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Merchant of Venice

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Merchant of Venice

The Pembroke Players from Cambridge University return to Japan for the sixth Shakespeare tour in a row. This time they will be performing The Merchant of Venice, chosen for its ability to be at once a comedy and an insightful exploration of human nature.

Portia and Shylock are both trapped by the rules of society, but everything is about to change. Bassanio, in need of money to court the lovely Portia, allows his friend to put his life on the line. Luckily, when everything starts to backfire, Portia finally takes fate into her own hands. This production delves into the intriguing humanity at the heart of Shakespeare’s characters and examines the fascinating and complex relationships they have with each other, leaving open for debate the question of who the real villains are.
The production is fresh, clear and faithful, bringing the worlds of Belmont and Venice to life with their respective drives of love and finance.

The show will make use of clean, simple lighting design to let the different worlds of the play be captured, emphasising the difference between Belmont’s ethereality and the more earthly force of Venice. So too will the characters aesthetically adopt the principles of their worlds, with the sharp lines of Italian economy-driven state contrasting against the more fairytale dress of the unobtainable Belmont princess and her cohort. Ultimately, this production will focus on bringing to life the relentless dichotomies, questions and complex relationships of Shakespeare’s rich text in a way that is both thought-provoking and punchy.

Show Times: October 4, 2014 (Saturday), 14:00 & 19:00
Venue: Yokohama Nigiwai-za Small Hall (B2) (::MAP::)
(There will be a short Q&A with the director and cast after the 14:00 show.)

Regular - 3000 Yen
Members - 2500 Yen
Student - 2000 Yen

There are also group discounts available for groups of 10 or more. Use our ::CONTACT FORM:: if you wish to book a group.



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Beowulf_Flyer_Submission_0120130715_132129_20130715132407282The Beowulf Project was not a regular main stage show. It was a project initiated by THE ART Project Multicultural Book-Reading Club and sponsored by Kawasaki city’s Takatsu ward’s Shiminkan. The goal was to produce a show, based on a foreign fairy tale or story, that the kids could perform in English. We wanted to eliminate any preconceptions about the story, so we chose Beowulf. We guessed, correctly, that most schoolchildren wouldn’t be familiar with an Old English epic poem. We also decided that we didn’t want a regular kids’ show with the children just memorizing lines and waving their arms around, and also that we wanted to try to follow the philosophy of the YTG Ensemble as much as possible. It was important that the kids spend much of the show being themselves rather than "acting". 

(Photo: First “audition” day in Kawasaki. July 15, 2013)

(Poster: the Beowulf flyer)

Read more: The Beowulf Project

Show-n-Tell Interviews

Recently, Artistic Director Andrew Woolner and associate artist (and teacher of our voice classes) Graig Russell sat down with Soness Stephens of show-n-tell.us to talk about some Theatre-related topics. Read more to watch them all! 


(The videos were compiled by Soness and Brian over at ::show-n-tell.us:: If you enjoyed them, head over to that link and see what else they've got.)

Read more: Interviews!

Haunted 150pxOn August 3rd and 4th, 2013 YTG presented its second House Show.

The show was created and scripted by the Yokohama Theatre Summer Ensemble in rehearsal, based on scene ideas and improvisations created by members, working from the theme of  "Haunted".

Unlike the first House Show, in which the ensemble used a living room as a makeshift theatre, the Summer Ensemble took on the challenge of using the house pretty much as-is. The architecture and layout of the house directly inspired not just the theme, but also each and every scene in the show.


Read more: House Show II: Haunted - Aug 3 &...

HSII Headshots June

The summer ensemble. From left to right: Sarah, Andrew, Roni, Robert, and Yinan.


On May 10, the YTG Summer Ensemble started rehearsals for its next show. Like our last production in October 2012, the performance will take place in a private home. This time, the venue is located near Takata station on the Yokohama Green Line.


We can’t give you any more details right now, because there is no script yet. The ensemble will create the script in rehearsal over the next two months. As always, you can be sure to be alerted as soon as tickets go on sale by ::JOINING OUR MAILING LIST::


You can read all about our process and our rehearsal reports ::HERE::


Steve SilverLocation: Osaka, Japan
YTG Classes: All of them
Term: Summer and Fall 2012; Winter 2013

Steve moved to Japan in 2003 to work as a university instructor. He has always had a passion for theatre but only recently decided he wanted to pursue it. Steve discovered Yokohama Theatre Group through a google search. He decided to enroll in the classes because they looked like good quality classes and would focus on skills that he wanted to develop. After enrolling in the summer term he enrolled again for the fall term. Steve highly recommends the YTG classes and he commutes from Osaka to Yokohama to attend them. In April he will return home to the States to pursue a career as a professional actor/singer.


All of our activites are documented through the various links on this website, but for those of you stumbling across us for the first time, we thought we'd post a little summary of all the things that we do, to save you some time. For those of you who have been following us for years, there may be some things you've missed along the way, so this is a chance to review.

The Yokohama Theatre Group is a registered Non-Profit organizaton in Japan. It has existed since 1900. Over the last few years, we've been making the transition from a club to a full-fledged Theatre ensemble and school.

Read more: YTG - An Introduction
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