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TOKYO DEATHLOCK


Founded in December 2001 by Junnosuke Tada, who had been acting in Theatre Company Animal Electricity, Tokyo Deathlock has so far presented 17 productions. Tada, the playwright and director of Tokyo Deathlock, also joined Theatre Company Seinendan in 2003 as a director and has since written and directed numerous plays for Seinendan’s young actors and one of Seinendan’s companies-within-company, “Niki-no-Kai (A Regiment of Two Cavalrymen)”. Tokyo Deathlock itself became Seinendan’s company-within-company in 2007, which helped them gaining access to a rich pool of Seinendan’s talented actors and production management know-how. Tokyo Deathlock got independent from Seinendan in 2008, but the experience in Seinendan has certainly expanded its potential as a theatre company.

Along with its main productions, Tokyo Deathlock has also undertaken an additional series of performances to tackle particular themes. In a series called “Tokyo Deathlock’s Caravan”, Tokyo Deathlock took their performances out of the conventional theatre. In another series called “Theatre Re-examines Theatre”, they re-examined and re-positioned the conventional concepts of theatre – the actors, plot and language. Then in a series in 2007, “UNLOCK”, they defined the biggest characteristic of theatre as “the very existence of actors” and pursued the potential of performing arts through focus on actuality.

In 2008 they launched a new series “REBIRTH”, where they intend to shed light on “the manifestation of plays via the human body”, which is one of the core principles of theatre.

In 2008 Tokyo Deathlock became a resident company of Fujimi Culture Hall “KIRARI FUJIMI” in Fujimi City, Saitama. In 2009 Tokyo Deathlock will stop their performances in Tokyo and take their new challenge out of Tokyo, a quest of the essential fundamentals of theatre performance.


TADA JUNNOSUKE


1976  Born in Chiba, Japan.
1999  Joined Theatre Company “Animal Electricity” as actor.
2001  Founded Tokyo Deathlock. Has since written and directed all the
works for Tokyo Deathlock.
2003  Joined Seinendan Theater Company (led by Oriza Hirata) as a
director.
2006  Co-founded “Niki-no-Kai (A Regiment of Two Cavalrymen)”, a sub-unit within Seinendan, as director.
2008  Directed “Romeo and Juliet” at ARCO Arts Theatre in Seoul, Korea,
invited as the representative of Japan for Asian Directors Festival.
2008  Festival Director of Komaba Agora Theater’s International Theatre
Festival Month called“How Many Kisses?”

Junnosuke Tada was born in 1976. He founded Tokyo Deathlock in 2001 and has since led the company as playwright and director. In 2003 Tada also joined Theatre Company Seinendan as a director. Beside his wide-ranging directing activities, Tada has also been active as an actor in many productions, including television dramas.

Tada has been directing the plays written by Satsuki Miyamori of Seinendan, and in 2006 he co-founded “Niki-no-Kai (A Regiment of Two Cavalrymen)”, a company-within-company of Seinendan, where he pursues different possibilities in directing contemporary Japanese plays.

Publicly manifesting his “Love of Theatre”, Tada has been continuing his quest of the answer to the essential questions about theatre as director of Tokyo Deathlock, through several series of productions. The questions include: “What is theatre?”, ”What is it to watch a theatre performance?” and ”Is theatre really worth watching?” Tada’s main focus in his direction is to push theatre’s potential for diversity to the limit. His latest work, with Enrique Castaya as a fictitious director, and a performer whose identity was not revealed until after the performance, got a huge reaction, both positive and negative, in Tokyo Deathlock’s controversial production in September 2008.

Tada was one of the three directors who directed “The Big Love - Romeo and Juliet by Three Directors”, a production of Fujimi Culture Hall “KIRARI FUJIMI” in Fujimi City in February 2008. He also directed “Romeo and Juliet” at ARCO Arts Theatre in Seoul, Korea, invited as the representative of Japan for Asian Directors Festival. Tada was Festival Director of Komaba Agora Theater’s International Theatre Festival Month called “How Many Kisses?” in September 2008, which invited three companies from Europe and proved to be a significant success.


Tada has also directed various performances outside of Tokyo Deathlock, and has appeared as an actor in many productions, including radio and television dramas. These days, Tada’s field of activities expands beyond writing, directing and acting. He is a resident staff of Komaba Agora Theater and has directing roles in various theatre festivals.
Tada’s unique style of direction is now widely acknowledged as the cutting edge in the Japanese contemporary performing arts scene. Apparently experimental – a play in a totally fictitious language, a play that does not fix a role onto a particular actor – his style has steadily gained an understanding of wider audiences and more critical acclaim.
In his work “Saisei (2006, which can be translated as rebirth/replay/resuscitation/rehabilitation)”, he described a group of youths facing imminent death. They sing, dance and rave for half an hour, which is repeated three times on the stage. The play was highly appraised as it extracted “hope in life” out of the increasingly exhausted bodies of the performers.
In 2007 he launched a new series “UNLOCK”, in which he defines the biggest characteristic of theatre as “the very existence of actors” and pursues the potential of theatre performances through focus on the existence of the actors onstage. “LOVE” (2007) is the achievement of Tada’s pursuit of stories emitted out of performers’ bodies.
In 2008 Tada launch a new series “REBIRTH”, where he intends to shed light on “the manifestation of plays via the actual human body”, which he believes is one of the core principles of theatre.
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