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Friday Sep 23, 2011 (7:30–9:30pm)

Saturday Sep 24, 2011 (7:30–9:30pm)

Sunday Sep 25, 2011 (5–7pm)



Japan Society (Venue Partner)

333 East 47th St




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At first, director Satoshi Miyagi's adaptation of Medea is a nod to Taming of the Shrew's play-within-a-play Prologue. While Shakespeare's tavern is replaced by a 19th-century Japanese inn and its geisha act out the fate of another, more troubled female title character, any further comparison stops there. Miyagi's use of bunkaru (he replaces the traditional puppet-plus-operator with two actresses interpreting a character's voice and movement), and the all-male customers playing the Chorus, allows for a more balanced view of Medea's motivation for committing murder and infanticide. Her solution remains shocking but her male-dominated world is partially to blame. Even a sorceress has her limits when it comes to selective memory, betrayal, exile, and the male ego.

Patricia Contino, Flavorpill


On Saturday, September 24 at 11am, SPAC General Artistic Director Satoshi Miyagi conducts a Theater Movement Workshop at Dance New Amsterdam. For further information and tickets, please contact Dance New Amsterdam.

Japan Society says…

Japan's internationally acclaimed adaptation is a visual feast on the scale of a kabuki play. Transforming Euripides’ masterpiece into a play-within-a-play, the story is set in a late 19th-century traditional Japanese restaurant, where male members of the establishment call upon the female waitresses for entertainment. Performed with live musical accompaniment by a cast of 19, and incorporating director Satoshi Miyagi's signature bunraku puppet theater-inspired style that utilizes two actors per role -- one to speak and one to move -- the classic Greek tragedy takes on new life revealed through the lens of Japan's imperialist, gender-divided late Meiji era. Performed in Japanese with English subtitles. Watch the video preview.