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Epistle to Young Actors

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Directed by Satoshi Miyagi
Written by Olivier Py
Japanese text by Oriza Hirata
Translated by Mai Yoshino
Performed by Yoko Hirata and Natsumi Sugiyama
Produced by SPAC
12 June at 13 :00 and 13 June at 15:30
Shizuoka Arts Theatre
Duration: 90 minutes (expected time)

The god of theatre sows the seeds of words!


Miyagi, Py, Oriza, Yoko – a collaboration never seen before becomes reality!

When Olivier Py performed in Japan for the first time, at the “Spring Arts Festival Shizuoka 2008”, one of the pieces he showed was this Epistle to Young Actors. What the spectators saw in front of their eyes was literally the “miracle of theatre”. With his theatre-poem, Py evokes the mysticism of the words living in the body that deeply touched everybody and wrapped the outdoor stage in profound contemplation.
This time, this masterpiece of Py is being shown under the co-direction of Contemporary Colloquial Theatre’s key director Oriza Hirata and SPAC’s director Satoshi Miyagi in a Japanese version.
The Japanese theatre world’s stellar talents deliver a remarkable performance that leaves you elated and full of wonder at the seemingly limitless potential of theatre itself.

Endorsed by:Culture France
Sponsored by:French Embassy, Institut franco-japonais de Tokyo

Olivier Py

Playwright, director, actor. Director of the Théâtre d’Odéon.
Born 1965 in the south of France, he entered the National Drama School (Conservatoire) in Paris in 1987. At the same time he studied theology and philosophy at the Catholic Institute of Paris. In 1988 he created his own company, and in 1995 at the Avignon Festival, where he presented his 24 hours long piece La Servante, the main theme of which was the ‘service’ of the art of theatre, for seven days in a row, he gained real fame. After this acclaimed success, from 1998 to 2007, he directed the Centre Dramatique d’Orléans, followed by his present direction of the Odéon National Theatre. In 2003, Py succeeded with the 11 hours-long performance of Claudel’s Le Soulier de Satin (The Satin Slipper), and in 2008 he showed the trilogy of the Greek Drama Oresteia in his own translation. At the Spring Arts Festival Shizuoka, Py presented Illusions Comiques and Epistle to Young Actors in 2008, followed by Grimm’s Fairy Tales in 2009.
Py is known for being a passionate catholic, but he himself always says “more important than believe is enigma”. To experience the present world here as a miracle, that is the message woven through all of Py’s plays.

Oriza Hirata

Playwright, director, leader of the Seinendan-Company, and artistic director of Komaba Agora Theatre. Born in Tokyo in 1962, he graduated from International Christian University, College of Liberal Arts, Humanities Division. In 1995, Hirata won the 39th Kishida Kunio Drama Award with Tokyo Note (Tokyo Notes). In 1998, he received the 5th Yomiuri Theatre Award, the “Outstanding Director Award”, for his production of Tsuki no Misaki (The Cape of the Moon), a play written by Masataka Matsuda. This was only the beginning of many prizes that followed.
A playwright and director, Oriza Hirata is one of the key figures in the contemporary theatre scene in Japan. His theatrical practice, and books like “Gendai Kogo Engeki no tameni (For Contemporary Colloquial Theatre)” have had a profound impact on the current theatre scene in Japan. In 2008, he attracted the public with the first ever robot theatre Working Me.
Hirata has become a noted critic whose topics run the gamut of cultural matters from education to language and literature. In April 2000, he has joined the faculty as an associate professor at the School of Integrated Culture, a new faculty to develop a comprehensive program of theatre education in the department of Humanities at Obirin University.

Yoko Hirata

Actress of the Seinendan-Company and conductor of the word-singing band Ananjupasu.
Born 1965 in Tokyo, she grew up with music as her father was a composer. Yoko Hirata graduated from the International Christian University. While in university, she entered the Seinendan-Company and has since performed in Tokyo Note and many other plays, often in Europe and oversees. At the same time, Yoko started as singer and songwriter and, as fusion of theatre and music, founded Ananjupasu in 1996. She is composing, singing, and playing the piano in the band. The artistic transcendence of genres that she fulfils with the project to sing poems of writers going back over the past 100 years, like classic poems of Shiki Masa, and modern poetry of Sadakasu Fujii, is highly appreciated. They played in Rome (2004), in Paris (from 2006 to 2010), and Yoko also performed in the French-Iranian coproduction Utopia?. In January and February 2010 she acted in France (Paris Théâtre de la ville) in the French-Japanese Coproduction Par-dessus Bord. Yoko leads an active artist’s live, transcending borders of genres.