In 1982, Tadashi Suzuki organized Japan’s first-ever international drama festival: the Toga Festival. Featuring a diverse range of guest works and its high level, the Festival marked a new chapter in the history of modern Japanese theater.
What motivated Suzuki to develop the concept for the Toga Festival? What was going through his mind as he brought it to completion?
We want to know. We want to revisit that transformative time.
The guest works at the 1982 Toga Festival included productions by Robert Wilson, Meredith Monk, Shuji Terayama, Shogo Ota, and Thaddeus Kantor—the late, revered dramatist who would be celebrating his 100th birthday this year. The event, which brought these esteemed artists’ pieces together with works by Tadashi Suzuki, was nothing short of a spectacle.
While the artistic connections linking various world-famous Japanese directors with other directors from around the globe were certainly a major reason why the Toga Festival came to be, our focus rests on one of the key artists in that community: Tadashi Suzuki. As the idea for the event started to take shape, how did Suzuki view his own creative output—and what did he see in what his contemporaries were doing? For this Geigeki Selection event, commemorating the 100th birthday of Thaddeus Kantor, Tadashi Suzuki provides an intimate look at the transition that the modern Japanese theatre community went through in 1982, the course that the community has since followed, and the issues facing today’s theatre scene. As the founder of the Toga Festival and the director of the SCOT Troupe, Suzuki has a compelling perspective on what aspiring actors and dramatists need to think about and plan for as the world moves into the 21st century.
Take this unique opportunity to hear director Tadashi Suzuki talk about “the development of the Toga Festival, world theater, and modern Japanese theater.”
Hidenaga Otori (theater critic)
Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre Box Office