Niwa Gekidan Penino

Box in the Big Trunk

With breathtaking stage art, a doorway to bizarre and obscene delusions opens. It could be a door to “your” delusion …

Kuro Tanino, the director of Niwagekidan Penino, took lavish time and care, renovating his apartment in Aoyama, Tokyo into the company’s studio. Naming the extremely intimate and minimalist space “ARK”, Niwagekidan Penino has produced bizarre and bawdy yet enchanting fantasies. The ark finally sets sail for the outside world with their new work! Box In The Big Trunk is based on the company’s three previous works: A Small Restaurant in “Limbo” (2004), Frustrating Picture Book for Adults (2008), The Room, Nobody Knows (2012), all of which brought to the stage a strange world of restless delusion. Stuffing the 3 sensational works into one box, this work boldly tailors them into a new piece and the breathtaking stage art makes the bizarre world evolve in every direction. The world of the three+one works loops infinitely, immersing the audience in terror and pleasure as if in an inescapable dreamscape. At once compelling and enchanting, Box In The Big Trunk is Niwagekidan Penino’s Alice in Wonderland.

Auditorium, Former Rissei
Elementary School
Japanese with English surtitles

Niwagekidan Penino


Founded in 2000 by Kuro Tanino and the members of the drama club at Showa University School of Medicine. Tanino has since written and directed all of the company’s works. Fortress of Smile (2007) and Star-shadow Jr. (2008) were consecutively nominated for the Kishida Kunio Drama Award. In recent years its Picture Book for Irritated Adults (2008) has been performed at HAU Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin (2009), Theaterspektakl in Switzerland, and Norderzone in Holland (2013), as well as at Nextfestival in Belgium and in Munster, Germany (2011). In 2012, the company presented a new facet by performing Bouli Miro which was coproduced by Institut français Tokyo, Niwagekidan Penino and OWL SPOT.

Playwriting & directionKuro Tanino
CastIkuma Yamada, Ichigo Iida, Momoi Shimada (Seinendan), Taeko Seguchi
ConceptJunichiro Tamaki, Yukiko Yamaguchi, Mario Yoshino
Stage designMichiko Inada
PropsKotaro Yokosawa, Kenichro Okonogi (GaRP)
Stage managerHisashi Mitsu
LightingMasayuki Abe (LICKT-ER)
SoundKoji Sato (Sugar Sound)
MusicYu Okuda
Sound operationMiho Akutsu
English subtitlesWilliam Andrews, Miwa Monden
Assistant directorYui Matsumoto, Hirotaro Kariya
ProductionNiwagekidan Penino
Production coordinatorChika Onozuka
Supported byThe Saison Foundation
Co-presented byRissei Cultural City Steering Committee
Presented byKyoto Experiment


  • Niwa Gekidan Penino, Avidya: No Lights Inn, 2016, ROHM Theatre Kyoto. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue

    Niwa Gekidan Penino

    Avidya: No Lights Inn