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Tanghalang Pilipino and The Japan Foundation join hands in the Philippine production of Manila Notes Edit

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Charles de Jesus  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

Metro Manila, Philippines — Tanghalang Pilipino and the Japan Foundation Manila, in partnership with the Cultural Center of the Philippines present 'Manila Notes,' a Philippine-Japan theater collaboration. Staged as Tanghalang Pilipino's 32nd season production, Manila Notes is the adaptation of Tokyo Notes, a play written and directed by Japanese playwright and director Oriza Hirata.  

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The play is the adaptation of Tokyo Notes, written by internationally acclaimed Japanese playwright and director Oriza Hirata. The play is one of the most critically acclaimed works of Hirata, which has been translated into 13 languages for productions in many cities around the world. The play has also created artistic collaborations and cultural exchanges through adaptations such as Seoul Notes (2004), Taipei Notes (2017), and Bangkok Notes (2017).

Rody Vera, the Palanca Hall of Fame writer along with the (20) leading Filipino actors have been working closely with Hirata to ensure that the Japanese material communicates well with the local Filipino audience. Hirata introduced to the actors his acting style called “contemporary colloquial theater theory,” which is entirely different from Western acting techniques. This technique, created by Hirata to counter the traditional loud theater seen in Japan, has been well received internationally. 

The set design is also a collaboration by an acclaimed Japanese set designer, Itaru Sugiyama and select theater practitioners and students in Manila.

Manila Notes will run from November 30 to December 16, with 3pm and 8pm time slots, at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater). The play is presented in Filipino. English supertitles would be available for the November 30 to December 2 shows.

Tickets are also available online at Explora.ph and at the CCP Box Office. For announcements and more information, visit the TP Facebook page at Tanghalang Pilipino.

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About Oriza Hirata

Prof. Oriza Hirata is a playwright and theater director. He is the leader of the Seinendan theater company as well as the artistic director of the Komaba Agora Theater and Kinosaki International Arts Center. He is also a research professor at Tokyo University of the Arts Center of Innovation (COI) and a visiting professor at Osaka University and Shikoku Gakuin University. He is one of the most influential figures in contemporary Japanese theater, working regularly with international artists, notably in France, with Frederic Fisbach, Arnaud Meunier, and Laurent Gutmann.

“We need to create plays or works that compliment audiences’ intelligence or their knowledge and have them think.”

As a propagator of the contemporary colloquial theater in Japan, he wrote nearly thirty plays—among them Tokyo Notes (1995 Kishida Kunio Drama Award) and Citizens of Seoul. Among many other awards, he was honored by France’s Ministry of Culture with the insignia of “Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters” in 2011.

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