Japan Foundation Bangkok

Theatre Workshop & Talk by Oriza Hirata A prelude to a new production “Bangkok Notes”

Theatre Workshop & Talk by


Oriza Hirata
A prelude to a new production “Bangkok Notes”

14:00 – 17:30 Saturday 7 January 2017
Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre

[Languages] Japanese with Thai interpretations (No English available)
[Capacity] Workshop
(Participants) 10 persons
(Observers) 100 persons
[Admission] Free
[Time Schedule]
13:30 – 14:00 Registration
14:00 – 14:30 Introduction on Oriza Hirata & the project “Bangkok Notes”
14:30 – 15:30 Theatre Workshop by Oriza Hirata
15:30 – 15:45 (15 min break)
15:45 – 16:45 Talk on the idea of “Bangkok Notes” by Oriza Hirata
16:45 – 17:30 Q & A, Announcement on the schedule (audition, rehearsals, etc.)
[How to join] Call or e-mail to the Japan Foundation, Bangkok
TEL 02-260-8560-4 / E-mail acdstaff@jfbkk.or.th

The Japan Foundation, Bangkok and Department of Dramatic Arts, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, proudly present a Theatre Workshop & Talk by Oriza Hirata, one of the most influential playwrights / theatre directors in Japan, as a prelude to a stage production “Bangkok Notes” (November 2017) to commemorate 130th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Japan.


In 1982, Oriza Hirata founded the theatre company Seinendan and since the 1990s he has been a leading figure in Japan’s theatre scene with his pursuit and practice “contemporary colloquial theatre theory.” He has been actively collaborating with a plethora of artists from various countries, including France, Germany, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, the USA, Ireland, Canada and Thailand. His android-human theatre with Thai casts held in Bangkok in 2012 was a big sensation at the time.


Here is another great opportunity for Thai professional and emerging actors/actresses as well as general public interested in acting on stage. The organizers are planning to create a new stage production entitled “Bangkok Notes,” based on Hirata’s award-winning play “Tokyo Notes,” with a world-premiere performance in November 2017 as a part of Bangkok Theatre Festival.


Taken place in the lobby of an art museum in the near future, the play “Tokyo Notes” depicts the gradual dissolution of family and human relations in the modern society and is highly acclaimed both in Japan and abroad. It is translated in 10 languages and performed in 23 cities in 16 countries, including performances by the original Seinendan actors/actresses in Bangkok in 2006.


The organizers hope that the Thai adaptation of Tokyo Notes, transformed as “Bangkok Notes,” will be another masterpiece which will not only inspire the audience in Thailand but also trigger attentions from media and professionals in the international arena.


Before starting its exciting audition for casting (planned in March 2017), the organizers invite Oriza Hirata to have a theatre workshop and talk to introduce his direction method as well as his idea and inspiration why he would like to create “Bangkok Notes” at this juncture.


The event will be held from 14:00 to 17:30 on Saturday 7 January 2017 at Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre with free admission. Advanced reservation is highly recommended at 02-260-8560-4 by phone or acdstaff@jfbkk.or.th by e-mail. A message or comment on the Japan Foundation, Bangkok’s facebook page is also acceptable. For workshop, please mention your request to join as 1) a participant (taking Hirata’s direction and practice to act / 10 persons, in a first-come, first-serve base) or 2) an observer (observing the workshop as audience).  The workshop and talk will be conducted in Japanese with Thai interpretations.


Oriza Hirata

Born in 1962

Director and Leader of the theatre company Seinendan
Artistic Director of Kinosaki International Arts Center
Artistic Director and Manager of Komaba Agora Theatre
Research Professor, Art Innovation Center, Tokyo University of the Arts

  • In 1995, Hirata won the 39th Kishida Kunio Drama Award with “Tokyo Notes.”
  • In 1998, he received the 5th Yomiuri Theatre Award Outstanding Director Award for his production of “Tsuki no Misaki [The Cape of the Moon],” a play written by Masataka Matsuda.
  • He wrote and directed “Ueno Dobutsuen Sai-sai-sai Shugeki [Attacking Ueno Zoo for the Fourth Time]” in 2002 and won the 9th Yomiuri Theatre Award for Outstanding Production.
  • In 2002, he won AICT (Association Internationale des Critiques des Théâtre) Critique Award for his book “Geijutsu Rikkokuron [Arts as the Basis of a Nation]” published by Shueisha.
  • In 2003, he won the Grand Prix of the 2nd Asahi Performing Arts Awards with “Sono Kawa wo Koete Gogatsu [Across the River in May],” which was an event for the Year of Japan – Korea National Exchange in 2002.
  • In 2006, he won the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award.
  • In 2011, France’s Ministry of Culture honored him with the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

At present, Hirata is the research professor of the COI Research Promotion Office at the Tokyo University of the Arts, the visiting professor of the Osaka University Center for the Study of Co* Design, the visiting professor and special advisor to the president at Shikoku Gakuin University and Kyoto Bunkyo University, and general manager of the Fujimi Culture Hall KIRARI FUJIMI. He is also board member of the Japan Foundation for Regional Art-Activities and the Japanese Society for Theatre Research and advisor for cultural politics for Toyooka City.

About Tokyo Notes

A comment by Oriza Hirata:

As its title implies, I got an idea for “Tokyo Notes” from Yasujiro Ozu’s masterpiece “Tokyo Monogatari [Tokyo Story].” Where in Ozu’s film the old parents visiting their children in Tokyo are delineated scene after scene, “Tokyo Notes” depicts the siblings, now living separately in Tokyo, gathering in the lobby of an art museum in Tokyo when their art-loving sister living in their hometown comes to visit. Naturally, each of them has his/her own life and pains but now their only common interest is who takes care of the parents. As another background, it is suggested that a major war is going on far away in Europe. But the people gathered here look so unrelated to the great global shift, concerned only about their own lives and problems.

If theatre is a device to depict the vibrations of human minds, this piece may have been an attempt to reveal the minutest of such vibrations. I hope to present to the audience what vibrates quietly in the double chaos of the enormous conflict between nations and that in a family, the smallest unit of people, in the 90’s.

The story takes place in the lobby of an art museum in the near future. A major war is being waged in Europe. In front of the paintings evacuated from the war-torn areas, the visiting Japanese family members, friends and lovers endlessly continue fragmentary conversations about taking care of ageing parents, their future careers, love, inheritance and whatnot. Against the huge backdrop of war, it scrupulously portrays the Japanese people living their ordinary everyday lives, revealing a whole range of problems and crises of the modern society.

Photos for reference
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Event Summary
Theatre Workshop & Talk by Oriza Hirata
Saturday 7 January 2017
Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre
13:30 – 14:00 Registration
14:00 – 14:30 Introduction on Oriza Hirata & the project “Bangkok Notes”
14:30 – 15:30 Theatre Workshop by Oriza Hirata
15:30 – 15:45 (15 min break)
15:45 – 16:45 Talk on the idea of “Bangkok Notes” by Oriza Hirata
16:45 – 17:30 Q & A, Announcement on the schedule (audition, rehearsals, etc.)
Japanese with Thai interpretations
How to join
Call at 02-260-8560/4, or e-mail to acdstaff@jfbkk.or.th
Or leave a message or comment on www.facebook.com/jfbangkok/
If you would like to attend the workshop as a participant (not as an observer), please mention about it in your message/comment.

Ms. Kazue Suzuki(suzuki@jfbkk.or.th) *Japanese, English
Ms. Siree Riewpaiboon(siree@jfbkk.or.th) *Thai, English
The Japan Foundation, Bangkok
10th Fl. Serm-Mit Tower, 159 Asoke-Montori Road, Bangkok 10110
Tel: 02-260-8560~4              Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jfbangkok/