Kunio Sugihara / KUNIO

Sarachi (Vacant Lot )

How will KUNIO manage to betray Shogo Ota’s masterpiece Sarachi (Vacant Lot ) ?

At the 2011 version of KYOTO EXPERIMENT, KUNIO presented its version of the epic KUNIO09 Angels in America, a performance that lasted eight and a half hours. Dealing masterfully with a complex narrative and numerous characters, KUNIO received the highest praise for this work. This time, they will try their hand at a work of silent-theater master Shogo Ota an author who never ceased in seeking his own style. KUNIO was launched in 2004 by Kunio Sugihara, then a college student, as a space for a variety of theatrical productions to be staged. Since then, they have been staging mainly difficult plays with a flexible casting. Their work is full of provocative gimmicks which betray audiences’ expectations, and reveal an upbeat and pop approach to theater. KUNIO’s productions are not only always stimulating but simultaneously manage to bring out the true essence of the plays.

This year’s production, Sarachi (Vacant Lot ), is Shogo Ota’s most representative work from the period just before his Tenkei Theater was dissolved. Staged 17 years ago, after the great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, it is a piece that has always raised discussion. Ota was Sugihara’s former teacher at the university. In his multiple roles as director, stage designer and planner, how will Sugihara show a different approach to that of KUNIO 09, in this resource-limited, simple play?

Auditorium, Former Rissei Elementary School
Kyoto, Japan

Kunio Sugihara

A Director and Stage Designer, Sugihara was born in Tokyo in 1982. He grew up in Chigasaki, Kanagawa and was a member of EXILE’s Fan Club “EX FAMILY”. He graduated from the Department of Performing Arts at Kyoto University of Art and Design. His work is known to keep a fine balance of sassy-ness and pop-ness. In 2004, he founded his own company “KUNIO” that allowed him to carry out various projects. In 2009, KUNIO 06 Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches won honorable mention at Kyoto Art Center Performing Arts Award 2009. He has directed 5 works for Kinoshita-Kabuki since 2006, a company that explores new interpretations of works from the traditional Kabuki repertoire. With a “love to party” spirit, Sugihara is broadening the range of his work with projects such as spending two-years as the director of the Performing Arts Festival “Summit”, organized by Komaba Agora Theater since 2008, and being the concept planner of Fringe program at Kyoto Experiment.

TextShogo Ota
Direction, Stage DesignKunio Sugihara
CastAki Takeda (Gyotou), Hitoe Ohkubo (Ikiume)
Stage ManagerNobuaki Oshika
LightingRie Uomori
SoundManabu Saito
CostumeNobuaki Ueda (kasane)
Advertising PhotoTakashi Horikawa
Advertising ArtHiroshi Toyama
Web DesignHousei Yoshida
Assistant DirectorWakako Tsuchiya
Second Assistant DirectorMio Kusunoki
Production CoordinatorMiho Kobayashi, In Cooperation with Ikiume, HB inc., Gyotou
Co-Produced byKyoto Experiment
Presented byKyoto Experiment