F/T Talks

Tadeusz Kantor Centenary: Polish Theatre Today
November 24th – November 29th

This program explores the twin contexts of Poland’s leading twentieth-century theatre artists like Tadeusz Kantor and Jerzy Grotowski, as well as the scene that has emerged since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Featuring talks, discussions, screenings, workshops, and more, participants include directors from three generations offering a unique overview of contemporary Polish theatre.

Talks & Screenings

Dates 11/24 (Tue) 19:00     Talk: Report on Polska New Theatre International Meeting
11/25 (Wed) 19:00     Talk: Theatre in Poland Today
11/26 (Thu) 19:00     Screening: “Akropolis”
11/28 (Sat) 15:30     Screening: “The Constant Prince”
11/29 (Sun) 15:30     Talk: Polish Theatre – Traditions and Innovations
Venue Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre (Atelier East)
Tickets ¥500 (priority to reservations)
Language Polish, English (with Japanese interpretation) (see individual events below)
The previously announced lecture, “Kantor, Grotowski, and Contemporary Polish Theatre”, has been replaced by the talk “Polish Theatre – Traditions and Innovations”.

Talk: Report on Polska New Theatre International Meeting

This talk includes a report from participants in the September international meeting Polska New Theatre, as well as a discussion of recent trends in Polish theatre.

Date: 11/24 (Tue) 19:00-21:00
Panelists: Magda Szpecht (director), Koichi Kuyama (Instytut Polski w Tokio), Masahiko Yokobori (dramaturge, F/T Directors Committee)
Language: Polish (with Japanese interpretation)

Talk: Theatre in Poland Today

A discussion with two directors who have emerged since 2000 about their work and Polish theatre.

Date: 11/25 (Wed) 19:00-21:00
Panelists: Łukasz Twarkowski (Polski Theatre in Wrocław), Magda Szpecht
Moderator: Masahiko Yokobori
Language: TBC

Talk: Polish Theatre – Traditions and Innovations

Three directors from different generations discuss contemporary Polish theatre innovation in the context of Poland’s rich tradition of modern theatre, such as the work of Kantor and Grotowski.

Dates: 11/29 (Sun) 15:30-18:00
Panelists: Jarosław Fret (Teatr ZAR, Director of Grotowski Institute), Łukasz Twarkowski, Magda Szpecht
Moderator: Kyoko Iwaki (theatre journalist)
Language: TBC

Panelist Profiles (in order of appearance)

Magda Szpecht

Magda Szpecht


After studying journalism and social communication with a specialization in creative writing at the University of Wroclaw, she started studying directing at Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Kraków, where she is currently in her fourth year. Her work “DOLPHIN_WHO_LOVED_ME” (with Szymon Adamczak) won a prize at 100°Berlin Festival at Berlin HAU, and has been presented at many festivals. She directed an adaptation of Michel Houellebecq’s “The Possibility of an Island” at TR Warszawa in November this year.

Koichi Kuyama

Instytut Polski w Tokio

Born in Saitama Prefecture. After graduating with a degree in Russian at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, he did graduate studies at Waseda University. He obtained his doctorate in Slav literature from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. He researches Russian and Polish literature, Polish culture, and comparative literature. He is also a Polish interpreter and translator, as well as part-time lecturer at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

Masahiko Yokobori

Dramaturge, Festival/Tokyo 2015 Directors Committee

He completed his Ph.D. at the Department of Musical Creativity and the Environment, Tokyo University of the Arts. He majored in dramaturgy at the University of Music and Theatre Leipzig. He was a dramaturge for opera at Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre and Nissay Theatre. At present, he is a researcher at Tokyo University of the Arts’ Graduate School and Arts Council Tokyo (music and theatre), and also teaches at Rikkyo University.


Łukasz Twarkowski

Director, stage designer, artist
Polski Theatre in Wrocław

Born in 1983, Łukasz Twarkowski is a theatre and film director, stage designer, and visual artist. From 2007, he has worked as an artistic collaborator with leading Polish theatre director Krystian Lupa, and he co-founded Identity Problem Group in 2010. He directed “Akropolis” in 2013 to great success at the Old National Theatre, Kraków. He is attached to the Polski Theatre in Wrocław.


Jarosław Fret

Director, actor, Teatr ZAR, Director of Grotowski Institute

Jarosław Fret is the founder and leader of Teatr ZAR, as well as a theatre director and actor, the director of the Grotowski Institute, and curator of the theatre program of Wrocław: European Capital of Culture 2016. In 1999-2002, he carried out a series of expeditions to Georgia, Armenia, and Iran, conducting research into the oldest forms of religious music of Eastern Christianity. In the following years, together with members of Teatr ZAR, he organized expeditions to Athos mountain in Greece, Sardinia, Corsica, Armenia, Turkey, Israel. In 2013, he presented “Armine, Sister”, dealing with the Armenian Genocide. The work of Teatr ZAR is presented around the world.

Kyoko Iwaki

Theatre journalist

Kyoko Iwaki is a freelance journalist and researcher specializing in Japanese performing arts. She has conducted interviews in 24 countries and writes in both English and Japanese. She is an associate lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, teaching postwar European theatre, where she is also working on her Ph.D. Her debut book “Tokyo Theatre Today: Conversations with Eight Emerging Theatre Artists” was published in 2011, and “Ushio Amagatsu: Des rivages d’enfance au bûto de Sankai Juku”, a biography of the choreographer of Butoh company Sankai Juku, was published in French in 2013 and in Japanese in 2015. She has also contributed to “A History of Japanese Theatre” (Cambridge University Press), set for publication in 2016. She is the director of pan-Asian research and curatorial project, Scene / Asia, which has been launched with partners from five Asian countries in 2015.


What was the “poor theatre” advocated by Jerzy Grotowski? This is a series of rare screenings of films documenting two famous works created by Grotowski’s Laboratory Theatre. Each screening will include a talk by the Grotowski Institute’s Jarosław Fret (in Polish, with Japanese interpretation).



Concept, Direction: Jerzy Grotowski

82 min. / 1968 / Produced by Lewis Freedman, PBL / Directed by James McTaggart / Polish with English subtitles

A major Grotowski work first staged in 1962 and since performed in many different versions, this is a recording from 1968, filmed in a studio near London.

11/26 (Thu) 19:00-21:00


“The Constant Prince”

Concept, Direction: Jerzy Grotowski

48 min. / 1965 / Polish with English subtitles

First performed in 1965 with the title role played by Ryszard Cieślak, this is a magnificent articulation of Grotowski’s theatre theory.

11/28 (Sat) 15:30-17:30


Teatr ZAR Workshop: Actor’s Body — An Evoked Drama

This is a two-day workshop and demonstration by a director and performer from Teatr ZAR, the international theatre company based at the Grotowski Institute. The workshop will be held with consecutive Japanese interpretation.

Dates 11/26 (Thu), 11/27 (Fri) 13:00-17:00
Venue Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre (Rehearsal Room)
Instructors Jarosław Fret, Simona Sala (Teatr ZAR)
Fee ¥2,000
Application Deadline 10/20 (Tue)

The workshop is free to watch, though places are limited. Please make a reservation.

Co-presented by Instytut Polski w Tokio
Under the auspices of the Embassy of Poland
In co-operation with cricoteka, The Grotowski Institute, Teatr ZAR ロゴ

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre Event
    Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre 25th Anniversary Festival

    “Tadeusz Kantor Centenary: Kantor and Theatre’s 20th Century”

This is a vibrant series of events about Tadeusz Kantor, including screenings, exhibits of self-portraits, photography, and resources, discussions, lectures, a symposium, homage performances, and workshops. For further information, please see the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre website (http://www.geigeki.jp).
Dates: 10/8 (Thu) — 10/18 (Sun), 12/17 (Thu) — 12/24 (Thu)
Venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre
Inquiries: Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre Box Office
Presented by Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), Arts Council Tokyo & Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)
Co-presented by Instytut Polski w Tokio
Under the auspices of the Embassy of Poland
In co-operation with cricoteka, CULTURE PL
Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in the fiscal 2015

Performing Arts in Multi-Ethnic Malaysia
November 6th — November 7th

Malaysia’s theatre scene has experienced rapid growth in recent years. The nation is also home to a wide range of ethnic groups, which affects the character of the local performing arts. In preparation for a future Asia Series showcase, guests from Malaysia discuss the developing scene.

Dates 11/6 (Fri) 19:00     Performing Arts in Multi-Ethnic Malaysia (Part 1)
11/7 (Sat) 16:00     Performing Arts in Multi-Ethnic Malaysia (Part 2)
Venue Hotel Grand City Restaurant Saison
1-30-7 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
(Fives minutes’ walk from East Exit of Ikebukuro Station)
Tickets ¥500 (priority to reservations)
Includes drink
Language English (with Japanese interpretation)

Performing Arts in Multi-Ethnic Malaysia (Part 1)

11/6 (Fri) 19:00-21:00
Panelist: Chee Sek Thim (director, actor, arts educator, member of Five Arts Centre)

Five Arts Center is a leading art hub Malaysia with a 30-year history. This talk introduces the wide-ranging work of Chee Sek Thim, whose activities include not only theatre and dance but also music and community art. Chee Sek Thim will present recent developments in Penang, which is attracting attention as an art city through the George Town Festival and Penang Performing Arts Center, as well as the performing arts scene in Kuala Lumpur. The talk will also include discussion about the Reka Art Space and designer hotel Shinkeh.


Chee Sek Thim

Director, actor, arts educator, member of Five Arts Center

Chee Sek Thim has been involved in the performing arts in Malaysia since 1991, working closely with many esteemed luminaries in Malaysia’s theatre scene, including dancer/choreographer Marion D’Cruz, and Malaysia’s theatre doyen, the late Krishen Jit. He holds an M.F.A. (Ceramics) from the University of Notre Dame, U.S.A. In 2003, he founded Reka Art Space, a gallery that supports young and alternative artists by providing infrastructure for facilitating performances, exhibitions and education. He has sat in organizing committees for state-sponsored arts and culture projects in Penang, and in 2011 produced the first George Town Literary Festival. He continues to engage in activities to build and expand the arts community in George Town. Sek Thim is a member of the Kuala Lumpur-based Five Arts Centre, a theatre collective of practitioners, producers and educators.

Performing Arts in Multi-Ethnic Malaysia (Part 2)

11/7 (Sat) 16:00-19:30
Panelists: Wong Oi Min (actor, director, drama/theatre educator, Dean of the Faculty of Theatre at ASWARA [National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage], former President of Alliance of Malaysian Chinese-language Theatre [ASLI])
Joseph Gonzales (artistic director and founder of ASWARA Dance Company, former Dean of the Faculty of Dance, ASWARA [National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage])
Guest: Un Yamada (director of Co. Yamada Un, choreographer, dancer)

16:00 Part 1: Joseph Gonzales, Un Yamada
17:30 Break
17:45 Part 2: Wong Oi Min
18:45 Q&A: Joseph Gonzales, Wong Oi Min
Subject to change

This two-part talk features Wong Oi Min and Joseph Gonzales, both teachers at ASWARA (National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage) in Malaysia, as well as dancer and choreographer Un Yamada.

In the first half, Joseph Gonzales will discuss the history and current state of dance in Malaysia, as well as ASWARA Dance Company, which was established with graduates from AWARA as the first company in Malaysia to employ dancers full-dance, staging both traditional and contemporary dance. Gonzales is joined by Japanese choreographer Un Yamada, who will discuss her work on workshops and dance projects in Malaysia.

In the second half, Wong Oi Min will discuss the Malaysian performing arts scene, which is divided by linguistic and ethnic boundaries, as well as the Malaysia Theatre Festival, which will happen in 2016 for the first time with the aim of transcending ethnic divisions through the stage arts.

Wong Oi Min

Wong Oi Min

Actor, director, drama/theatre educator, Dean of the Faculty of Theatre at ASWARA (National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage), former President of Alliance of Malaysian Chinese-language Theatre (ASLI)

Wong Oi Min gained a Ph.D. in arts from Nihon University. She is a member of the jury for the performing arts at the Malaysia Qualification Agency, for theatre at the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards, and for the ADA Drama Awards. She is a columnist for Malaysian education magazine Anak and a critic for RTM Ai-FM. She has presented theatre work at international theatre festivals around the world, including Japan, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Alongside her work as an artist, she is also an active critic and judge for various organizations. She carries out her wide-ranging creative activities and research falls under the principle of “crossing boundaries towards multicultural coexistence”.


Joseph Gonzales

Artistic director and founder of ASWARA Dance Company, former Dean of the Faculty of Dance, ASWARA (National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage)

Joseph Gonzales is a leading dance educator and choreographer in Malaysia, as well as the former Dean of the Faculty of Dance, ASWARA (National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage). He started his career with KESUMA, St. Moritz Gold Band Dancers, and Kuala Lumpur Dance Theatre. From 1987, he studied at Bush Davies School and London Studio Center in the UK on a scholarship. He was among the first Malaysian performers to appear professionally in the UK, playing Simon of Legree in “The King And I” in the UK national tour and West End productions. From 1994, he began to teach at ASWARA, and has also taught at the Federal Academy of Ballet and choreographed extensively for Kuala Lumpur Dance Theatre. “Akar dan Titik, TITIAN and AKAR”, which he choreographed, has been performed at festivals in 10 countries. He is the artistic director and founder of ASWARA Dance Company, which is made up of ASWARA graduates. It employs both traditional and experimental techniques to explore themes pertinent to the realities of life in Malaysia. He campaigns zealously for a more professional environment for dance and placing Malaysia on the world map in dance.


Un Yamada

Director of Co. Yamada Un, choreographer, dancer

After training in gymnastics, ballet, and Butoh, Un Yamada started her career as a choreographer in 1996. She has also been active as a solo dancer since 1998. For inspiration, she draws on music, visual art, literature, academic fields, fashion, and diverse body movement. Her sensitive, energetic and dynamic dance has attracted attention from all over the globe, and cannot be described simply as contemporary or Butoh. After winning the French Embassy Prize for Young Choreographer at the Yokohama Dance Collection Solo x Duo Competition in 2000, she moved to France. She established her own dance company, Co. Un Yamada, in Tokyo in 2002. Today she performs in Japan, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, and has created interdisciplinary work across the fields of music, drama, opera, academic, and traditional performing arts. She has organized workshops for a wide range of participants, as well as worked to cultivate new dancers in Asia and the Middle East. She received the 8th Japan Dance Forum Award in 2013. In 2014, she was designated the Japan Cultural Envoy for East Asia, and also received the New Face Award of Minister of Education Awards for Fine Arts.

Supported by Hotel Grand City Restaurant Saison

In co-operation with the Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur


Chinese Theatre Today
November 23rd

The performing arts in China are immensely diverse, while there are also more and more opportunities for Japanese theatre to be performed in China. What kind of Chinese theatre is attracting attention today? This talk features journalists with expertise in Chinese contemporary theatre, who will introduce highlights and trends from the scene.

Panelists Ran Chen (theatre journalist)
Toshiki Okada (playwright, novelist, head of chelfitsch)
Moderator: Hitomi Oyama (Festival/Tokyo co-ordinator, Chinese interpreter and translator)
Date 11/23 (Mon) 14:00
Venue Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre (Atelier East)
Tickets ¥500 (priority to reservations)
Language Japanese, Chinese (with Japanese interpretation)


Ran Chen 

Theatre journalist

Born in 1987 in Fujian province. She studies contemporary Chinese literature, film, and theatre history at Central Academy of Drama in Beijing. Since graduating in 2010, she has worked in the performing arts as a critic and editor. She started working as a reporter for the influential newspaper The Beijing News, interviewing Tadashi Suzuki and Toshiki Okada. She has led the theatre company Stage No More since 2014 and worked as a director.


Toshiki Okada

Playwright, novelist, head of chelfitsch

Born in Yokohama in 1973. He formed chelfitsch in 1997. “Five Days in March” won the 49th Kishida Kunio Drama Award in 2005, while “Air-Conditioner” was a finalist for the Toyota Choreography Award 2005. His debut novel, “The End of the Special Time We Were Allowed” (2007), won the 2nd Oe Kenzaburo Award. Since 2012 he has served on the jury for the Kishida Kunio Drama Award. He published his first collection of theatre theory in 2013. “Five Days in March” has been performed in 70 cities around the world.

At F/T15: “God Bless Baseball”

Hitomi Oyama

Festival/Tokyo co-ordinator, Chinese interpreter and translator

From 2003-05, Hitomi Oyama worked in the Japanese department of China Radio International on programs about Chinese culture. Since 2005 she has been writing and translating article for ART iT, Bijutsu Techo, CINRA, and more. Her catalog translations include Shiseido Beauty Innovator at Shiseido Gallery. She was a co-ordinator at the artist residency r:ead and co-ordinator and interpreter at TPAM in 2014 and 2015. She has translated plays by chelfitsch and Mum & Gypsy into Chinese. She has handled Chinese and Taiwanese programs at Festival/Tokyo since 2010.