Shinsai: Theaters for Japan will mark the first anniversary of the devastating Tohoku earthquake next March 11 with a variety of theatrical events commissioned from major American and Japanese artists, Theatre Communications Group has announced.
On March 11,Â theaters everywhere are invited to stage fundraising events featuring a menu of 10-minute plays and songs commissioned from American and Japanese artists. Led by a growing nationwide consortium of theater organizations, Shinsai will raise relief funds for the Japanese theater community affected by the disaster through audience donations distributed though the Japan Playwrights Association.
Shinsai [SHEEN-sigh] means great quake in Japanese. The genesis of the event began shortly after the disaster when actor James Yaegashi, whose family is from a nearby area, called friends in the New York theater to say, “We as a theater community have to do something to help our fellow artists on the other side of the world.”
Six months later, a consortium of over a dozen organizations has come together to catalyze a nation-wide effort, including the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Atlantic Theater,Â Cooper Union, Dramatists Guild, Dramatists Guild Fund, Japan Playwrights Association, Japan Society, Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Play Company, Playwrights Horizons, New York Public Theater, Martin E. Segal Theater Center, New York Theatre Workshop and TCG — the national organization of nonprofit theaters.
Using the model of 365 Days/365 Plays, theaters everywhere are invited to craft their own event, drawing from the commissioned plays and from work generated by their own resident artists. The commissioned artists include Edward Albee, Philip Kan Gotanda, Richard Greenberg, John Guare, Oriza Hirata, Naomi Iizuka, Nen Ishihara, Shoji Kokami, Tony Kushner, Jeanine Tesori, Toshiki Okada, Yoji Sakate, Kumiko Shinohara, Toshiro Suzue, Suzan-Lori Parks, Doug Wright, John Kander, Fred Ebb, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman.
“The international solidarity of artists is a vital model for the international solidarity of all humanity,” said Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the New York Public Theater. “The American theater community is proud to offer support and partnership to our Japanese colleagues.”
“Shinsai: Theaters for Japan is part of TCG’s efforts to help theaters in this country and across the globe become more resilient in the face of adversity and disaster,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. “Our national theater is increasingly connected to the worldwide theater community, and Shinsai is an important step to strengthening that interdependence through supporting those theaters in Japan struggling to recover.”
For more information about Shinsai, visit: www.tcg.org/shinsai.