KATSURA SUNSHINE'S RAKUGO to Offer a $20 Digital Lottery & Rush Tickets For Upcoming Shows

Katsura Sunshine’s Rakugo celebrates the 400-year-old Japanese art of comic storytelling.

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Katsura Sunshine will continue to bring the 400-year-old Japanese art of Rakugo around the globe; he recently extended his stay in New York through the end of the year as well as continuing his West End residency at London's Leicester Square Theatre. To make the show even more accessible to audiences, producers of the show are introducing a $20 digital lottery and rush tickets.

Digital Lottery (2 days before the performances): A limited number of $20 (including fees) tickets will be sold via digital lottery for each performance. Entries for the Katsura Sunshine's Rakugo digital lottery start at 12 AM - 3 PM, the Thursday before the performance, and winners are drawn the same day at 10 AM and 3 PM. Winners may buy up to two tickets at $20 each. To enter and for more information, visit Rakugo.lol/lottery

Digital day-of Rush tickets: A limited number of $20 (including fees) Rush tickets will be available the day of a performance beginning at 11 AM. Select the number of tickets you want to purchase and click the "Check Availability" button. More tickets may become available throughout the day if there is no availability when you first check. Rush ends 30 minutes before the curtain. Rakugo.lol/lottery.

Katsura Sunshine's Rakugo celebrates the 400-year-old Japanese art of comic storytelling and features a lone storyteller dressed in kimono, using only a fan and a hand towel for props. He entertains the audience with a comic monologue followed by traditional stories that have been handed down from Master to Apprentice for centuries. Sunshine began performing in New York City in 2019 and was shut down due to the pandemic but returned in March of 2022 and will continue the run through the end of the year.

"We are very proud to have introduced Rakugo to so many people since we began in 2019 presenting this show in New York City. In 2023, after returning from a pandemic, we want to maximize our efforts and ensure that tickets are available and affordable for anyone willing to experience this beautiful and hilarious Japanese art form."

Executive Producer, Joe Trentacosta

Free tickets for students:

As part of his efforts to expand the reach of Rakugo around the world, Sunshine and his producers and a group of donors subsidize tickets for school-age kids (through college), making it free for those still in school to attend a performance for more information visit Rakugo.lol/students

The Apprenticeship:

In order to become a recognized professional Rakugo storyteller, one must apprentice to a Rakugo Master, from whom one receives a stage name. The apprenticeship lasts for three to four years and is very strict. Depending on the master, the apprentice may not drink, smoke, or go on dates and is subject to a strict curfew during the apprenticeship period. The apprentice cleans the master's house, does laundry, cooking, preparing and folding kimonos, and other chores, and learns the art of storytelling by watching the master perform and imitating. Throughout one's career, one is only allowed to perform a given story once a master storyteller has granted permission to do that story.

Katsura Sunshine's Rakugo has set design by Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, lighting design by Yuki Nakase Link, and is presented by Joe Trentacosta and Yoshitaka Tanaka with artistic producer Marie Fukuda in association with Yumi Shinozaki. General Management by LDK Productions/Lisa Dozier.

Katsura Sunshine

was born in Toronto, Ontario, to parents of Slovenian origin. He studied Classics at the University of Toronto, specializing in Ancient Greek Theatre. In September 1995, his version of Aristophanes' "Clouds" opened at the Poor Alex Theatre in Toronto and ran for 15 months before embarking on a central and eastern Canada tour. Sunshine went to Japan in 1999 to pursue studies in Japanese theatre. On September 1, 2008, he was accepted as an apprentice to the great Rakugo storytelling Master, Katsura Bunshi VI (then named Katsura Sanshi), and received from his Master the Rakugo name Katsura Sunshine. Sunshine is the first-ever Western Rakugo storyteller in the history of the "Kamigata" Rakugo tradition, based in Osaka, and only the second ever in the history of Japan. He has performed in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Thailand, Nepal, Ghana, Senegal, Gabon, South Africa, as well as throughout Japan. He had his West End debut at the Leicester Square Theatre and his off-Broadway debut at the SoHo Playhouse for three weeks each in 2017. In 2019 Sunshine was part of the successful bid of the city of Osaka for the 2025 World Fair, for which he traveled to Paris to present Japanese culture and featuring in a video played on the final voting day. He received praise from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for this work, particularly for the video presentation. Also, in 2019, Sunshine was chosen to be the Master of Ceremonies at the opening reception of the G-20 Summit in Osaka. Sunshine currently divides his time between New York and Tokyo.


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