"The Cherry Orchard" 2014

"The Cherry Orchard" Promotion

"The Cherry Orchard" Digest

"The Wuzhen Theatre Festival"
The highest ratings by the judging panel

2014. Nov. "Festival Tokyo 2014", Tokyo
2016. Oct. "The Wuzhen Theatre Festival", China


Written and Directed by Mikuni Yanaihara

Performers :
Izumi Kasagi, Syoichiro Suzuki, Yubie Mitsuse, Keisuke Yamamoto,
Nozomi Kawata, Yuri Kawakami, Masanori Kikusawa, Itaru Sasaki,
Takahiro Hosoya, Wakako Hashimoto


Stage Manager : Koro Suzuki
Video Projection : Shinsuke Sato
Set Design : Masashi Sogabe
Lighting : Kei Ito
Costumes : Takayuki Suzuki
Hair & Makeup : Koji Kasai

Depicting the confrontation and severance arising in times of disaster and historic turning points, and the future, using "The Cherry Orchard" as a motif

In the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, many people in the affected areas were faced with the cruel realities presented by loss of homes and even entire communities. This work superimposes these people on Anton Chekov's "The Cherry Orchard," which centers on the cruel fate of a fallen aristocratic family who lost their mansion due to the rise of capitalism, and portrays their lives amid the irresistible changes of the times. The narrative revolves around a discussion about a single old cherry tree that had been on the property passed down through the ages by their ancestors: should they preserve it or cut it down and develop the land? There is a clash of outlooks on "right" asserted by members of a natural conservation group, development company, landowning family, and others, each from their own standpoint. The play ends without settling an answer that satisfies all of them. The strains in Japanese society that were exposed immediately after the 2011 disaster generated all sorts of suspicions and speculations as well as confusion about what was right and could be believed. The play throws the future images of us who continue to live under these circumstances into sharp relief against this social backdrop.


- consept -

One old tree. Three stories of a changing age. Mikuni Yanaihara Project experiments with language and physicality to create unique theatrical experiences. Yanaihara’s new endeavor turns to Chekhov’s classic play about Russia’s aristocratic world passing into history as a new age dawns. The story revolves around an old tree and the varying opinions about what to do with it. Yanaihara has crafted three interlinked narratives, dividing audiences into groups that move around the venue simultaneously but separately, viewing just one “interpretation” of the dilemma. After the play is over, the audiences converge again and discussion over the different perspectives begins.

photo:Yohta Kataoka

- Review -

Excerpted from a review by Lvyanni, a freelance writer

The stage is permeated with the depths of decadence and a cartoonish self-scorn throughout. The actors continue to banter back and forth, yell, repeat themselves, and criticize all others, all at a high speed and with perfect timing, until their fatigue begins to reach its limits. Their characters do not realize the circumstances in which they are placed, and the audience laugh in spite of themselves, before shuddering with a creepy feeling.
Yanaihara outputs an absolutely invincible energy on the stage while the audience are besieged with a nebulous feeling of powerlessness toward "society" and "living." This is precisely where the interest of this play lies. One can only wonder how people can be so self-conceited and arrogant although they cannot even save a single tree.


"The Wuzhen Theatre Festival" Chinese


Flyer design:Mikuni Yanaihara, Naohisa Ishida

- Credit -

Produced by Mikuni Yanaihara Project
Co-produced, planned and presented by Festival/Tokyo

Photography: Yohta Kataoka
Video Technician: Takaki Sudo
Sound Co-ordination: Akira Aikawa (Sound Weeds Inc.), Maki Kinoshita
Assistants : Miki Maruyama, Akira Hasegawa, Chika Horikawa, Ayano Funasaki, Eisuke Otsu

Production Co-ordination: Masanori Okuno (precog), Yuko Uematsu, Masahiko Yokobori (Festival/Tokyo)

In co-operation with On Visual, Office ONE, TWO, THREE, Ace Agent, STARDUST PROMOTION, INC., MY Promotion, Nippon no Kasen, Haegiwa, Steep Slope Studio, Angle pictures, Kanagawa University Sogabe Studio, matidesign, Akira Hasegawa

Special Thanks : Masayuki Yonaha, Shogo Otake, Masanori Toba, Shinji Hirakawa, Masataka Numata, Rumiko Maruoka, EBI, Sayuri Fujii, Yuka Abe, Hideki Tanaka, Ayano Misao, Sayaka Sango

- Works -

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