Celebrating ten years of contemporary kabuki, a respectful yet bold take on a classic masterpiece
Kinoshita-Kabuki puts a uniquely present-day spin on kabuki. Working with contemporary theater directors, the company brings out all the possibilities of classical drama for modern audiences. Ten years on, it shows no signs of letting up as Yuichi Kinoshita continues to adapt and supplement the classics based on exhaustive understanding of the original materials. This production is a reworking of one premiered in Kyoto in 2010, and part of Kinoshita-Kabuki’s two-year project to stage major works from the kabuki repertory. The much-performed Kanjincho is a staple, famous especially for its memorable portrayal of the loyalty of Benkei for his master, Yoshitsune.
For the first time, Kinoshita-Kabuki has here developed a production not just in Kyoto but also in Yokohama, and kicked off rehearsals with an exact imitation of the kabuki version. As such, this is a commemorative production that fully establishes the company’s style until now. Known for dazzling audiences with up-to-date adaptations of kabuki, this staging of Kanjincho is both the culmination of a decade of experimentation and also an opportunity to see the new directions the company is taking.
- 2016 AUTUMN
- Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza
- Japanese with English surtitles
- Kyoto, Japan
Yuichi Kinoshita was born in 1985, in Wakayama Prefecture. Kinoshita was shocked by a Kamigatastyle rakugo performance in his childhood. Based on this initial experience, he became interested in Japanese classical theater. He studied modern theater at Kyoto University of Art and Design. In 2006, he founded the theater company Kinoshita-Kabuki, which performs modern versions of classical theater. In the company, Kinoshita works with stage directors to supervise and supplement the original texts. His recent work includes Yoshitsune Senbonzakura (2012) and Sanninkichisa (2014-2015). Kinoshita is also active as a writer and lecturer on classical theater, and is also currently working on a doctoral thesis about Tetsuji Takechi’s kabuki. Kinoshita is the recipient of multiple awards and grants, including a Saison Foundation Junior Fellowship (2014-2016).
Director and stage designer Kunio Sugihara was born in Tokyo in 1982, and grew up in Chigasaki, Kanagawa. He is the artistic director of KUNIO and a member of Kinoshita-Kabuki. He studied performing arts at Kyoto University of Art and Design, where he launched his theater career. In 2004, he founded KUNIO, whose productions include Eugène Ionesco’s The Chairs (co-produced with Ai Hall in Itami), Tony Kushner’s eight-hour Angels in America, and a newly translated
version of Hamlet based on the First Quarto text. He has directed nine productions for Kinoshita-Kabuki, including Sambaso, Sanninkichisa and Yoshitsune Senbonzakura. A natural fan of festivals, he has also served as director of Summit, a festival organized at Komaba Agora Theater, as well as devising the concept for the Kyoto Experiment Fringe program (2010-2012).
|Supervision and revisions||Yuichi Kinoshita|
|Direction and stage design||Kunio Sugihara|
|Cast||Lee The 5th, Ryotaro Sakaguchi, Noemi Takayama, Yasuhiro Okano, Kazunori Kameshima, Hiroshi Shigeoka, Yuya Ogaki|
|Stage manager||Nobuaki Oshika, Michiko Tanaka|
|Carriage adviser||Akiju Wakasa|
|Lighting assistant||Kazuya Yoshida|
|Revisions assistant||Takatoshi Inagaki|
|Assistant direction||Tetsuya Iwasawa, Miki Nakamura, Yae Yamamichi|
|Literary advisor||Ayumi Seki|
|Publicity design||Hiroshi Toyama|
|Surtitles translation||Christopher Gregory|
|Production coordination||Mai Hongo, Asami Hori, Chiharu Misu|
|In co-operation with||Minami Suzuki, Gaijyu Company, Steep Slope Studio, CUBE. Inc., KUNIO, krei inc., Soundwheeze, Seinendan, chicotsu, DEPAY’S MAN, FAIFAI, mahiru, Mrs.fictions, libido:, letre, lolo|
|Presented by||Kyoto Experiment|