Japan Society Presents 100 YEARS STRAY In Annual Play Reading Series

As part of its current 2018-2019 Performing Arts Season, Japan Society presents a staged reading of 100 Years Stray by Japanese playwright SaringROCK, led by New York-based director Taylor Reynolds, taking place Monday, February 4 at 7:30 PM at Japan Society (333 East 47th Street). 100 Years Stray marks the 14th installment of the Society's Play Reading Series of contemporary Japanese plays in English translation, introducing topical plays from up-and-coming playwrights in Japan to artists and audiences in the U.S.

Children go missing, meteors rain from the sky and a blue demon lurks just out of sight in Japanese playwright SaringROCK's 100 Years Stray, nominated for the prestigious Kishida Kunio Drama Award. New York-based director and theater-maker Taylor Reynolds tackles this apocalyptic coming-of-age story in a staged reading that explores a fictional universe where extreme isolation is the norm and women no longer exist. Playwright SaringROCK joins in a post-performance Q&A with the audience and director.

SaringROCK (Playwright) is a writer, director and actor who was born in Osaka, Japan in 1980. She graduated from Kwansei Gakuin University's Department of Literature with a degree in Philosophy. SaringROCK founded the theater company Totsugeki Kingyo in 2002, while she was starting her career as a writer. Her work tends to focus on the unsociable and frustrating lives of Japanese millennials, offering a slightly hopeful and refreshing female perspective. Her plays, rife with eccentric and awkward characters, uniquely embody the modern age. Her play Aijo-Mania received the Grand Prize at the 15th OMS Drama Awards in 2008, while her play Kingyo Kanojo ni Cho Nomushi received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the AAF Drama Awards in 2009. Her plays, Morete 100 Nen and Shonen wa Niwatori to Yume wo Miru, were both finalists of the Kishida Drama Award, Japan's most prestigious award for contemporary playwrights, in 2013 and 2018, respectively.

Taylor Reynolds (Director) is a New York-based director and theatre-maker from Chicago and one of the producing artistic leaders of The Movement Theatre Company, a Harlem-based group dedicated to developing and producing new works by artists of color. She has worked as a director, assistant and collaborator with companies including Clubbed Thumb, Radical Evolution, Ally Theatre Company, The Atlantic Acting School, Single Carrot Theatre, NY Madness, JAG Productions, The United Solo Festival and The 24 Hour Plays. Selected directing credits include: PLANO by Will Arbery; ALLOND(R)A by Gina Femia; Think Before You Holla (creator/deviser); An Informal Presentation...(Or, BURN) by Pascale Smith; FOOD by Rhonda Marie Khan; The Body Unbound (co-devised with Deadria Harrington) and Accidental Burlesque by Gina Femia (developed through the Audrey Residency at New Georges). Of her directorial work on Plano, part of Clubbed Thumb's Summerworks Series (June 2018), The New York Times observed, a "beautifully paced production by Taylor Reynolds." She is a member of NY Madness and the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, is a New Georges Affiliated Artist, and a 2017-2018 Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellow. She received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University.

Japan Society's Performing Arts Program

As announced, Japan Society's 2018-2019 Performing Arts Season features works by visionary artists in dance, music and theater. The current Season commenced in September with the traditional concert Hauta Shamisen: Love Songs from the Edo Period by shamisen master Hidetaro Honjoh (September 14); and continued with the contemporary music concert Hidejiro x ICE: Shamisen Evolution, in which young shamisen standout Hidejiro Honjoh performed three world premiere pieces by Vijar Iyer, Nathan Davis, Yu Kuwahara and more (October 5); and the contemporary music and flower arranging event Unusual Pairings: Akiko Yano + Seiho, featuring renowned pianist and singer/songwriter Akiko Yano and electronic sound artist and ikebana enthusiast Seiho (November 10); and most recently, the Contemporary Dance Festival: Japan + East Asia, including Akira Kasai's Pollen Revolution performed by Mitsutake Kasai, Kuan-Hsiang Liu's Kids and Goblin Party's Silver Knife, brought groundbreaking artists from Japan, Taiwan and Korea to New York (January 4 & 5). The Season continues with an installment from the Play Reading Series: Contemporary Japanese Plays in English Translation, this year delivering 100 Years Stray by SaringROCK, translated by Aya Ogawa (February 4); the traditional puppet theater presentation Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo Puppet Theater led by master and director Koryu Nishikawa V featuring fantastic female characters from classical literature, and a new work from Nishikawa based on a story from The Tale of Genji (February 28 - March 2). Following this presentation of Cross Transit, the Season concludes with the contemporary dance event You Took a Part of Me, choreographed by Karole Armitage and performed by Megumi Eda in the lead role (April 12 & 13); and the contemporary theater presentation Ashita no Ma-Joe: Rocky Macbeth by Yu Marai (May 15 - 19).

Since the inception of the Performing Arts Program in 1953, Japan Society has introduced nearly 700 of Japan's finest performing arts to an extensive American audience. Programs range from the traditional arts of noh, kyogen, bunraku and kabuki to cutting-Edge Theater, dance and music. The Program also commissions new works to non-Japanese artists, produces national tours, organizes residency programs for American and Japanese artists and develops and distributes educational programs. "At once diverse and daring, the program stands toe to toe with some of the most comprehensive cultural exchange endeavors today." --Back Stage.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society in New York City presents sophisticated, topical and accessible experiences of Japanese art and culture, and facilitates the exchange of ideas, knowledge and innovation between the U.S. and Japan. More than 200 events annually encompass world-class exhibitions, dynamic classical and cutting-edge contemporary performing arts, film premieres and retrospectives, workshops and demonstrations, tastings, family activities, language classes, and a range of high-profile talks and expert panels that present open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia.

This one-night-only reading of 100 Years Stray takes place Monday, February 4 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15/$10 Japan Society members. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (212) 715-1258 or in person at Japan Society (M-F 11:00 AM-6:00 PM and Sat-Sun 11:00 AM-5:00 PM). 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 and V at Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street). For more information call (212) 832-1155 or visit www.japansociety.org.

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