Miguel Romero
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   Noh class
   Kihachiro Kawamoto
   Hoichi Okamoto
   Two Puppet Collections
   Kuruma Ningyo



Kawasaki is the home of Hitomi-za Puppet Theatre, Japan’s largest modern puppet company. My visit coincided with the first performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This was a revised version of a production that Kataoka Akira had designed a few years ago. The production was booked for a month in a commercial theater of 800 seats in central Tokyo.


Kataoka is an innovative and brilliant visual artist who approaches every production without relying on any particular tradition. In fact, Shakespeare’s characters allowed him to invent styles in order to convey their essence. Among the most effective were Oberon and Titania who were slightly larger than life size, fully articulated figures whose manipulation required two and sometimes three puppeteers depending on the action. Consistent among the leading characters throughout was that a performer who also spoke the text manipulated one of the arms.

Titania and Bottom

Hermia and Theseus

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