Performing Arts


Announcing the Fall 2020/Winter 2021 Performing Arts Season

Japan Society is pleased to announce its Fall 2020/Winter 2021 Performing Arts Season, featuring four innovative programs brought by visionary artists in music, theater, and more in virtual and experimental spaces. Taking this time of physical distancing as an opportunity, these programs offer new ways of bringing people together worldwide to share moments and inspiration unhindered by traditional limitations of live performance and travel. Ticketing information and more details will be announced soon.

MUSIC: Reiko Yamada’s Sound Installation on Silent Movies
Online Video Live Event
October 2020

Composer and sound artist Reiko Yamada uses the latest technologies in electronic and acoustic music "installation" to create an interdisciplinary collaboration that bridges the gap between time and space. Performing on period accordions, Yamada creates experimental and novel ways of presenting sound and visuals in a virtual landscape. She will redefine the definition of “pastimes” in her original, avant-garde scores to silent films of sumo matches, trains, and old animations from the early 20th century. The program is followed by a "live" Q&A with Reiko Yamada.

THEATER: Underground Fairy
15th Installment of Japan Society’s Play Reading Series
Online Video Live Event
November 2020

Award-winning playwright/director Satoko Ichihara and NY-based experimental theater director Tara Ahmadinejad come together in the 15th installment of the Play Reading Series, leading American actors in creating an innovative and online presentation of Underground Fairy. This play addresses themes of isolation, inclusiveness, and the meaning of “community” as it follows Yurieria, a half-fairy-half-human living in a fairy’s community.There will be a "live" post-performance Q&A with Tara Ahmadinejad (in NYC) and Satoko Ichihara (in Tokyo.)

THEATER: Mansai Nomura’s New Kyogen
Online Video Live Event
December 2020

Mansai Nomura, beloved traditional kyogen actor, will appear online in two kyogen pieces—Kagami-kaja (A Mirror Servant) and Ayu (Sweetfish)—on two consecutive days for their U.S. premieres, and will be accompanied by a traditional kyogen piece. The performances will be preceded by Mansai's introduction of each piece (with English subtitles), and followed by a “live” post-performance talk + Q&A (with an interpreter).

THEATER: The Dark Master
On-Site Virtual Reality Event
January 2021

Written and directed by psychiatrist-turned-director/playwright Kuro Tanino, The Dark Master is an immersive and humorously-dark experimental theater play addressing "self and other," dictatorship, and the process of total absorption in a new ‘live performance’ style as a young backpacker slowly becomes one with the ‘Master’ of a local eatery. Tanino explores unconventional presentations of theater by utilizing VR (Virtual Reality) headsets for a limited audience of 10-12 people and by combining special physical and sound effects, like the smell of a meal being cooked. The VR and physical isolation of each audience member heightens the effect of slipping into total mind control.

Please note that this on-site event in January will proceed in accordance with the updated health recommendations pertaining to COVID-19

Your continued support is essential for us to bring you another exciting season. Click here to donate. Stay tuned for more about our 2020-2021 season line-up and ticket information!

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Performing Arts Season Funding

Lead Sponsor:

Corporate Partner:

ORIX Stewardship Foundation

Major Support: The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Doug and Teresa Peterson, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc.


Additional Support: Dr. and Mrs. Carl F. Taeusch II, Dean Jeanette C. Takamura, Mr. Alan M. Suhonen, Hiroko Onoyama, The Royal Little Family Foundation, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, Mr. Norton Belknap, Dr. John K. Gillespie, Paula S. Lawrence, Dr. Stephen and Mrs. Michiko Levine, Susan M. McCormac, Pamela Perlman, Karen and Samuel Richardson, and Lyndley and Samuel Schwab.

Endowment: Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Endowment Fund and the Endowment for the Performing Arts, established with a leadership gift from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

In-kind Support: Transportation assistance is provided by All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.

Yamaha is the official piano provider of Japan Society.

MetLife Meet-the-Artists Reception support is provided by MetLife Foundation.

Images: © Shinji Masakawa © from Setagaya Public Theater, Reiko Yamada © Carolyn Drake, Satoko Ichihara © Mizuki Sato, The Dark Master © Hirokazu Tokuyama.

Calendar of Events

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