

Jazz Pianist

A Bestselling SONY Music recording artist, Senri Oe’s international debut all-jazz album, “Boys Mature Slow,”(PND Records) released in July 2012, generated many rave reviews from top music magazines including “Jazziz” and “Down Beat” in NYC. After its release in Japan in September 2012 (SONY Records), “Boys Mature Slow” won the Album Of The Year: New Star Award from the Japan Jazz Awards presented by Nissan.

Oe has been active and influential in the Japanese music scene as a lyricist, composer and arranger since his debut in 1983. He extended his talent in the TV and film industry and went on to flourish as an actor and TV personality as well. His major awards include Japan Gold Disc Grand Prix: Best Male Pop Artist in 1988 and FNS Pop Music Award: Best Song of the Year in 1989.

In January 2008, Oe decided to pause his 25-year career in popular music in order to pursue jazz and moved to New York to study under Junior Mance and Aaron Goldberg. Oe graduated from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in May 2012.

Oe is now appearing at jazz clubs throughout NYC and surrounding East coast areas such as Tomi Jazz, Zinc Bar, SOB, Blue Note, NY City Winery, and Domain wine bar (Long Island City), along with a Japan tour at Tokyo Blue Note and Nagoya Blue Note.

In recent years, his 2nd jazz album “Spooky Hotel” topped Billboard Japan Jazz Charts and he performed again at Tokyo Jazz Festival in 2013 with his big band and special vocalists, Sheila Jordan and Matt Dusk.

 His latest achievement is the completion of his 4th album “Answer July” which includes collaborations with Sheila Jordan, Jon Hendricks, Lauren Kinhan (New York Voices), Theo Bleckmann and Becca Stevens. It will be released worldwide on July 5th, 2016, along with a world premiere show at Jazz Gallery (NYC) on the same day.

Currently, Oe is producing albums not only for his own jazz projects but also for other talented artists in NYC, as well as touring as the accompanist for Martha Graham Principal dancer Miki Orihara’s solo show, Resonance.


Photos from our NEW Kyogen Play ~ Three Times a Charm,

inspired by stories submitted by San Francisco 4th Grade Students.


Kyogen Double Feature

created in collaboration with the jbbp 4th grade at rosa parks elementary school

Theatre of Yugen is delighted to be working with the 4th grade students and teachers at Rosa Parks Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program for our first ever Crazy for Words residency!  The culminating performance on May 22 will feature the talents of Sheila Berotti, A. Fenner, Nick Ishimaru, Allie Khori, and Ryan Marchand.  

May 22, 2 pm

NOHSPACE  

2840 MARIPOSA ST, SF CA 94110

Tickets available at the door.

$5-$15 - sliding scale General Admission

FREE admission for students under 12!

Call (415) 621-0507 or email info@theatreofyugen.org for tickets.

 

THE SHOW:

We are thrilled to be presenting a Kyogen double feature. The first play, the classic Fukurou Yamabushi, finds a mountain priest trying to exorcise the spirit of an owl from a young man. The second play is our brand new piece Three Times a Charm, which presents a young student trying to help a Head Master Wizard recover his once mighty strength!

 

THE RESIDENCY:

‘Crazy for Words’ is a literal translation of the word ‘Kyogen.’ This residency began with practical experience learning the basic form and feeling of Kyogen, and continued in the Spring with Theatre of Yugen collecting students’ own stories to create a contemporary comic play influenced by traditional Kyogen conventions.

 

The residency was conceived and developed in association with the U.S./ Japan Cultural Trade Network, which provides leadership, vision, information and support to enhance cultural trade between the U.S. and Japan. Funding was generously provided by the California Arts Council’s Local Impact program, fostering equity, access, and opportunity by providing project and partnership support for small arts organizations.

 

 

 

 

Mystical Abyss

Presented by Theatre of Yugen

in association with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance CompanY

Written by John O'Keefe

Directed by Yuriko Doi

Presented with generous support from: 

The National Endowment for the Arts & United Airlines

Part dance, part theatre, part computer generated animation, Mystical Abyss is a visually striking live performance piece infused with the potent elegance of Noh theatre and the raw athleticism of modern dance. Mystical Abyss features venerable performers from the traditional Noh theatre of Japan and the Native American performance traditions, set against a stellar backdrop of computer graphic animation projecting symbols of the ancient Japanese Jomon culture and other world-wide symbols of ancient power.  It evokes powerful images of unity across different generations, cultures and traditions focusing on the cyclical story of death and rebirth.

 

 


CREATIVE TEAM

Written by John O'Keefe

Directed by Yuriko Doi

Choreography by Jairo Heli Garcia

Music Composed by Narumi Takizawa and Kenny Perkins

Animation by Taketo Kobayashi and Koya Takahashi

Lighting Design by Stephen Siegel, Adapted by Allie Khori

Costume Design by Risa Lenore Dye

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Tasty Bites

November 6, 8, 13, 14 & 15

at NOHspace

These aren’t your grandmother's clowns. Heck, they aren’t even your mother’s clowns.

Your mother would have disowned them a long time ago!

* PLEASE NOTE: SUNDAY, NOV 15TH SHOW AT 5PM, NOT AS PRINTED ON POSTER OR POSTCARDS!


Showtimes at NOHspace

friday, Nov 6th at 8pm, sunday, nov 8th at 2pm

friday, nov 13th at 8pm, Saturday, nov 14th at 8pm

sunday, nov 15th at 5pm

 

Clowns On A Stick are three seasoned purveyors of the art of telling a story without words, creating cartoon vignettes that will tickle your funny bone and confirm your suspicions that goofing around is essential to living a good life.

Tasty Bites is Clowns On A Stick’s new show that is made up of several of their best short pieces from their thirteen years of performing together, along with new instances of unhinged frolicks created for this new show. As in any good clown show, despite their best efforts to put their best foot forward, feet get stepped on, death is always one pratfall away, true love is narrowly missed and improbably gained, and all is well that end’s well. From the bumbling waiter who inadvertently thwarts a marriage proposal in “Service, Please” to the desperations brought on by hunger in “The Grand Banquet,” the simple impulses of human nature are given a grand focus. And don’t worry if you recognize yourself in the humbling mistakes and stark embarrassment exhibited by Clowns On A Stick: clowns know better than anyone that we’re all in this together.

Clowns On A Stick has been creating original clown pieces for vaudeville shows since 2003. They have been part of the Chautauqua Revue at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center since 2003. In 2011, they premiered their first full length show, To Bury A Cat, that they performed over two years in the North Bay, San Francisco, and Oakland.

Tasty Bites is on Tour!

Check out their North Bay & East Bay shows 

Studio Quercus in Oakland - Wednesday, November 18th at 8pm

Occidental Center for the Arts - Saturday, November 21st at 2pm & 8pm

Cinnabar Theatre in Petaluma - Sunday, November 22nd at 2pm 

 

Tickets to Studio Quercus & Occidental through Theatre of Yugen - Just click on the Buy Tickets button above!

Tickets to Cinnabar Theatre - Please visit their website by Clicking Here 

 

 

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Theatre of Yugen has been creating theatre since 1978.  Information about many of our older shows can be found in our previous archive.