Press

Japan's 'Lost Generation' Found in 10th Installment of Annual Series of Contemporary Japanese Plays in English Translation

Getting Lost by Shiro Maeda

Monday, March 31, 2014, 7:30 pm, at Japan Society


現代日本戯曲: 英語版リーディング・シリーズ第10弾 前田司郎・作/ダン・セイファー・演出 『迷子になるわ』

New York, NY - Japan Society presents a staged reading of Getting Lost by Japanese playwright Shiro Maeda, directed by New York-based theater artist Dan Safer. As part of Japan Society’s 60th Anniversary Performing Arts Season, Getting Lost marks the tenth installment of the Society’s annual Play Reading Series of contemporary Japanese plays in English translation. The Play Reading Series reflects a continued commitment to introduce the wide range of contemporary Japanese plays to American audiences, seeding possibilities for development of American productions of Japanese plays. This event takes place Monday, March 31 at 7:30 pm at Japan Society..

A young Tokyoite woman feels unsettled and lost. As she confronts the many discomforting thoughts of love, friends and family in her muddled life, her past, present and future begin to collide, spiraling her further and further from reality into a hallucinatory world. Dan Safer, celebrated theater director and founder of the New York company Witness Relocation, leads a cast of American actors in this absurd yet serious tale. Written by Kishida Kunio Award-winning playwright/director Shiro Maeda of the theater company GOTANNDADAN, who has come to be known for his illustrations of heavy issues through conversational, everyday dialogue, Getting Lost represents the voice of Japan’s so-called “lost generation.” Playwright Shiro Maeda will travel to New York and join in a post-performance conversation with the director and audience.

Getting Lost features appearances by Ilan Bachrach, Nikki Calonge, Vanessa Koppel, Mike Mikos, Chinasa Ogbuagu and Jenny Seastone Stern, with riginal translation is by Miwa Monden, adapted by Jo Allan. The original Japanese version of the play premiered in Tokyo at Festival Tokyo 2010 and was subsequently performed at Fukuoka Theater Festival (2013) and M1 Singapore Fringe Festival (2013), and was presented as a Play Reading in London (2011) with English actors. Getting Lost will be staged in France in November 2014.

Shiro Maeda is a writer, director, actor and leading figure in Japan’s contemporary performing arts scene. He has also established himself through his work on novels, TV and movies. Born in the 1970s, Maeda is said to represent the voices of Japan’s “Lost Decade,” which refers to those who have lived through times of social and economic uncertainty. Maeda is most recognized and praised for the way he deals with heavy and universal issues through levity, subtle humor and even absurdism. This creates a surreal and sometimes chilling world, where he crosses the lines of time and space freely. Maeda’s works have been performed throughout Japan and Europe. His highly regarded theater work Suteru Tabi has been presented in Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels (2009), Festival d’Automne in Paris (2012), SÜDPOL MUSIK TANZ THEATER in Luzern (2012), National Theatre in Budapest (2012), Centre Pompidou Metz in France (2012), and at the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival (2014). His work Understandable?, a theater piece for six actors performed in three languages without subtitles co-produced with the French company ASTROV was presented in Tokyo, France and Luxemburg (2012). Awards include Japan’s most prestigious award for playwrights, the 52nd Kishida Drama Award (2007), for Isn't Anyone Alive?; the 46th Galaxy Award (2008) for the TV script Getting Lost; and the 22nd Mishima Yukio Prize (2009) for the novel Mermen in Summer Water. Maeda wrote a novel and script for the movie The Extreme SUKIYAKI which premiered in November 2013 in Japan.

Dan Safer is Artistic Director of the dance/theater company Witness Relocation and works as a freelance director and choreographer. Recent credits include Dave Malloy & Eliza Bent's Blue Wizard/ Black Wizard, the world premiere of Chuck Mee's Eterniday; an original dance/theater/music adaptation of Moby Dick at NYU Abu Dhabi; and choreography for Stravinsky's Rite of Spring with Philadelphia Orchestra and Ridge Theater. He has directed the English language premieres of plays by Japanese playwright Toshiki Okada (Five Days In March) and Mikuni Yanaihara (The Bluebird). His work has appeared at venues including BAM, Theater de Chaillot in Paris, Les Subsistanes in Lyon, and theaters and festivals in Thailand, Poland, Russia, Romania, Australia, and all over the US. He was a 2007-9 recipient of the Six Points Fellowship (Performance) and has won two NY Innovative Theater Awards, and Time Out New York calls him, "a purveyor of lo-fi mayhem." He used to be a go-go dancer and once choreographed the Queen of Thailand's Birthday Party. Safer is the Head of Movement Training at NYU/ Playwrights Horizons Theater School and has taught at Princeton University and The Norwegian Theatre Academy.

ABOUT JAPAN SOCIETY’S 2013-14 PERFORMING ARTS SEASON

In the 2013-14 season, Japan Society’s 60th Anniversary Performing Arts Season: Japan, the U.S. & Beyond!, the Japan Society Performing Arts Program celebrates its kanreki, one's 60th birthday, with a range of international cross-cultural collaborations, encompassing beloved encore performances, world and U.S. premieres, legendary performers and emerging artists. In Japanese tradition, kanreki is a special celebration of longevity and rebirth, honoring a lifetime of accomplishments, taking stock of achievements, and diving into the future with renewed drive and reinvigorated purpose.

This milestone season kicked off in September with Basil Twist’s Dogugaeshi, followed by two improvisational concerts by avant-garde iconoclast musician/composer John Zorn with Ryuichi Sakamoto on October 4, as the culminating event of Zorn's citywide 60th birthday celebration Zorn@60. Next, the Society presented the English-language premiere of Yukio Shiba’s play Our Planet, in a building-wide theater event directed by Alec Duffy. The Society launched 2014 with The Room Nobody Knows, written and directed by Kuro Tanino, in a production from his company Niwa Gekidan Penino which played in January as part of The Public Theater’s 2014 Under the Radar Festival. The season continued with ancient Shomyo: Buddhist Ritual Chant, a rare, contemplative, colorful performance by two-dozen priests at St. Bartholomew's Church (March 6); and next up is butoh dancer/choreographer Yumiko Yoshioka leading a beginner butoh/body resonance workshop (April 2); the International premiere of choreographer Luca Veggetti’s Project IX - Pleiades, performed by former Jiří Kylián's Nederlands Dans Theater soloist Megumi Nakamura in collaboration with distinguished percussionist Kuniko Kato (May 2-3); and an annual summer concert.

Since the inception of the Performing Arts Program in 1953, Japan Society has introduced more than 600 of Japan’s finest performing arts to an extensive American audience. Programs range from the traditional arts of noh, kyogen, bunraku and kabuki to cutting-edge theater, dance and music. The Program also commissions new works to non-Japanese artists, produces national tours, organizes residency programs for American and Japanese artists and develops and distributes educational programs. "At once diverse and daring, the program stands toe to toe with some of the most comprehensive cultural exchange endeavors today.” --Back Stage.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.

Getting Lost takes place Monday, March 31 at 7:30 pm. Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street, between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 at 42nd Street-Grand Central Station or the E and M at Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street).Tickets are $12/$9 Japan Society members and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 212-715-1258, online at www.japansociety.org, or in person at Japan Society (M-F 11:00 AM–6:00 PM and Sat-Sun 11:00 AM–5:00 PM). For more information call 212-832-1155 or visit the website.

Getting Lost is supported by The Saison Foundation. Support for Japan Society's 2013-14 Performing Arts Season: Corporate Partner: MetLife Foundation. Major Support: Doug and Teresa Peterson, Mr. Kenneth A. Cowin, Dr. John K. Gillespie, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc., the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, an anonymous donor, and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. Additional Support: Dr. and Mrs. Carl F. Taeusch II; Mr. Richard Royce; Howard and Sarah Solomon; Ms. Hiroko Onoyama; Ms. Kumiko Yoshii; Mr. Terry Brykczynski and Ms. Andrea Miller; Mr. Norton Belknap; The Globus Family; Geoffrey Paul Gordon and Nicole A. Gordon; Dr. Stephen J. and Mrs. Michiko Levine; Mr. James C. Nolan (deceased); Mr. Michael Romano; Mr. Alex York and Paula S. Lawrence. Endowment: Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Endowment Fund, and the Endowment for the Performing Arts, established with leadership gifts from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Globus Family, Kyocera Corporation, The Starr Foundation and Toyota Motor Corporation. In-kind Support: Transportation assistance is provided by All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. Yamaha is the official piano provider of Japan Society. Japan Society would like to thank the following corporations for their special gifts for the Performing Arts Program's 2013-14 60th Anniversary Season: Dentsu Network, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Sumitomo Corporation of America, Toyota Motor North America, Inc., Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Citi, ITOCHU International Inc. , Marubeni America Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc., Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc., Mizuho Bank, Limited & Mizuho Securities USA Inc. , Nomura Holding America Inc., ORIX USA Corporation, SMBC, Sojitz Corporation of America, WL Ross & Co. LLC, Daiwa Capital Markets America Holdings Inc., IHI INC., Kaneka Americas Holding, Inc., Kawasaki Heavy Industries (USA), Inc., and Tokio Marine Management, Inc. (as of March 1, 2014).

# # #

Media Contacts:
Bridget Klapinski, 347-246-6182, bridget@seven17pr.com
Shannon Jowett, 212-715-1205, sjowett@japansociety.org
Kuniko Shiobara, 212-715-1249, kshiobara@japansociety.org

Calendar of Events

December 2017

S M T W Th F S
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            
All content © 2017, Japan Society, unless otherwise noted. |
333 East 47th Street New York, NY 10017 Phone: 212.832.1155 |
Credits | Press | Contact Us | Privacy Policy