THEATRE OF YUGEN PRESENTS
THE WEST COAST PREMIERE OF

THE RED DEMON

By Hideki Noda

Translated by Roger Pulvers

NOHspace, San Francisco

October 27-November 13, 2016

 

 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (12 September 2016) – San Francisco’s Theatre of Yugen gives West Coast audiences their first look at The Red Demon, a modern drama by acclaimed Japanese playwright Hideki Noda. A mysterious stranger is instantly labeled a demon when he washes up on the shores of a small beach town following a violent storm. Unable to communicate with the wary members of the close-knit community due to a language barrier, he struggles to face life as a persecuted pariah while maintaining his own identity. The Red Demon will be directed by Theatre of Yugen Artistic Director Nick Ishimaru with performances October 27-November 13 (press opening: October 28) at the NOHspace, 2840 Mariposa St, San Francisco. For tickets ($18-$25) and information the public may visit www.theatreofyugen.org or call (415) 621-0507.

 

The Red Demon tells the tale of a creature who washes up on the shores of an insulated beach town. Communication barriers and lack of understanding lead the residents to believe he is a bloodthirsty demon from the sea. As a result, they banish him to the outskirts of the village, where he finds solace from another outcast known as “That Woman.” Together with “That Woman’s” simple minded brother, Tombi, and amorous suitor, Mizukane, they engage in a journey of discovery that illuminates humanity’s behavior in moments of intercultural conflict and society’s struggle with intolerance.

 

The Red Demon received its world premiere in Japan before making its English debut at London’s Young Vic theatre where it was declared a “physical spectacle” and “elegantly expressive” by The Guardian. Critics praised Noda’s stylized approach, which takes audiences on a wild ride from the height of slapstick to the essence of Grecian tragedy, in his exploration of the conflicts that arise when humanity confronts its instinctive fear of the alien. The Red Demon has played around the globe in Japanese, English, Thai, and Korean languages with performances being translated and re-worked to reflect the cultural background of each location. The play made its American premiere at Connecticut College.

 

Theatre of Yugen has assembled a diverse cast for this production. Lluís Valls will star as The Red Demon. Valls is a seasoned theatre actor, director, and writer who previously worked with Theatre of Yugen to create the original experimental pieces The Clay Play, Norton, IFrankensteinThe Old Man and The SeaDon Q, and The Cycle Plays. He has been seen regionally in New York and Philadelphia.

 

Ayelet Firstenberg will play the role of “That Woman,” the Red Demon’s sole ally. She performed off-Broadway with Vital Theatre, and regionally with Manhattan Repertory Theatre, White Plains Performing Arts Center, Write Act Repertory Theatre, Performance Riverside, and Morgan-Wilson Theatre. Locally, she has worked with Dramatists Guild Bay Area’s SF Footlights, Ray of Light Theatre, and Musical Cafe.

 

Steven Ho will make his Theatre of Yugen debut in the role of Tombi, the simple-minded brother of “That Woman.” He appeared in local productions for Silicon Valley Shakespeare, Foothill College, Theatre of Others, CSU East Bay, and Stage 1 Theatre.

 

Enormvz Muñoz returns to Theatre of Yugen as Mizukane, the amorous suitor. He previously starred in Theatre of Yugen’s productions of This Lingering Life and Dogsbody. Additional regional work includes performances at SF Playhouse, HERE Arts Center, The Cutting Ball Theatre, and Kumu Kahua Theatre. He has been seen on television in Fox’s North Shore and Disney Channel’s Even Stevens.

 

Playwright Hideki Noda is a Japanese playwright, actor, theatre director, and the current Artistic Director of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. He has written and directed more than 40 plays during his career and is regarded as one of the most critically acclaimed playwrights in Japan. His recent works focus on revitalizing Japanese theatre and bringing it to international audiences by breaking away from the stylized theatre of Noh and Kabuki. The Red Demon marks his first international work.

 

Director Nick Ishimaru is Theatre of Yugen’s Project Director and current Interim Artistic Director. He previously directed productions of Assassins, It Ain’t MeLand of Infants, and Kaguya, and has worked with Colorado State University, University of Hawaii, San Francisco State University, and the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus. His acting experience includes roles in A Minor CycleThis Lingering Life, as well as several traditional kyogen plays at Theatre of Yugen. Red Demon marks Ishimaru’s Theatre of Yugen directorial debut.

 

Theatre of Yugen has been part of the San Francisco arts scene for more than 35 years, creating works of World Theater influenced by the classical Japanese dramatic forms of Noh and Kyogen. Whether the subject matter of its shows is classical, contemporary, serious or comic, the theatre strives to project the aesthetic quality of yugen, or mysterious elegance, which gives the resulting work a distinctive style and provides a unique experience to audiences. Theatre of Yugen engages with colleagues in the experimental arts community and incorporates diverse performance styles and artistic media into its work. Theatre of Yugen has established an international reputation through tours across the United States, Europe, and the Far East. Recent production highlights include 2013’s Noh oratorio Emmett Till, a river, and the 2014 world-premiere of Chiori Miyagawa’s This Lingering Life, which was nominated for eight Theatre Bay Area Awards.

WHAT:    San Francisco’s Theatre of Yugen gives West Coast audiences their first look at The Red Demon, a modern drama by acclaimed Japanese playwright Hideki Noda. A mysterious stranger is instantly labeled a demon when he washes up on the shores of a small beach town following a violent storm. Unable to communicate with the wary members of the close-knit community due to a language barrier, he struggles to face life as a persecuted pariah while maintaining his own identity. The Red Demon will be directed by Theatre of Yugen Artistic Director Nick Ishimaru.

 

WHEN:    October 27 – October 30

8pm Thursday-Saturday
5pm Sunday

 

November 3 – November 5

8pm Thursday-Saturday

 

November 11 – November 13

8pm Friday-Saturday
5pm Sunday

WHERE:    NOHspace
2840 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

TICKETS:     $18 student; $20 general; $25 supporter with free drink

 

INFO:        For information or to order tickets visit theatreofyugen.org/thereddemon

or call (415) 621-0507

 

PRESS:    Contact Carla Befera & Co.

        650.327.1200 | courtney@cb-pr.com

PHOTOS:     Downloadable high-res photos will be available here:

http://www.cb-pr.com/press/reddemon.html