Seinendan + Osaka University Robot Theatre Project “Metamorphosis” Android Version Tour to Beijing, Taipei, Penang and Bangkok

  • The Grant Program for Promotion of Cultural Collaboration
Grant Year
Fiscal Year 2015
Grant Amount
JPY 12,187,355
Country of Activity
Malaysia, Thailand, China, Taiwan

Playwright and director Oriza Hirata has worked together with leading Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro to bring the newest entry in their robot theater project – "The Metamorphosis, Android Version" – to Beijing, Taipei, Penang, and Bangkok (presented with subtitles). With the exception of Taipei, this was the first time a long-form play starring an android was performed in any of the aforementioned cities. Particularly notable is Beijing, which had never played host to a Seinendan production before. In addition, in a first for the robot theater project, French actors famous from stage and screen alike performed in lieu of actors affiliated with Seinendan, including the nationally recognized French actress Irène Jacob. A talk was held after the play ended to deepen understanding of the work. Additionally, in collaboration with local educational institutions, roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro presented a showcase geared towards children in Penang, while Oriza Hirata gave a drama lecture in Bangkok.

Photo: Madoka Nishiyama
Related Countries
Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Taiwan, France
Co-organizer(s), Cooperator(s)
George Town Festival
Department of Dramatic Arts, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University

From the Organizer

“The Metamorphosis, Android Edition”, the newest entry in the robot theater project, was presented in four major Asian cities: Beijing, Taipei, Penang, and Bangkok. Expectations for a play featuring cutting-edge Japanese robot technology were high, with almost every performance playing to full houses, bringing high artistry and high technology to a diverse theatre-going audience. Additionally, a number of outreach programs were provided alongside the performances, including workshops, lectures, and talk panels, allowing audience members and artists to interact, deepening understanding of the work, and stimulating culture across Asia. Due to the high costs of transporting actors and robots overseas, these performances would not have been financially possible without the Grant. Thanks to the support of local offices of the Japan Foundation in each region, the performances were able to be held without incident. We wish to use these performances as a jumping-off point to further improve relations with other countries across Asia and continue developing networks and relationships across the region.

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