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Chiten Theatre Company: Good-Bye

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Directed by Motoi Miura
Based on Goodbye by Osamu Dazai

World War II is over and Japan has lost.

One of Japan’s foremost experimental theatre companies presents GOOD-BYE, based on the 1949 work of popular Japanese novelist, Osamu Dazai, (No Longer Human), and a collage of his later works. Dazai committed suicide before finishing GOOD-BYE. 

As a man plans his death, he meets with friends and past lovers to say goodbye with a beautiful and exhilarating farewell. In a feverish story filled with lightness, brightness and peppered with macabre humour, he relives his life as a student, after university and during and after the war.

Set in a bar, accompanied live by the Japanese rock band Kukangendai, where everyone gets increasingly drunk, the piece addresses the struggle to identify what it was, and now is, to be Japanese.

Dazai’s final novel is totally relevant because we still haven’t resolved losing the war. In Good-bye traditional culture sits shoulder to shoulder with globalisation and Americanisation, reflecting the thought processes of contemporary Japan from the kimono to rock and roll.’ – Motoi Miura

Presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

 

Director
Motoi Miura

Based on a collage of novels by
Osamu Dazai

Music
Kukangendai

Cast (in order of appearance)
Satoko Abe, Dai Ishida, Masaya Kishimoto, Shie Kubota, Asuka Kurosawa, Yohei Kobayashi, Kazuki Masuda

Set Designer
Itaru Sugiyama

Sound Designer
Bunsho Nishikawa

Lighting Designer
Yasuhiro Fujiwara

Costume Designer
Colette Huchard

Stage Manager
Nobuaki Oshika

Producer
Yuna Tajima

Supported by
The Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan
Through the Japan Arts Council

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Chiten Theatre Company
Chiten, meaning “locus” or “point”, is a theatre company led by director Motoi Miura. It specializes in performances created out of collages using fragments of existing texts. It employs an original linguistic style, deliberately delaying the cadence and rhythm of language to expose the raw sound of the words liberated from their meanings. This technique has frequently been recognized for its musical qualities. Rather than maintaining a single systematic methodology, Chiten explores a wide variety of approaches for the texts it adapts. Its major work includes a series of stagings of Chekhov plays, Brecht’s Fatzer, and Jelinek’s Kein Licht.

Originally based in Tokyo, Chiten moved to Kyoto in 2005. In 2013 it renovated a derelict former music venue to open an atelier space: UNDER-THROW. The name is derived from a Japanese-English word literally meaning “under pitching” and which usually refers to a submarine pitch in baseball. At the space Chiten performs a repertoire of previous productions and new works. In 2011, it performed The Cherry Orchard and Uncle Vanya at the Meyerhold Centre in Moscow. It was invited to perform Coriolanus at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London as part of the World Shakespeare Festival in 2012. Alongside its acclaimed overseas tours, it regularly receives commissions for co-productions with public theatres and festivals in Japan, including the Kanagawa Arts Theatre (KAAT) in Yokohama, Kyoto Experiment, and Festival/Tokyo.

The company currently has six permanent performers. All the members of the company appear in every production, whether that is acting over thirty roles in Shakespeare plays or performing texts that are fundamentally non-dramatic, such as the Constitution of Japan. The company aspires to arrive at new frontiers in technique and directing. Departing fully from realism, Chiten rehearsals are improvisational in nature in order create complex and difficult theatre through its unique critical interpretations.

 

Motoi Miura
Born in 1973, Miura graduated from the Toho Gakuen College of Drama and Music. In 1996 he joined Seinendan Theater Company, where he worked as an assistant director to Oriza Hirata and as full-time staff at Komaba Agora Theatre. From 1999 he studied in Paris for two years on a government scholarship, learning directing, arts management and artistic directorship under Jacques Blanc. He returned to Japan in 2001 and started his work with his company CHITEN, directing Japan premières of plays by Jon Fosse and David Harrower. In 2005 he left Seinendan and moved to Kyoto, and won the Outstanding Performance Award at the Toga Director Contest. He has been re-creating the four masterpieces of Chekhov since 2007 and in the same year he received the Agency of Cultural Affairs New Director Award for his production of “The Cherry Orchard”. In 2010 he received the Kyoto Prefecture Culture Award and his first book on production theory “Is just being interesting OK?” was published. He has won many other awards. Among his productions are Philip Glassʼs opera “In the Penal Colony”(2008), Elfriede Jelinek’s “Kein Licht.”(2012), and Beltort Brecht’s “Fatzer”(2013).

 

Osamu Dazai
Osamu Dazai, born Shūji Tsushima, was one of 20th-century Japan’s foremost novelists. A number of his most popular works, such as The Setting Sun and No Longer Human, are considered modern classics. Dazai’s stories have intrigued the minds of many readers with their semi-autobiographical style and intimate insight into his personal life. His novels explore topics such as human nature, mental illness, social relationships, and post-war Japan.

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