This November, YTG was invited to perform a show for the Yokohama Theatre Arts Programme Symposium. The symposium, run by International Schools Theatre Association and hosted by Yokohama International School (under the guiding hand of Shane Meiklejohn), consisted of several days of theatre workshops and performances for international school drama students from across Asia. We were one of two performances put on for students.
Graig Russell and Andrew Woolner created a new show especially for the symposium. Since the symposium was taking place in Japan, they decided it was best to choose a Japanese subject, so they began digging into plots from Noh theatre. After creating and reviewing a long list of Noh plots, they narrowed it down to just a few related tales originally drawn from the Heike Monogatari. The focus of the play was three exiles living on a remote island.
The plot revolved around to pairs of storytelling characters. The first being two characters in the present time, based loosely on Graig and Andrew themselves; the second pair were two of the island exiles who were telling stories as offerings to the gods in order to curry favour and receive a pardon for their crimes. Both sets of characters hold the theatrical space, the stage, sacrosanct, and talk of things going on in the outside world which may or may not be actually happening. The audience is asked by the modern characters not to check their phones; updates on current events will be provided as the show progresses. Those updates begin to become personal and troubling as the two modern storytellers begin to lose control of what they thought of as their story (they wrote it, after all). Meanwhile, the two exiles living in the late 1100s are having their own problems as they start to see glimpses into what might be the future.
The audience were very responsive and a short Q&A with the performer/creators was done afterwards.
YTG plans to revive this show for the general public at least once before the end of the 2014/2015 season.