It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… Ok, it was just a period devoid of any plays done in English according to the earliest records kept from 1975, the founding year of the Nagoya Players. That year, a group of foreign drama lovers, both Japanese and otherwise, decided to put together a backyard production of Shakespeare “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” and have been rolling on for the last forty years since.
In all 73 productions, The Players have become known for featuring all faces of the Nagoya community in their productions; whether foreign or Japanese, all are welcome. The plays themselves are wide-ranging from the classics like “Pygmalion” to new spins on old favorites, for example “Angry” which was an adaptation of “12 Angry Men.” Even Japanese plays get the treatment, like an adaption of Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon” done on stage. You can say that the Nagoya Players are the ultimate mashup of drama club, fan-fiction clique, and A/V geek stable. (But not in the Japanese sense of “AV”!)
Yours truly was once a resident of “Nags” and I was ensnared by the Players grasp all three years I lived there, either helping my newfound cohorts rehearse lines in 2009’s “All I need to know I learned in Kindergarten”, or helping promote 2010’s “A Christmas Carol with a Heart.” which was one of my first serious social media campaigns in Japan. This is truly community theater that is of, by, and for the people of Nagoya and the Greater Chubu/Tokai area and it’s all done on a volunteer basis. Everything from planning, writing/scripting, production and promotion are done by volunteers, mostly from the area’s expatriate community. This stands at odds with the perception that most expats in Japan are transient; but then again (as I found out by living there once) folks in that part of Japan like to leave their mark– locals and expats alike.
On Friday November 13, the Nagoya Players will have their ruby anniversary gala at the Hilton Hotel’s Kiwami Cocktail bar. If you are a fan of drama, want to get involved, or just wanna go and get your drama geek on, the party starts at 7pm in Fushimi. Japan Daily wishes The Nagoya Players a happy 40th Anniversary, and toasts them to another forty more!
For more information or to RSVP, please see the source website below