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With "Voiceprints City - Letters to FATHER" (F/T09 Spring) and "Hiroshima-Hapcheon: Doubled Cities in Exhibition" (F/T10), marebito theater company confronted from new perspectives those two cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that had experienced truly unprecedented events. Now it creates a new work "Record of a Journey to Antigone, and Its Performance" at a time when Japan is facing a crisis not seen since the end of World War Two. Drawing on the heroine of Greek tragedy, Antigone, Masataka Matsuda's script will be taken from Tokyo to Fukushima and then a record of its staging will add further layers of circumspection to the project.

Antigone, the daughter born from Oedipus's incestuous coupling, defies the law to bury the body of her brother, slain when he rebelled against Creon, now the ruler of the state. As made famous in the Sophocles tragedy, she is condemned to be walled up; buried alive for carrying out a burial. The Greek myth confronts the absurd by questioning apparent human ethics, and can be interpreted philosophically or psychologically. In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the story of Antigone takes on new nuances when superimposed over our present reality. And in today's media-heavy world, with its overflow of online information media and maelstrom of visuals being conveyed in real time, we are imprisoned by enormous mountains of imagery. In the midst of all this, what imagery can theatre create and share?

Marebito theater company's new project will examine these themes, attempting to make new words in between the dichotomies of populace and state, past and future, man and woman. The creative structure is also experimental, comprising first of a staging of Masataka Matsuda's script that is toured from Tokyo to Fukushima during the summer. The journey is recorded on Facebook, Twitter, a blog and website, the traces of the characters appearing online in the digital sphere. Through the various media, audiences will come into contact with a fictional world that has infiltrated reality. Like its previous piece for Festival/Tokyo, "Hiroshima-Hapcheon", the presentation in the autumn for F/T12 will take the shape of an installation, a "live city theatre" (shigaigeki) form that breaks out into the urban space, and "reporting" theatre. Mixing these forms, marebito theater company will "re-enact" the summer's touring performances in Tokyo, and create the process of first experiencing narrative content. The double nature of the performance will investigate what arises between the script and the tour, and between media and the real.

Seeking to quasi-visualize the relationship between the media and humanity that has confronted us since the catastrophe, this theatre "report" will ask if it is possible for audiences to cut through the infinite media fictions and realities, through all the layers of memory and record, and then face up to what is really happening. And then, can we create the words to talk about this reality?


Masataka Matsuda
Playwright, Director, Leader of marebito theater company