This work, which follows the mass hysteria that occurs at a one-room schoolhouse for junior-high students in a fictitious rural area of Japan, is a revival of an acclaimed piece first performed in March 2014 at Atelier Shunpusha in Tokyo. In 2018 it was picked up as part of the annual lineup at Komaba Agora Theater.
Japan is currently ahead of the rest of the world in terms of speeding towards a society with a shrinking population due to a decreasing birthrate and an aging population; local governments are in danger of disappearing, local elementary and junior high schools are increasingly being integrated, infrastructure is on the wane and communities are becoming more isolated. This work depicts the way in which these extremely cut-off and shrinking local communities affect the collective psychology of the junior high school students who live there. It is an attempt to create a caricature of the sick state of modern society, based on the concern that the recent tendency to follow “alternative facts” rather than rationale closely resembles the first stages of mass hysteria.
“WHEY” is the layer of liquid that forms on top of yoghurt, which is removed from milk in the process of making cheese. This liquid is thrown out in large quantities every day as industrial waste. In fact it is very rich in nutrition, which has become recognized recently. Thier plays are about things that get discarded in the process of something else being made, like whey.
Mimi Mansion 302, 2-15-2, Nakane, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-0031
E-mail： whey.contact @gmail.com
Komaba Agora Theater (Meguro City, Tokyo)