Photo by Elizabeth Garvey
Masanari Kawahara is a performer, educator and Butoh practitioner who incorporates puppetry, mask and movement into his work. His most recent puppetry work, for which he was a co-creator and performer, is The Story of Crow Boy (2016/2017/2018) for In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (HOBT) where he is a core associate artist. Other notable collaborative works with HOBT include Make Believe Neighborhood (2018), Queen (2016), A Path Home: A story of Thich Nhat Hanh (2009/2010) and Gotama: A Journey to the Buddha (2006).
Other recent stage works include Speechless (2017/2018) by The Moving Company as an actor; The Oldest Boy (2016) at Jungle Theater, in which he was a puppeteer as well as the designer and creator of the title character, which was a puppet. He was also the performer, writer, and designer of the solo performance piece Little Boy (2014) which was commissioned and developed by Pangea World Theater’s Alternate Vision series.
Masanari is currently a resident teaching artist at Pillsbury House + Theatre and teaching artist for Upstream Arts working with preschoolers to elders. He is a member of the Butoh group Nenkin Butoh Dan, which received a 2015 Sage Award for outstanding dance ensemble for Fu.Ku.Shi.Ma. Masanari Kawahara is a Playwrights’ Center McKnight Theater Artist Fellow 2018-2019 and 2010-2011.