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










Preview - Thursday, October 27 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


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




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



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 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



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.


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.


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.


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.