Japan Society to Present GETTING LOST as Part of Play Reading Series, 3/31
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 10th 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 (333 East 47th Street).
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 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.