Ode to Joy

Ode to Joy (2018) at Open Air Theatre “UDO”, Shizuoka Performing Arts Park

MIYAGI Satoshi’s Legendary Comedy Stage Is Coming Back!

Originally written by playwright KITAMURA So, Ode to Joy has long been praised as a monumental work in the history of Japanese modern performing arts. The plot takes place in a fictional suburban city in western Japan that has just come out of a nuclear war. While left-over missiles are still flying overhead, a strolling entertainer, Gesaku, a young lady, Kyoko, and a mysterious man, Yasuo, wander together in the city, singing and dancing to chindon music and indulging in comic discourse. This masterpiece, which sold out the seats of Open Air Theatre “UDO” of the Shizuoka Performing Arts Park last spring, is making its comeback at SPAC! What will the three wanderers see at the end of their journey?
Directed by MIYAGI Satoshi
Written by KITAMURA So
Set design: KAMIIKE Takuya


 OKUNO Akihito


 Yasuo (Yeshua)



12 October, Saturday 14:00  *Guidance for theatre beginners              
     *Post-performance talk
     *Shuttle bus from Eastern Shizuoka
13 October, Sunday 14:00  *Backstage tour
     *Nursery service
19 October, Saturday 14:00  *Backstage tour
     *Nursery service
20 October, Sunday 14:00  *Post-performance talk
26 October, Saturday 14:00  *Backstage tour

In Japanese with English subtitles
Duration: 90 minutes
Venue: Shizuoka Arts Theatre access

Performances for junior and high-school students

The mark “*” means the performances that have available seats for general audience. (The tickets are limited.)

11 October, Friday at 14:30*
15 October, Tuesday at 13:00*
17 October, Thursday at 13:30
18 October, Friday at 12:00
21 October, Monday at 13:30
23 October, Wednesday at 13:30 / 18:00*
24 October, Thursday at 12:00
25 October, Friday at 13:30

Related events

Pre-Performance Talk: Starting 25 minutes before each performance.
Post-performance talk by the artists and guests: after the performance.
12 October, Saturday
◎Talk by KAMIIKE Takuya, MIYAGI Satoshi and OSAWA Masachi (Sociologist from SPAC Literary Department)

20 October, Sunday
◎Talk by MIYAGI Satoshi, all casts and NAKAMURA Yuki (Production Staff)
Meet us at Cafe Cinderella!
After the performance, the actors will come to see you off in their stage costumes. We hope you will take this opportunity to interact with the actors!
バックステージツアーBackstage tour
The technical staff will take you on a special backstage tour. You can also ask us your questions about the stage.
13 October, Sunday
19 October, Saturday
26 October, Saturday

Every day, after the show
Time: About 30 minutes
Free of charge. Reservation required. Up to 40 people.
Guidance for theatre beginners
SPAC actors will give beginner audiences a lecture on what to look for and pay attention to before the performance. This event can be participated in by both those seeing the performance for the first time and repeaters.
12 October, Saturday at 12:30
Time: About 60 minutes
In Japanese
Free of charge. Reservation required. Up to 20 people.

Shuttle bus to Shizuoka Arts Theatre

<From Eastern Shizuoka>
12 October, Saturday
Departure from Shuzenji-station to Shizuoka Arts Theatre

10:10 Shuzenji-station(South exit)

11:05 Mishima-station(North exit)

11:40 Numazu-station(North exit)

13:00 Shizuoka Arts Theatre

*Returning bus will run after Post-performance talk / Backstage tour.
**Reservation is required.

Ticket Price

4,200 yen (One viewing for regular adult)

SPAC Membership Discount
3,500 yen (One viewing for regular adult)

Pair Discount
3,700 yen per person

Group Discount
3,300 yen per person for group of 3 or more

Senior Discount
3,500 yen for seniors over 60
*Please present ID at door

Student Discount
2,000 yen (University)
1,000 yen (High School and under)
*Please present school ID at door

Handicap Discount
2,900 yen (for those who possess handicap passbook)

*Cannot use more than one discount per purchase.
*Please inform use of discount when making reservation.

How to Purchase

Prior Reservation for Membership begins: 27 July at 10:00
Advance Tickets Sale begins: 3 August at 10:00
●Online reservations
bnr_getti_e– Please enter from the language button “English”.
– Payment is possible with the following credit cards: DC, UFJ, NICOS, VISA, and Master. Tickets purchased through this website can be received at the venue from one hour prior to each performance.

●Phone reservations
from 10:00-18:00 at SPAC ticket center
TEL. +81-(0)54-202-3399
●Purchase at BOX Office
SPAC ticket center (10:00-18:00)
●Purchase at Seven Eleven
Please use Multi Copy Machine inside stores
Day Ticket
Available at the entrance counter for leftover seats, from one hour prior to each performance.
*Please confirm ticket availability on the day by phone or by visiting Twitter (@_SPAC_)

*Ticket reservations will finish at 18:00 on the day before the performance.

Please refrain from taking infants to the ordinary seats.
[Nursery room] (up to three children, based on a first come first served basis; reservation required)
SPAC provides a nursery room where you can watch the performance with your infant children.

[Nursery service] 
Please contact us at least one week in advance if you would like to use the free nursery service run by volunteers.
13 October, Sunday
19 October, Saturday
Coverage: Infants aged two and under


Original lighting design: KITO Ayumi
Costume design: KOMAI Yumiko

Stage manager: FURUYA Kazumi
Assistant director: NAKANO Masaki
Stage: KAMIYA Toshiki, SUGIYAMA Yuri
Sound: HARADA Shinobu, HAYASHI Tetsuya
Lighting: KOBAYAKAWA Hiroya
Assistant Set designer: TAKECHI Kanako
Art work: WATANABE Hiroki
Wardrobe: KAWAI Reiko, SATO Rise
Subtitle translation: MITACHI Riho
Subtitle operation: NAGAI Sayako
Production: YUKIOKA Jun, IRIE Kyohei

Flyer design: ABE Taichi (TAICHI ABE DESIGN INC.)
Produced by SPAC-Shizuoka Performing Arts Center
Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan through the Japan Arts Council
Licence number: So Kitamura 2019 No. 0007 Hirofumi Okano
Premiere: Mini Theater, Aichi Prefectural Art Theater (Co-production by Aichi Prefectural Art Theater & SPAC-Shizuoka Performing Arts Center)
  170131beyond2020_logo  2018_gmark


MIYAGI Satoshi

General Artistic Director of Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC)
Born in Tokyo in 1959, after studying aesthetics at Tokyo University under ODASHIMA Yushi, WATANABE Moriaki and HIDAKA Hachiro, he founded the KU NA’ UKA theater company in 1990 and soon began staging plays overseas as well as in Japan. As a result, MIYAGI’s work — in which he often fuses contemporary textual interpretations with physical techniques and patterns of Asian theatre — has long been acclaimed both at home and far abroad. Indeed, in 2004 he received the 3rd Asahi Performing Arts Award, and the next year the 2nd Asahi Beer Art Award.
Since taking up his position with SPAC in April 2007, MIYAGI has staged many of his own works — including “Medea”, the Hindu epic “Mahabharata”, and “Peer Gynt” — and has invited artists from abroad to present pieces casting a keen eye on the modern world as they see it. In line with his aim to make theatre “a window to the world,” he has also started a new SPAC-based project aimed at the youth of Shizuoka.
In 2014, MIYAGI was invited to the Festival d’Avignon, where he received excellent reviews for his open-air version of the Hindu epic “Mahabharata” staged in La Carrière de Boulbon. Following that landmark achievement, the festival extended the honor of inviting MIYAGI to present a Buddhist interpretation he created of the ancient Greek mythological tragedy “Antigone” as its super-prestigious opening program for 2017. On that occasion, which was the first time an Asian play had ever been selected to launch the festival, MIYAGI’s exalted “stage” was the open-air Cour d’honneur du Palais des papes (the Honor Court of the Palace of Popes). By the play’s end, those towering medieval stone walls were ringing out with long and splendid standing ovations welcoming the work’s director and creator along with SPAC’s actors and staff — while more than 60 European media all gave great reviews.
In 2018, he received the 68th Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize of Drama. Also he recieved “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” from the Ministry of Culture of France in 2018.

Now aged 65, KITAMURA So is one of Japan’s leading playwrights, novelists and essayists. Back in the 1980s, however, he drew lots of attention as a leading figure in this country’s so-called “small-scale theatre movement” with his masterpiece Hogiuta (Ode to Joy) that premiered in 1979 and has been performed continuously as a modern classic since then.
In 1984, KITAMURA won the prestigious 28th Kishida Drama Award with his play 11 Nin no Shonen (Eleven Boys), and followed that in 1990 with the Kinokuniya Theatre Awards for Yuki wo Watatte Dai ni ko Tsuki no Akarusa (Pass over snow: The Second Draft; Moonlight). Since 2013 he has written a new series of original plays based on classic works of Japanese literature. The first of these, titled Goodbye and based on the great novelist DAZAI Osamu’s eponymous unfinished novel, won the 17th Tsuruya Nanboku Drama Award in 2014.
Since 1996, meanwhile, as part of his longstanding effort to foster the talents of young writers, KITAMURA has also delivered lectures at Ai Hall, the public theatre in Itami City, Hyogo Prefecture, in a series titled “So’s private lesson in Itami on how to write a play.”