Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (Vancouver)
NOV 06–17, 2019
First week sold out! Extra performance added: November 16 at 2 pm!
Show Warning: strobe effects and simulated gun shots.
Maya is hikikomori—an extreme recluse—who has spent the last six years in her bedroom exploring Virtual Reality. Until one day, she meets a mysterious player online who challenges her to the ultimate quest: saving her own father’s life. How? By visiting the scariest place IRL, Suicide Forest.
A world premiere from Tetsuro Shigematsu, the acclaimed creator behind Empire of the Son and 1 Hour Photo, and directed by Amiel Gladstone, director and co-creator of the smash hit musical, Onegin.
We realized that even if you’re watching what someone is doing in virtual reality on a screen, it’s still a solitary experience to behold. So we decided to go completely analog — using theatrical conventions of gestures and no masks or goggles at all, and letting audience members use their imagination.” — Tetsuro Shigematsu in interview with Vancouver Sun
But his newest theatrical endeavour, Kuroko, is Shigematsu’s biggest challenge to date. He’s not taking the stage, and this is not a solo show. With Kuroko, he is just the playwright, and he’s crafted one of his most darkly comedic and personal stories yet.” — Georgia Straight
I am not a declinist; I don’t think things were better in the past. I just find it interesting that we are moving from a world of atoms and molecules as our primary reality to ones and zeroes, and I’m really interested in what kind of shift that will bring about in terms of our interactions, our human relationships” — Tetsuro Shigematsu in interview with BeatRoute
Elaborately courteous – even self-effacing – in manner, he nevertheless cuts a sartorial dash: crisply tailored and ramrod-straight, reflecting the samurai lineage of his Japanese ancestry, his trim goatee offset by a jauntily pomaded moustache. He’s probably the only person I know who can wear a homburg hat without irony… In the new play, though, Tetsuro sidelines himself into the invisible kuroko role of an unseen playwright, ceding the centre stage instead to a quintet of Asian-Canadian actors” — Vancouver Observer
I am of the school of thought that writers write to discover what they think about a particular theme. Under the guidance of a director, talented actors can amplify and illuminate those thoughts and ideas to a level where the playwright will be prompted to exclaim during the show, “that’s genius!” But we’re not talking about ourselves, we’re referring to something more mysterious, a country of creativity that lies between people and not within… A play can be much more clever than the person who wrote it.” — Tetsuro Shigematsu in interview with Vancouver Presents
Nov 6, 7:30PM: Preview
Nov 7, 7:30PM: Opening
Nov 8–9, 12–16, 7:30PM
Nov 10, 16 & 17, 2PM
Post-show Artist Talkback:
Nov 10, 12
Playwright: Tetsuro Shigematsu
Director: Amiel Gladstone
Producing Artistic Director: Donna Yamamoto
Dramaturg: Heidi Taylor
Performers: Manami Hara, Kanon Hewitt, John Ng, Donna Soares, Lou Ticzon
Set Designer: Sophie Tang
Costume Designer: Christine Reimer
Lighting Designer: Gerald King
Projection Designer: Remy Siu
Assistant Projection Designer: Daniel O’Shea
Sound Designer: Sammie Hatch
Production Manager/Technical Director: Adrian Muir
Stage Manager: Susan Miyagishima
Apprentice Stage Manager: Kitiya Phouthonesy
Props Master: Jennifer Stewart
Cultural Consultant: Mayumi Yoshida