The goal of these workshops is to usher wider audiences of working adults, children, educators, and the elderly into the relatively little-known world of “theatrical education” through a series of focused, illuminating experiences. What makes the Yamanote Jijosha approach unique is its “Yamanote Method”—a system that forgoes the use of scripts to focus on getting participants to create independently and think up their own movements, actions, and lines. When that free-willed creativity meets a strong commitment to making the most out of the experience, the results can be extraordinarily rewarding. Striving to “make our Tokyo home a hub of forward-thinking performing arts,” Yamanote Jijosha runs a wide array of workshops to set the stage for a “civic theater” performance by residents of Ota-ku—where the troupe rehearses—three years down the road.
Yamanote Jijosha, a leading force in modern Japanese theater, formed around a group of Waseda University students in 1984. The troupe now operates under the artistic direction of Masahiro Yasuda.
Ever since its inception, the group has continued to explore the contours of modern theater through a long-running history of experimental productions.
Yamanote Jijosha operates out of its head office and training rooms in Ota-ku, Tokyo. “Dramas are nothing but theatrical experiences,” the troupe’s core philosophy asserts. “Theatrical experiences are to feel sensuously the literary images created by directors and dramatists. All the elements that consist in the plays are texts, performers, scenic art, lighting, music, and costumes, and all these elements should help the experiences.”
4-2-8 Ikegami, Ota-ku, Tokyo 146-0082
The Yamanote Jijosha training room, An elementary school in Ota-ku, A junior high school in Ota-ku and Ikegami Chojuen Social Welfare Corporation (Ota-ku, Tokyo)