Opening message from Satoshi Miyagi
World Theatre Festival Shizuoka 2024

It seems to be widely believed nowadays that “people will never change” — and that understanding this is a key to success. So, if you don’t rely much on relationships with others, it’s said to be easier to get ahead in life.

  Similarly, today’s world situation appears to suggest that ordinary people can’t understand those with other values, so everyone tends to retreat into their own small world and think less about interacting and developing through meeting others.

However, to make the world better we shouldn’t give up on the possibility of continuing to seek out hope for the future while coolly observing the daily reality.

The performing arts can make us see that people are able to develop through meeting others — though this is probably too naïve an idea for some cynical people to accept. Nonetheless, the performing arts remain what I regard as a “well-grounded dream”.

This year, the World Theatre Festival Shizuoka 2024 is returning to how things were before Covid-19, with the vitality of live entertainment in Japan coming back to normal. That is certainly great news for me, as a person working in the performing arts world. On the other hand, I’m afraid that today’s situation is largely dependent on works emphasizing non-realistic dreams.

Theatre of this sort attracts audiences who always patronize the same type of performances and don’t go to the theatre to make them change and develop as people.

Though such theatre is important because it can be fun, I believe that works which do more than allow people to temporarily forget their woes, and which offer them real opportunities, can only be created by igniting a beacon of hope in the middle of life’s difficulties and the complications of today’s world.
Faced with various aims such as this, it’s not easy to run theatre according to the theory of market economics. For instance, if we didn’t have any works requiring audiences to make some effort to appreciate and concentrate on, the foundation of Japanese performing arts would soon be weakened and there would be fewer crowning achievements.

I understand this from our history, because if only Kabuki had survived and Noh died out in the (1603–1868) Edo Period, the same thing could have happened and Japanese theatre would not have flourished so much since.

Although Anton Chekhov, OKAKURA Tenshin and ABE Kobo each regarded the world quite harshly, they all sought a ray of hope amid their despair as they wrestled to find it through others. Even so, I don’t think many venues would feature those people in today’s commercial theatre market in Japan.

These are some of the reasons why I believe SPAC must continue to organize and present its annual World Theatre Festival Shizuoka. In doing so, it gives audiences the chance to encounter works that they need to make some effort to comprehend, but which can become a chance to change their view of the world — and in the process bring more fun and/or eternal joy into their lives.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who is coming to appreciate the performances in this special theatre festival event. We have particularly tried to create a very special occasion this time — so please join our early summer festival and enjoy it!

MIYAGI Satoshi
March 15, 2024

MIYAGI Satoshi (General Artistic Director of SPAC)

© 新良太

MIYAGI Satoshi
Born in Tokyo in 1959, after studying aesthetics at Tokyo University under ODASHIMA Yushi, WATANABE Moriaki and HIDAKA Hachiro, he founded the KU NA’ UKA theatre company in 1990 and soon began staging plays overseas as well as in Japan. As a result, Miyagi’s work — in which he often fuses contemporary textual interpretations with physical techniques and patterns of Asian theatre — has long been acclaimed both at home and far beyond. Indeed, in 2004 he received the 3rd Asahi Performing Arts Award, and the next year the 2nd Asahi Beer Art Award. Since taking up his position with SPAC in April 2007, Miyagi has staged many of his own works — including “Medea”, the Hindu epic “Mahabharata”, and “Peer Gynt” — and has invited artists from abroad to present pieces casting a keen eye on the modern world as they see it. In line with his aim to make theatre “a window to the world,” he has also started a new SPAC-based project aimed at the youth of Shizuoka. In 2014, Miyagi was invited to the Festival d’Avignon, where he received excellent reviews for his open-air version of the Hindu epic “Mahabharata” staged in La Carrière de Bourbon. Following that landmark achievement, the festival extended the honor of inviting Miyagi to present a Buddhist interpretation he created of the ancient Greek mythological tragedy “Antigone” as its super-prestigious opening program for 2017. On that occasion, which was the first time an Asian play had ever been selected to launch the festival, Miyagi’s exalted “stage” was the open-air Cour d’honneur du Palais des papes (the Honor Court of the Palace of Popes). By the play’s end, those towering medieval stone walls were ringing out with long and splendid standing ovations welcoming the work’s director and creator along with SPAC’s actors and staff — while more than 60 European media all gave great reviews. In 2018, he received the 68th Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize of Drama. Also he recieved “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” from the Ministry of Culture of France in 2018.

World Theatre Festival Shizuoka

Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will hold its annual World Theatre Festival Shizuoka 2023 from 29 April to 7 May, coinciding as usual with the national Golden Week holiday. In line with its slogan of “Fujinokuni (The Mt. Fuji region) and the world are connected through the performing arts,” SPAC will introduce a wide range of cutting-edge theatre programs from Japan and abroad at venues in Shizuoka City and the surrounding, wonderfully scenic area. In addition, this festival also features STRANGE SEED, which is to be held from May 4 to 6 May, comprising a wide range of fringe arts events being held around the city in cooperation with Shizuoka City’s major project ON STAGE SHIZUOKA. In a nutshell, SPAC aims to present a joyous and inspiring the festival that remains deeply rooted in its home region of Shizuoka while also connecting to the wider world through theatre.

Shizuoka has been chosen as the Culture City of East Asia 2023, so this year’s longstanding annual World Theatre Festival Shizuoka especially features notable works from China and South Korea. In addition, the acclaimed French director Olivier Py’s remarkable play, “Hamlet in the imperative!”, finally arrives here from the playwright’s homeland. Meanwhile, Shizuoka City’s city-center Sumpujo Park is the open-air venue both for MIYAGI Satoshi’s masterpiece “The Castle Tower”, which have been staged in more than 30 cities worldwide, and also a new work by Worry KINOSHITA, who directed the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Altogether, World Theatre Festival Shizuoka 2023 will serve up a weeklong feast of cutting-edge programs from around the world, whether your taste is for radical plays and dance, musical story-telling performance in the Pansori style of Korean folk culture — or street theatre and all kinds of stalls selling food and drinks and much besides.

What is SPAC? Shizuoka Performing Arts Center

SPAC was founded in 1995 by the Shizuoka prefectural government and commenced its full-fledged activities in 1997 under the direction of SUZUKI Tadashi, its first General Artistic Director. As a pioneer of publicly funded performing-arts organizations in Japan, SPAC retains its own staff of actors, technical and production staff, who are based at its own venues and facilities. The mission of SPAC is not only to create original pieces, but also to invite progressive artistic companies and creators to Shizuoka and to develop human resources seeking expression through the performing arts. Since April 2007, when he was appointed as the General Artistic Director, MIYAGI Satoshi has led SPAC in a buoyant new phase of development and expansion.


General Artistic Director MIYAGI Satoshi
Executive Director SHIBUYA Hirofumi
Adviser USAMI Minoru
Managing Director NARUSHIMA Yoko
Production Section OISHI Takako (Section Manager), TANJI Haru (Vice Section Manager), NAKAMURA Yuki, TAKABAYASHI Rie, YONEYAMA Junichi, UCHIDA Toshiko, SAKAMOTO Ayako, YUKIOKA Jun, KEIMI Aoi, NISHIMURA Ai, KUGA Haruko, KITAHORI Ruka, SAKANAKA Toshiki, SATO Misaki, SATO Hiko, NAGAI Kenji, KUREBAYASHI Masako, IWAHORI Miwako, MIYAJIMA Shinsuke, KASUGAI Ippei, HAMAYOSHI Seitaro, AKAMATSU Naomi, SATO Yuzu, SUZUBAYASHI Mari, MIYAGISHIMA Haruka
Creative / Technical Section MURAMATSU Atsushi (Section Manager / Technical Director)
Staging HARAIKAWA Yukio (Chief), FURUYA Kazumi, OGAWA Tetsurou, SUGIYAMA Yuri, TSUCHIYA Katsunori, HUJISHIRO Shuhei
Lighting HIGUCHI Masayuki (Chief), KOBAYAKAWA Hiroya, HANAWA Yuki
Sound SAWADA Yukino (Chief), TAKESHIMA Chisato, OTSUKI Minori
Scenery SATO Yosuke (Chief), YOSHIDA Yuna, MORI Masashi
Costume SEI Chigusa (Chief), MAKINO Saho, IKEDA Yuna
Desk UCHINO Akiko
Literary Section OSAWA Masachi, OOKA Jun, YOKOYAMA Yoshiji
Managing Bureau YAMADA Reika, HASHIMOTO Azusa, TAKEDA Akane, WATANABE Kazuma, SAKATA Sadami, MURATA Miyuki, YAMAOKA Hitomi
Supporting Member SPAC theatre crew(Volunteers)
Public Relations  
Translation TANAKA Nobuko
Website Media Mix Shizuoka Co., Ltd.
Video Freeriding


SPAC – Shizuoka Performing Arts Center
2-3-1 Higashishizuoka, Suruga-ku Shizuoka City, Shizuoka 422-8019
Tel: +81-54-203-5730 Fax: +81-54-203-5732

[World Theatre Festival Shizuoka 2024]
Organized by Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC), Japan Arts Council Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan
Approved by Fujinokuni Arts Festival

[Mt.Fuji World Theatre Festival Shizuoka 2024]
Organized by the Committee of the Open-air Performing Arts Festival Shizuoka 2024

日本博 ふじのくに芸術回廊 GOOD DESIGN AWARD 2016
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