Japan Society to Present Toshiki Okada's GOD BLESS BASEBALL in January
Japan Society proudly presents God Bless Baseball, written and directed by Toshiki Okada. This production, a North American Premiere, plays 4 performances only at Japan Society: Thursday, January 14 at 8:00pm; Friday, January 15 at 7:30pm; Saturday, January 16 at 7:30pm; Sunday, January 17 at 2:30pm, kicking off a U.S. tour. The New York engagement is part of the The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival.
Following the New York engagement at Japan Society (333 East 47th Street), God Bless Baseball will have stops at: FringeArts, Philadelphia (January 21-23); Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (January 28-30); The Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University (February 4-7); The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland (February 12-13).
Visionary playwright/director Toshiki Okada places baseball, an iconic symbol of America, as the centerpiece of his newest play that addresses the current social and political climates of Japan and South Korea, where baseball is deeply rooted in popular culture. Through an episodic narrative and incorporating Okada's distinctive style of hyper-colloquial speech and subtly choreographed commonplace gestures, God Bless Baseball unearths images, conflicts and personal and national memories related to the sport, while offering a humorous yet cynical allegory depicted by the naïve adoration that two brothers (personifications of Korea and Japan) have for their parent (America). In his director notes, Okada says, "I wanted to offer the opportunity to contemplate on the current relationship between South Korea and Japan and envisage its possible future. To that extent, I chose America as the theme of the play, as both countries have been hugely influenced by the United States." Featuring an ensemble cast of Japanese and Korean actors and an inventive stage set by internationally-known visual artist Tadasu Takamine, this new work pulls at the thread of a beloved pastime - examining its influence far beyond the sporting arena. In Japanese and Korean with English titles.
God Bless Baseball, written and directed by Toshiki Okada, is performed by Yoon Jae Lee, Pijin Neji, Sung Hee Wi and Aoi Nozu. Set Design is by Tadasu Takamine. Costume Design is by Kyoko Fujitani (FAIFAI). Lighting Design is by Ayumi Kito. Sound Design is by Yuji Tsutsumida (WHITELIGHT).