Why Dogugaeshi in DC
I am very honored that several Washington, DC area institutions are partnering together this March and April to present a festival celebrating highlights of my work in puppetry over the past 15 years www.twistfestivaldc.org. Three iconic shows of mine were planned into the seasons of wonderful fitting venues over a year ago. As thrilled and grateful as I am about this honor, I knew the picture of my work and its range wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of one of my favorite shows ‘Dogugaeshi’ which struggled to find an appropriately sized venue. Its a super intimate show for an audience of only 75 per show. This seemed all the more ironic as the timing of this Basil Twist festival coincides with the 100th anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and so ‘Dogugaeshi’ with its rich American and Japanese developmental and presentation history would find perfect resonance with this Centennial of the gift of cherry blossom trees from the government of Japan to the government of the United States.
At the eleventh hour a perfect venue was found at the marvelous Studio Theater in the vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood of DC. This intimate flexible space is perfect for ‘Dogugaeshi’ and the prestigious theater has been most cooperative in making the facilities available to this show. Everyone is excited to have this piece find its place in DC, the Basil Twist festival and the 100th National Cherry Blossom Festival. But because of the late timing of this partnership, the studio theater is unable to support the show financially as they have already committed to a very ambitious season.
We are nonetheless moving ahead with confidence and excitement into presenting this show, to ship the complex set to DC and to assemble it onstage, to transport and house the team of 14 puppeteers and designers. We also will bring co-creator and master musician Yumiko Tanaka from Japan along with her instruments to DC for the duration of the run. We will need to commit resources to get the word out about the piece to guarantee a ticket buying audience. All of this extends the financial risk of my company into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Dogusgeashi is one of my most deeply felt statements on the theatrical experience, the power of puppetry and my reverence for the culture of Japan. I have never had a doubt that this show would find its way into this retrospective of my work and this auspicious celebration of the relationship between the United states and Japan…especially given the shows own very rich creative relationship between these two cultures. I hope that you do connect a bit with this show and our journey and support it financially with any amount that you can. I absolutely cannot make the show happen without your support. Every single dollar pledged will help me get closer to my goal and will go directly to artist fees, travel and housing that will ensure we open in DC on time! All funding will flow through The Studio Theatre and will qualify as a tax deductible charitable donation. Thank you for taking the time and considering joining me as a partner in Dogugaeshi.
For The New York Times review of Dogugaeshi Click Here
The Japan Times Feature Review of Dogugaeshi Click Here
For a Video created by United States Artists on myself Click Here
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