After the Rain

directed by Watoku Ueno

After the Rain - Yara Arts Group 

"After the Rain" by Yara Arts Group is an original theatre piece based on short stories written by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Japan’s best short story writer and most profound novelist of the Taisho period. During his short life (1892-1927, he committed suicide at the age of 35) Akutagawa wrote more than 150 short stories. His story “Rashomon” was the basis of Akira Kurosawa’s renowned film in 1950. “After the Rain” will be created, directed and designed by Watoku Ueno as a theatrical collage of Akutagawa’s short stories. It features original Japanese costumes, and folk songs as well as contemporary live music and projection images, dance and shadow puppets. Production is interdisciplinary. Scenes are created through the interaction between actors and shadow puppets and include contemporary music and movement. Three stories by Akutagawa form the core of the production: “Rashomon,” “Magic,” and “Mandarins”. Although these stories take place in various times, places and contexts, the production weaves them into one man’s somewhat surrealistic journey, starting at Kyoto’s Rashomon Gate during a famine 800years ago. Against his own moral believes, a young unemployed Samurai is forced to become a robber. The second story “Magic,” is set in the Taisho period (1912-1926). A man visits a magician to learn his craft to find out it can that only be used if no greed is involved. The last part is based on the story “Mandarin,” that takes place inside a train compartment. An old man, perhaps the same person as in the previous stories, is saved by a young country girl, who selflessly throws mandarins to boys waving to the train. Director Watoku Ueno has assembled the script, as well as designed the set, lights and the shadow puppets. A founding member of Yara Arts Group, he has co-directed and designed most of Yara’s 18 productions and in 2006 directed Yara’s “Sundown.” He is an NEA/TCG award-winning designer. He is interested in exploring East-meets-West themes, both personally and as an artist. He is also fascinated by the Taisho period of Japanese history, when culture and revolution flowered together.

Performances: 

 4/4/2008 at 8:00pm
 4/5/2008 at 8:00pm
 4/6/2008 at 2:30pm
 4/6/2008 at 8:00pm
 4/10/2008 at 8:00pm
 4/11/2008 at 8:00pm
 4/12/2008 at 8:00pm
 4/13/2008 at 2:30pm
 4/13/2008 at 8:00pm
 4/17/2008 at 8:00pm
 4/18/2008 at 8:00pm
 4/19/2008 at 8:00pm
 4/20/2008 at 2:30pm
 4/20/2008 at 8:00pm

Theatre/Venue La MaMa Experimental Theatre 

74A East 4th St  New York

Phone Number for Reservations 212-475-7710 
Website for reservations www.lamama.org  
Running time  

 

Producing Organization: LaMaMa Experimental Theater Club  
Website www.lamama.org  
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