Japan Society Presents the 18th Installment of Its Annual Play Reading Series: THE GOOD-STORY MURDERS

The new work is from Japanese playwright and fantasy/sci-fi anime script writer Aya Takaha, led by New York-based director Tai Thompson.

By: Feb. 15, 2024
Japan Society Presents the 18th Installment of Its Annual Play Reading Series: THE GOOD-STORY MURDERS
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As part of its current Performing Arts Season, Fall 2023—Spring 2024, Japan Society presents a staged reading of The Good-Story Murders by Japanese playwright and fantasy/sci-fi anime script writer Aya Takaha, led by New York-based director Tai Thompson, taking place Monday, March 18 at 7:30 PM at Japan Society (333 East 47th Street).  

The Good-Story Murders marks the 18th installment of the Society's annual Play Reading Series: Contemporary Japanese Plays in English Translation, introducing topical plays from emerging playwrights from Japan to artists and audiences in the U.S. 

Takaha's piece takes place in a future Japan where people inexplicably begin to perish during middle age.  To memorialize their brief lives, a new profession called “Good Story” writers has cropped up, in which a writer will concoct a dramatic death to be realized by a “flash mob” of performers.  A famous Good Story writer, whose client list even includes the prime minister of Japan, designates a homeless person to succeed her.  What unfolds next in her plot?  With a translation by Leon Ingulsrud, former Co-Artistic Director, actor and founding member of Siti Company, the Miami-born, New York-based director Tai Thompson leads a cast of local actors in this sci-fi suspense play.  Playwright Aya Takaha and director Tai Thompson will appear live for an audience Q&A following the reading.

Tickets are $18 / $14 Japan Society members.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.japansociety.org or by calling the Box Office at 212-715-1258 (M-F 9:00am – 5:00pm).  Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street, between First and Second Avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 at 42nd Street-Grand Central Station or the E at Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street).  Before attending, view our current visitor policies and safety protocols here.  

For more information, call 212-832-1155 or visit http://www.japansociety.org

About the artists

Aya Takaha (Playwright) is a playwright, director, screenwriter, and actor.  Takaha launched her own theater company Takaha Theater Projects (Takaha Gekidan) in 2004, and has since led a rotating roster of actors, writing and directing all of the company's productions.  She has received high acclaim for her dramatic and precise storytelling skills, which make social themes entertaining, and for her colloquial plays forefronting a vivid and lyrical sense of language.  In recent years, she has been expanding her field of work into wider genres, including animation, live-action dramas, and game scenarios.  Her screenplays include an anime series, The Ancient Magus' Bride, a mobile game, takt op., and a TV drama, From Now on We Begin Ethics (Koko-ha Ima-kara Rinri-desu).

Tai Thompson (Director) is a NYC-based multidisciplinary artist specializing in new works and immersive theater.  As a deviser and director, Thompson's work is character-driven and socially conscious, from hyper-realistic to satirical.  She has directed large-scale historical immersive productions throughout the US, including multiple collaborations with Juggerknot Theatre's critically acclaimed series, Miami Motel Stories.  Thompson was a 2018 SDCF Observer, 2018 Inaugural NAMT Observer, 2019 Drama League Classical Directing Fellow, and a 2022 Old Globe Classical Theatre Fellow, and is the Resident Director at Juggerknot Theatre in Miami.  Also a playwright, Tai was a 2022 Finalist for both the Next Stages and Beatrice Terry Residencies at the Drama League.  Her plays include Kleonostium (Old Globe), the one-woman show Not Quite Ripe, Pressures, and Lucky.  Selected work: Dark Star from Harlem (La Mama- 2020 AUDELCO Award for Best Direction of a Musical), Men on Boats (NYU/Atlantic), Breathe (New Professional Theatre), Warriors (TheatreWorks), Moon Man Walk (FSU), Go Down, Moses (BNW), Long Distance Affair (PopUp Theatrics/Juggerknot- 2022 NoProscenium Audience Choice Award, 2021 Miami New Times Best Play Award), Miami Bus Stop Stories (winner Knight Foundation New Work 2020).

About Japan Society

This season, Performing Arts programs span the disciplines of music, theater and dance. Following this presentation of the annual Play Reading Series, the season concludes with a boundary-pushing double-bill of ballet and hip-hop titled Beyond Ballet, Beyond Hip-Hop, featuring leading prima ballerina Hana Sakai and the allfemale dance group MWMW, led by award-winning dancer Moto Takahashi (May 10 – 11).  Winter/Spring 2024 began with the New York premiere of Hamlet | Toilet written and directed by Yu Murai and performed by the acclaimed theater company Kaimaku Pennant Race (KPR) (January 10 – 13, part of Under the Radar Festival 2024) and continued with a union of Japan's most talented nihon buyo dancers in Nihon Buyo in the 21st Century (January 24 – 26).  Earlier this season, Japan Society presented New York's first-ever John Cage series focusing on Japan's influence on this significantly influential 20th century composer with John Cage's Japan.  The series kicked off with Paul Lazar's Cage Shuffle, a solo performance of spoken texts that demonstrate Cage's strong connection to Japan.  Further ascertaining Cage's inspiration taken from Japan, the festival continued with a series of innovative concerts curated by Tomomi Adachi, composer/musician and internationally recognized Cage expert, collaborating with the International Contemporary Ensemble, America's leading performers of new work, as well as various international guest performers.  

Japan Society is the premier organization connecting Japanese arts, culture, business, and society with audiences in NYC and around the world.  In over 100 years of work, the Society has inspired generations by establishing itself as a pioneer in supporting international exchanges in arts and culture, business and policy, as well as education between Japan and the U.S.  This year, Japan Society is celebrating its heritage through the 50th anniversary of its our landmark building, designed by the late architect Junzo Yoshimura, with the launch of a new distinct modern logo and visual identity.  

Since the inception of Japan Society Performing Arts Program, the Program has brought 1000+ productions of and inspired by Japan to audiences in NYC and beyond through North American tours organized by Japan Society. Programs range from the traditional arts to contemporary theater, dance and music.  Since the establishment of the Performing Arts Endowment in 2005, the Society also commissions non-Japanese artists to create Japan-related new works through fostering cross-cultural collaboration that has become part of its important mission.




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