News From Fukushima: Meditation On An Under-Reported Catastrophe By A Poet

September 11 - September 13, 2015

The Club | 74a East 4th Street (3rd Floor)

Friday and Saturday at 9pm; Sunday at 1:30pm

Free Admission | Reservations: 270-307-6233

News From Fukushima is a pensive and provocative theater work with dance, poetry, music and film from Tokyo-based writer Yuri Kageyama.

Fukushima is the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Radiation is still spewing from the multiple meltdowns, reaching as far as the American West Coast. Some 100,000 people were displaced from the no-go zone. But the story barely makes headlines. “News From Fukushima” is a solemn reminder and a literary prayer for Japan. It explores the friendship between women, juxtaposing the personal and the intimate with the catastrophic.    

Directing the innovative production is Carla Blank, who has recently worked with international casts in Xiangtan and Ramallah, as well as collaborated with Ishmael Reed, Robert Wilson and Suzushi Hanayagi.

Collaborating artists for “News From Fukushima” are actor-dancers Takemi Kitamura, Monisha Shiva and Shigeko Suga, who perform with an equally multicultural cast of musicians, Melvin Gibbs, Sumie Kaneko, Hirokazu Suyama and Kaoru Watanabe. Lighting design is by Blu. Documentary footage of Fukushima is by Yoshiaki Tago.  

About the Artists

WRITER: YURI KAGEYAMA is a Tokyo-based poet and filmmaker. Her works are in KONCH, POW WOW, ON A BED OF RICE, CULTURAL WEEKLY, NIKKEI AMERICA CANADA SHISHU and many other publications. Her latest book is THE NEW AND SELECTED YURI _ WRITING FROM PEELING TILL NOW, Ishmael Reed Publishing Co. She leads her spoken-word band Yuricane. She has collaborated with Eric Kamau Gravatt, Morgan Fisher, Pheeroan akLaff and Winchester Nii Tete.  A magna cum laude graduate of Cornell. M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.     

DIRECTOR: CARLA BLANK is a writer, editor, performer, director, dramaturge and teacher of dance and theater for more than 40 years.  Her new book is STORMING THE OLD BOYS’ CITADEL: TWO PIONEER WOMEN ARCHITECTS OF NINETEENTH CENTURY NORTH AMERICA, Baraka Books. She worked with Robert Wilson to create KOOL _DANCING IN MY MIND, a performance portrait inspired by Japanese choreographer Suzushi Hanayagi. She is the author of REDISCOVERING AMERICA: THE MAKING OF MULTICULTURAL AMERICA, 1900–2000.

PERFORMERS: TAKEMI KITAMURA is a dancer, choreographer, puppeteer, actor and Japanese sword fighter. Her recent credits include THE INDIAN QUEEN (dancer) directed by Peter Sellars, THE OLDEST BOY (puppeteer/dancer) by Lincoln Center Theater and MEMORY RINGS  (puppeteer/dancer) by Phantom Limb Company. MONISHA SHIVA is an actor, dancer, and choreographer, appearing in THE DOMESTIC CRUSADERS and THE RATS for theater and Independent films such as SMALL DELIGHTS, CARROLL PARK, ECHOES and UKKIYA JEEVAN. She has studied not only classical Indian dance but also Bollywood, jazz and samba dancing. SHIGEKO SUGA has acted in more than 100 theater productions, including Pan Asian Rep.’s SHOGUN MACBETH. Acclaimed for her work in New York theater since the mid-1980s, she is accomplished in a range of disciplines, such as flamenco, African drumming, ethnic chanting and Butoh.   

MUSICIANS: MELVN GIBBS is collaborating with Cassandra Wilson in the project BLACK SUN. A member of Harriet Tubman, he was also a member of Defunkt, Ronald Shannon Jackson's seminal "free-funk" group The Decoding Society, as well as the Rollins Band. SUMIE KANEKO is a koto and shamisen player, singer and composer, who most recently toured India and Pakistan, delivering her blend of Japan and the avant-garde. HIROKAZU SUYAMA is a drummer, percussionist and tabla player, who studied at the Berklee College of Music with Kenwood Dennard. KAORU WATANABE, formerly of Kodo, masterfully blends Japan’s folk and classical traditions with contemporary improvisational and experimental music.  

LIGHTING DESIGN: BLU is a New York-based lighting designer. Artists he has worked with include Sally Gross, Paula Josa-Jones, Eiko and Koma, Donald Byrd and Ping Chong.

FILMMAKER: YOSHIAKI TAGO directed AFO, WORST CONTACT and other movies, and worked on Japanese TV shows such as TAXMEN. He studied at the film school founded by Shohei Imamura.   

For interviews, more information, artist photos: