Tadashi Suzuki

Tadashi Suzuki

 Tadashi Suzuki is the founder and director of the Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT) based in Toga Village, located in the mountains of Toyama prefecture. He is the organizer of Japan’s first international theatre festival (Toga Festival), and the creator of the Suzuki Method of Actor Training. Suzuki also plays an important role with several other organizations: as General Artistic Director of Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (1995~2007), as a member of the International Theatre Olympics Committee, as founding member of the BeSeTo Festival (jointly organized by leading theatre professionals from Japan, China and Korea) and as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Japan Performing Arts Foundation, a nation-wide network of theatre professionals in Japan.
 Suzuki’s works include “On the Dramatic Passions”, “The Trojan Women”, “Dionysus”, “King Lear”, “Cyrano de Bergerac”, “Madame de Sade” and many others. Besides productions with his own company, he has directed several international collaborations, such as “The Tale of Lear”, co-produced and presented by four leading regional theatres in the US; “King Lear”, presented with the Moscow Art Theatre; “Oedipus Rex”, co-produced by Cultural Olympiad and Düsseldorf Schauspiel Haus; and “Electra”, produced by Ansan Arts Center/Arco Arts Theatre in Korea and the Taganka Theatre in Russia.
 Suzuki has articulated his theories in a number of books. A collection of his writings in English, The Way of Acting is published by Theatre Communications Group (US). He has taught his system of actor training in schools and theatres throughout the world, including The Julliard School in New York and the Moscow Art Theatre. The Cambridge University Press published The Theatre of Suzuki Tadashi as part of their Directors in Perspective series, featuring leading theatre directors of the 20th Century. This series includes works on Meyerlhold, Brecht, Strehler, Peter Brook and Robert Wilson among others.
 Not just one of the world’s foremost theatre directors, Suzuki is also a seminal thinker and practitioner whose work has a powerful influence on theatre everywhere. Suzuki’s primary concerns include: the structure of a theatre group, the creation and use of theatrical space, and the overcoming of cultural and national barriers in the interest of creating work that is truly universal. Suzuki has established in Toga one of the largest international theatre centers in the world. Surrounded by the beautiful wilderness of Toga, the facility includes six theatres, rehearsal rooms, offices, lodgings and restaurants, etc.
 Suzuki’s activities, both as a director creating multilingual and multicultural productions, and as a festival producer bringing people from throughout the world together in the context of shared theatrical endeavor, reflect an aggressive approach to dealing with the fundamental issues of our times.

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Chronology of the productons directed by Tadashi Suzuki

1959
“The Anniversary” (by Anton Chekhov), Tokyo
1960
“Kashima ari” (by Minoru Betsuyaku), Tokyo
 
“Death of the Salesman” (by Arthur Miller), Tokyo
1961
“Three Sisters” (by Anton Chekhov), Tokyo
 
“A and B, and a Woman” (by Minoru Betsuyaku), Tokyo
 
“The Flies” (by Jean-Paul Sartre), Tokyo
1962
“The Elephant” (by Minoru Betsuyaku), Tokyo
1963
“The Crucible” (by Arthur Miller), national tour
1964
“A Streetcar Named Desire” (by Tennessee Williams), Tokyo
1966
Suzuki founds a theatre company Waseda Shogekijo together with Minoru Betsuyaku, Hiroshi Ono, Ikuko Saito, Kosuke Tsutamori and others.
Completion of the theatre space named “Waseda Shogekijo”, Tokyo
“The Temple Gate” (by Minoru Betsuyaku), Tokyo
“The Little Match Girl” (by Minoru Betsuyaku) for the opening of the new theatre, Waseda Shogekijo, Tokyo
After this, the company bases on the Waseda Shogekijo, Tokyo
“Shokudai” (by Masayuki Nobeyama), Tokyo
1967
“Usagi to Tanuki” (by Osamu Dazai), Tokyo
“Shitakiri Suzume” (by Osamu Dazai), Tokyo
“My Beatles or Funeral” (by Makoto Sato), Tokyo
“The Smile of Dr. Maximillian” (by Minoru Betsuyaku), Tokyo
1968
“Narukami” (composition by Suzuki based on Kabuki play), Tokyo
“Lower Depth” (composition by Suzuki and Minoru Betsuyaku based on Maxim Gorky's play), Tokyo
1969
“On the Dramatic Passions Ⅰ” (composition by Suzuki), Tokyo
“A Girl's Mask” (by Juro Kara), Tokyo
1970
“On the Dramatic Passions Ⅱ” (composition by Suzuki), Tokyo
“Natsu Shibai White Comedy” (composition by Suzuki based on the plays by Nanboku Tsuruya), Tokyo
“On the Dramatic Passions Ⅲ” (composition by Suzuki), Tokyo
1971
“Somekaete Gonichi no Omemie” (composition by Suzuki), Tokyo
1972
Participation in Théâ tre des Nations Festival in Paris (artistic director, Jean-Louis Barrault) with“On the Dramatic Passions Ⅱ”
Since then, Suzuki has been invited to Theatre Festivals from all over the world and has performed in 31 countries, 83 cities.
“Don Hamlet” (composition by Suzuki), Tokyo
1973
“On the Dramatic Passions Ⅱ” in Nancy (Nancy Festival), Paris, Amsterdam
“On the Dramatic Passions Ⅱ New Version”, Tokyo
1974
Appointed artistic director of Iwanami Hall, Tokyo
“The Trojan Women” (by Euripides), Tokyo"
1975
“Night and the Clock” (composition by Suzuki), Tokyo
1976
The company moves to Toga.
Opening of converted farmhouse theatre, Toga Sanbo in Toga village, Toyama Prefecture with “Night and Feast, Part 1” (composition by Suzuki)
1977
“Mirrors and Cabbages” (by Yasunari Takahashi), Tokyo
“Night and Feast, Part Ⅱ” (composition by Suzuki), Toga
1978
“The Bacchae” (by Euripides), Tokyo
“Night and Feast, Part Ⅲ” (composition by Suzuki), Toga
“Shadow of Death” (composition by Suzuki) at Festival d' Automne, Paris
1979
“Night and Feast, Part Ⅳ- Home Medicine” (composition by Suzuki), Toga
1980
Teaches the Suzuki Method of Actor Training at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA
1981
Teaches the Suzuki Method of Actor Training at the Julliard School in New York for 3 years
Bilingual production“The Bacchae” with the actors from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Toga
Musical“Sweeney Todd” (music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim), Tokyo
1982
Teaches the Suzuki Method of Actor Training at the Univerisity of California - San Diego, USA
Founds and becomes Chairman of the Japan Performing Arts Center (JPAC) in Toga
The First International Theatre Festival of Japan: “Toga Festival”, in Toga
“Chusankai” (composition by Suzuki), Tokyo
1983
Launches “Toga International Actor Training Program”, requested by four universities in US; the Julliard School, the Univerisity of California - San Diego, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the Southern Methodist University
“Clytemnestra” (composition by Suzuki), Toga
“Tragedy - the Fall of the House of Atreus” (composition by Suzuki), Tokyo
1984
Changed his company's name from Waseda Shogekijo to Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT)
“King Lear” (by William Shakespeare), Toga
“Three Sisters” (by Anton Chekhov), Toga
1986
“The Cherry Orchard” (by Anton Chekhov), Toga
1988
“The Tale of Lear” co-produced by four Ameican Regional Theatres; the Stage West in Springfield, Massachusetts, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage in Washington- D.C., and Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California, touring cities of the US for 147 performances.
Appointed artistic director of and launches the Mitsui Festival (sponsored by Mitsui Group), Tokyo.
“Uncle Vanya” (by Anton Chekhov), Toga
Appointed artistic director of Acting Company Mito (ACM), in Mito
1989
“Hamlet” (adapted from William Shakespeare's Hamlet), Toga
1990
“Dionysus” (by Euripides), Mito
1991
“Macbeth” (by William Shakespeare), Mito
“Greetings from the Edge of the Earth” (composition by Suzuki), Toga
Holds Master Class of the Suzuki Method of Actor Training in Toga
1992
Founds Saratoga International Theatre Institute (SITI) with American Director, Anne Bogart in Saratoga Springs, New York.
“Ivanov” (by Anton Chekhov), Mito
“The Chronicle of Macbeth” directed for Playbox Theatre in Melbourne, Australia
1993
Forms International committee of Theatre Olympics with Theodoros Terzopoulos (Greece), Robert Wilson (USA), Yuri Lyubimov (Russia), Heiner Müller (Germany) and others
“Juliet” (adapted from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet), Toga
1994
Founds BeSeTo (Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo)Theatre Festival of three countries, Japan, China and Korea with Kim Eui Kyung (President of Korean Centre of International Theatre Institute) and Xu Xiao Zhong (President of the Central Academy of Drama, China)
The 1st BeSeTo Theatre Festival in Seoul
“The Shrinkng Japan Rises Again” (composition by Suzuki), Toga
1995
Appointed General Artistic Director of Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC)
The 1st Theatre Olympics in Athens and Delphi
“Electra” (by Hofmannsthal) co-directed with Satoshi Miyagi, Toga
1996
“John Silver” (by Juro Kara), Toga
“Kachi Kachi Yama” (by Osamu Dazai), Toga
1997
“King Lear” and “Dionysus” for the opening of Shizuoka Performing Arts Park
1998
The opera “Vision of Lear” (music written by Toshio Hosokawa) for the Munich Biennale, International Festival for New Music Theatre
“The Mirror House” (compositon by Suzuki), Toga
“Kanashii Sake” (compositon by Suzuki), Shizuoka
1999
“Kachi Kachi Yama” and “Dionysus” for the opening of Shizuoka Arts Theatre
The 2nd Theatre Olympics in Shizuoka, hosted by SPAC
“Cyrano de Bergerac” (by Edmond Rostand), Shizuoka
“Sayonara Toga Festival” (composition by Suzuki), Toga
2000
Founds and becomes Chairman of the board of directors of Japan Performing Arts Foundation (JPAF, a nationwide network of theatre artists)
“Oedipus Rex” (by Sophocles), Shizuoka
Noh play“Utoh” (composition by Suzuki) with Hideo Kanze as Shite (leading role), Shizuoka
“Cinderella - Bride of the Vampire” (composition by Suzuki), Shizuoka
2001
The opera “Vision of Lear” with singers of the Bolshoi Opera and other opera houses of Russia, Moscow
2002
“Oedipus Rex” co-produced by Cultural Olympiad and Düsseldorf Schauspiel Haus, performed in Düsseldorf and Theatre Epidaurus (Greece)
“The Chekhov” (composition by Suzuki), Shizuoka
2004
Called by Ministry of Culture of Russia, forms “Japan - Russia Cultural Forum” with artists, politicians, bureaucrats, journalists of both countries, aiming for progression of cultural exchange between Japan and Russia
“Bessatsu - Tanizaki Junichiro” (composition by Suzuki), Shizuoka
“Ghosts―Bessatsu - Ibsen” (composition by Suzuki), Shizuoka
“King Lear” directed for the repertory of Moscow Art Theatre (artistic director, Oleg Tabakov), Moscow
2005
“Byouin Nagaya no Nihonjintachi” (composition by Suzuki), Shizuoka
“The Stranger in the Junkyard Shantytown” (composition by Suzuki based on Maxim Gorky's Lower Depth), Shizuoka
2006
“Cyrano de Bergerac” , “Oedipus Rex” , “Ivanov” , and “King Lear” performed in sequence, Tokyo
2007
“Bessatsu -Betsuyaku Minoru ‐ A and B, and a Woman” (composition by Suzuki), Shizuoka
Resigns the General Artistic Director of Shizuoka Performing Arts Center
“Madame de Sade” (by Yukio Mishima), Shizuoka
“Electra”co-produced directed for the repertory of Taganka Theatre (artistic director, Yuri Lyubimov), Moscow
“The Stranger in the Junkyard Shantytown” produced for the 14th BeSeTo Theatre Festival, in three different languages by actors from Japan, China and Korea, Tokyo
2008
“Electra” co-produced by Ansan Arts Center and Arko Arts Theatre of Korea
2009
"Kachi Kachi Yama at the Junkyard Shantytown", Toga
Opera "La Traviata", Shizuoka

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Chronology of international tours

Argentina

1993
Buenos Aires

Australia

1988
Sydney
1989
Canberra
1989
Melbourne
1992
Adelaide
1992
Hobart

Austria

1992
Vienna

Belgium

1985
Brussels
1987
Antwarp

Brazil

1993
Sao Paulo

Bulgaria

2009
Sofia

Canada

1995
Toronto

Chile

1993
Santiago

China

1996
Beijing
1996
Shanghai
2008
Nanjing

Columbia

1998
Bogota

Denmark

1985
Copenhagen

Finland

1989
Helsinki
1989
Lahti

France

1972
Paris
1973
Nancy
1987
Grenoble
1987
Bordeaux
1987
Reims
2003
Montpellier

Germany

1977
Berlin
1977
Bonn
1985
Frankfurt
1987
Stuttgurt
1998
Munich
2002
Düsseldorf

Greece

1985
Athens
1985
Thessaloniki
1985
Delphi
2002
Epidaurus

Hong Kong

1986
Hong Kong

Holland

1973
Amsterdam

Italy

1977
Rome
1985
Udine
1985
Venetia
1986
Milan
1994
Vicenza
2003
Asti
2009
Naples

Korea

1986
Seoul
2003
Uijeongbu
2008
Ansan

Lithuania

2010
Vilnius

Poland

1975
Warsaw
1975
Wroclaw

Portugal

1977
Lisbon

Russia (Soviet Union)

1991
Moscow
2005
St. Petersburg

Singapore

2009
Singapore

Spain

1986
Madrid
1986
Tenerife
1986
Las palmas
1987
Pamplona
1987
Bilbao

Sweden

1996
Stockholm

Switzerland

1986
Geneve

Taiwan

2007
Taipei
2011
Kaohsiung

Turkey

1998
Istanbul

United Kingdom

1985
London

United States

1979
New York
1979
Milwaukee
1982
Chicago
1982
St. Lewis
1984
Los Angeles
1985
Washington D.C
1985
San Diego
1986
Baltimore
1987
Berkeley
1987
Minneapolis
1988
Springfield
1991
Purchase
1992
Saratoga Springs
2001
Iowa
2001
San Francisco
2001
Delaware
2001
Pittsburgh

*The year listed marks the first time the company performed in each city. The company has toured Paris, New York, Moscow, etc. for several times.

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