The Emperor’s New Clothes

“But he hasn’t got anything on…”
Provoking theater with innocent words. Chiten’s new and unexpected challenge –A play for children!

2012 marks the third consecutive year in Kyoto Experiment for Kyotobased Chiten, a troupe recognized for perpetually challenging the possibilities of theater. After recreating works by Antonin Artaud, and Chekhov, they now take on the unexpected challenge of staging a play for children.

This year, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes is adapted to script by Akito Inui, best known as the director of Tetsuwari Albatrossket –part of 2010 Kyoto Experiment—and as the author of the Akutagawa-award nominated three times. This play marks the first collaboration between Motoi Miura, who has developed an intellectual and stoic form of theater, and Akito Inui, creator of plays influenced by several kinds of popular arts. Just by looking at their approach to theater, one would think that there is nothing but contrast between them; however they have found a connection in the material provided by a play for children. When seen from a different perspective, Andersen’s story, which depicts a king wrapped in an invisible garment being praised by his vassals, presents the structure of theater itself in terms of “pretending” or “playing something”. What kind of performance will this universally known story bring about, when combined with a touch of depth, strangeness and a taste for the ridiculous?

Auditorium, Kyoto Art Center


Led by Motoi Miura, a director, the company moved to Kyoto from Tokyo in 2005. Received the best scenography award at the Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre in 2006. After having successful performances of two Chekhov plays in Moscow, the company was officially invited to the Globe to Globe Festival at The Shakespeare’s Globe in London in 2012. Coproducing with Kanagawa Arts Theatre, the company actively stages its work in Japan and abroad.

Original textHans Christian Andersen
ScriptAkito Inui
DirectionMotoi Miura
CastSatoko Abe, Dai Ishida, Shie Kubota, Saki Kohno, Yohei Kobayashi
Stage DesignItaru Sugiyama + Karasuya
LightingYasuhiro Fujiwara
SoundToshihiro Dooka
CostumeKyoko Domoto
Stage ManagerNobuaki Oshika
Advertising ArtEmi Naya
Production CoordinatorYuna Tajima
Produced byChiten
Co-Produced byKyoto Experiment, Kyoto Art Center “Artist in Studios” Program
Supported byJapan Arts Fund and EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee
Presented byChiten (LLC.), Kyoto Experiment