Mission of Teams

Bringing My Perspective as a Theater Technician

Kimio Tawarayama, Technical Advisor, Consulting Department

Working with a highly motivated, predominantly young staff

I joined Theatre Workshop in April 2018, where I was appointed chief of its Theatre Technician Department. Within the department, Mochizuki-san is in charge of lighting, while I look after aspects of stage work, and we both work at various venues. I feed what I have gained from my work experience back into the company’s Consulting Department in the form of advice. I incorporate my perspective as a stage technician into the feedback I provide.

I also discuss drawings and equipment lists being checked by younger Consulting Department colleagues, and occasionally accompany them to client meetings and site inspections. Many Theatre Workshop staff members are young and they are invariably highly conscientious. I gather that I am by far the oldest. Though I feel as if I am still in my forties, apparently I am not.

As an employee, I am finding this company highly unique. It allows its employees ample leeway, that is, no undue restrictions. Interestingly, we are all busy at work all over Japan, but are still eager to join in once we sniff out something fun, like an in-house “cable-making workshop” led by Mochizuki-san, for instance.

Broadening the fan base of theater by encouraging participation as well as appreciation

My eventual goal is to conduct events in partnership with members of the local community at venues we have helped launch. Instead of leaving the locale once a venue is built, I would like to do something on an ongoing basis with people living there. It would be fascinating to be able to help realize this as a stagecraft specialist. I conducted backstage tours and introductory stagecraft workshops for my previous employer. I also devised programs in partnership with people who otherwise do not frequent theaters, as well as programs designed to bring the appeal of the theater to everyday life. Some aspects of stagecraft, such as rope knots and lighting, have surprisingly useful daily life applications.

Members of the general public may think that behind the scenes at a theater is intimidating or daunting. However, with the help of one or two specialists, many aspects of stagecraft can actually be tackled by the layperson. I would like to broaden the country’s theater fan base by, for instance, bringing more children of elementary school age to theaters, and by enticing more people to not only watch but also participate in theater.

Technical Advisor, Consulting Department
Kimio Tawarayama

Kimio Tawarayama worked on productions and tours as a stage director at venues large and small in Tokyo and across Japan, including Nippon Budokan, Yoyogi National Gymnasium and other arenas in large cities. He was the technical director of overseas performances of Japanese productions such as Hamlet by Yukio Ninagawa and of Japanese performances of overseas productions such as those by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. Leveraging his long theater management experience at Ginza Saison Theatre and Le Theatre Ginza, he was involved in the launch of Nagano City Arts Center. He is also a steering committee member of Staff Club 21, which is headed by Yuji Sawada and Iwao Takahashi. Kimio Tawarayama joined Theatre Workshop in April 2018, where he generously shares his wide industry network and know-how with younger staff members as the company’s “living dictionary” of all things theater.