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Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference

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The press conference brought together cast members, including Kanna Hashimoto, Mone Kamishiraishi and Mari Natsuki, along with writer and director John Caird.

On November 9, 2021, Toho Co., Ltd. hosted a press conference in Tokyo, Japan for the upcoming theatrical stage production, SPIRITED AWAY, which is set to showcase at the Imperial Theatre in Marunouchi, Tokyo from March 2-29, 2022. The live stage adaption releases during the year of Toho's 90th anniversary.

Check out photos below!

The press conference brought together cast members, including Kanna Hashimoto, Mone Kamishiraishi and Mari Natsuki, along with writer and director John Caird, supporting director Maoko Imai and Studio Ghibli's Toshio Suzuki, producer of the original film SPIRITED AWAY, who each talked about their anticipation for the new stage production. The vibrant energy from the speakers and audience carried throughout the event and built excitement for what's to come with the SPIRITED AWAY stage production.

Opening on an exciting note, the press conference revealed two posters featuring Hashimoto and Kamishiraish as Chihiro. The surprise reveal served as a first look for the two actors as they saw the posters for the first time, along with the audience who reacted positively to the visuals with a round of applause.

Suzuki said it was "very touching" that the stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli's classic is happening two decades after the initial release. He also shared an anecdote of Hayao Miyazaki meeting Caird for the first time: "They just clicked right away, and Miyazaki immediately said 'okay' to the idea of the stage adaptation." He also added that it had come from Miyazaki's thoughts on SPIRITED AWAY being "so widely beloved that it has become everyone's piece, not just his."

Caird, who is a great admirer of Ghibli films, was surprised at Miyazaki's prompt decision, even though he believed the story of SPIRITED AWAY was very theatrical, and he always felt it could be a stage production. He continued to praise Miyazaki's stories as having amazing emotional and intellectual integrity and that his talent to get inside the mind of children makes him equal with some of the great storytellers like Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen and Lewis Carol. Caird said: "I think he will go down in history as one of the greatest storytellers." He revealed that Miyazaki had told him to "have fun." Caird turned to the lively cast members and said, "I can guarantee you we're going to have fun."

During this moment, a torch had been passed from the original SPIRITED AWAY creator to a fan who promised to let the film bloom on an entirely new stage.

Caird shared that he has already been working on the play in London and Tokyo through three workshops with the creatives, including: Brad Haak (Knights' Tale) on music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations; Jon Bausor (London Paralympics Opening Ceremony in 2012) on set design; Toby Olié (puppeteer/associate puppetry director for Olivier Award/Tony Award winning War Horse) on puppetry design and direction; and Shigehiro Ide on choreography.

Photo credit: Toho Co., Ltd.

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
John Caird

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Fu Hiumi

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Company

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Hiroki Miura

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Mari Natuski

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Miyu Sakihi

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Mone Kamishiraish, Kanna Hashimoto

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Mone Kamishraishi

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Mone Kamishiraish, Kanna Hahimoto

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Romi Park

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Satoshi Hashimoto

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Tomohiko Tsujimoto

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Tomorowo Taguchi

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Toshio Suzuki

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Kanna Hashimoto

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Kenya Osumi

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Koharu Sugawara, Tomohiko Tsujimoto

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Koharu Sugawara

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Kotaro Daigo

Photos: Inside the SPIRITED AWAY Theatrical Stage Production Press Conference
Maoko Imai


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