Performances

speechless at the lab theater

Speechless MOCO

Oct-Nov, 2017. A raw new creation of movement theatre by The Moving Company, featuring Heidi Bakke, Holo Lue Choy, Steven Epp, Masanari Kawahara, and Nathan Keepers. Directed by Dominique Serrand.

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(Return of) The Story of Crow Boy 2017-2018

July, 2017 & Jan, 2018. We completed a short run of The Story of Crow Boy in July, 2017 at Avalon Theatre, and for Puppeteers of America Festival at Concordia College. The tour component of the schedule begins in January 2018.

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Immigrant Journey Project

August 2017. Created by Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT), Hmong Elders Center, Shades of Yellow (SOY), Wilder, and Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE). Facilitated by Masanari Kawahara. Directed by Randy Reyes.

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March Puppet Cabaret

March 2017. A cabaret of puppet shows by the Minnesota puppet community, with live music. Coordinated by Steve Ackerman. MC: Dhann Polnau. Including Masanari Kawahara w/ Celica: Butoh to Gojira 舞踏とゴジラ

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Music Animated featuring Dreamland Faces

February, 2017. Puppeteers Seth Eberle, Masanari Kawahara, Angela Olson, and Laurie Witzkowski joined the Dreamland Faces band onstage, creating a spectacle similar to a live music video or a musician accompanying a silent film. Directed by Bart Buch.

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The Oldest Boy

Nov-Dec, 2016, Jungle Theater. A moving and delightful exploration of love and letting go by one of today’s most celebrated playwrights, Sarah Ruhl. Directed by Sarah Rasmussen. Featuring Christina Baldwin, Tsering Dorjee Bawa, Eric “Pogi” Sumangil, Masanari Kawahara, Randy Reyes, and Yeshi Samdup.

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Laurie Carlos and the cast of Queen, photo by Bruce Silcox

Queen

Sept-Oct, 2016. Grandmothers hold memory and loose memory and lose memory; they have a broad understanding of love – a wide geography that one may get lost in. Co-written by Erik Ehn and Junauda Petrus. Directed by Alison Heimstead. Narrated by Laurie Carlos

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The Children

Sept-Oct 2016. Written by Michael Elanow, directed by Noel Raymond. With Kate Guentzel, Kurt Kwan, Jim Lichtscheidl, Tracey Maloney, and Michelle O’Neill. Puppets designed/built by Masanari Kawahara.

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census

CENSUS

June 2016. A public performance project about how systematic information gathering affects the body, our everyday lives, and our broader communities. Performed by 100 people across a quarter mile of public space from dusk till dawn at the 2016 Northern Spark Festival.

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Conference of the Birds

April 2016. Conference of the Birds metaphorically maps out the journey of the human ego and the quest for truth. Based on a 12th-century Sufi poem by Farid Ud-Din Attar, the script was adapted by Meena Natarajan. Directed by Dipankar Mukherjee.

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Odori-ba

Odori-ba / dancing places

March, 2016. In ODORI-BA, Nenkin Butoh Dan (Masanari Kawahara, Dustin Maxwell and Gadu) created three simultaneous performances in three different locations inside the Southern Theater. Each performance was never repeated twice in the same space.

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Masanari Kawahara in Crow Boy

THE STORY OF CROW BOY

Feb, 2016. The intriguing life story of Taro Yashima who wrestled with human brutality, racial discrimination, and the ravages of WWII to build work of social conscience, compassionate insight, poetic visual form, and ultimately – of joy. Created by Masanari Kawahara, Sandy Spieler, Steven Epp and Momoko Tanno.

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Puppet Cabaret 2016

Jan, 2016. Masa performed his new experimental piece Bodhi/Butoh at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre with jam-packed house.  It was so much fun.  Thank you to Steve A. for bring us together and make this happen.

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Nenkin Jam Vol.6: LIFE/Dismantled

December, 2015. Featured work of Nenkin Butoh Dan members, Dustin Maxwell and Masanari Kawahara. Through deconstructing the memories of their lives, they explore deeper meaning of “self” and beyond.

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Sage Award for Nenkin Butoh Dan

Oct, 2015. Nenkin Butoh Dan, led by Gadu Doshin, won the 2015 Sage Award for Outstanding Dance Ensemble for the production of Fu.Ku.Shi.Ma. The show was a part of Right Here series curated by Off Leash Area.

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Little Boy by Masanari Kawahara

Sept-Oct, 2014. Meet Little Boy, the world’s first talking (and farting) atom bomb. As this reluctant creation is brought to life, he contemplates his origin and impact. Created by Masanari Kawahara, who was born in Hiroshima.

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Little Boy (work-in-progress)

Written and performed by Masanari Kawahara. Directed by Molly Van Avery. April 4 & 5, 2014 at Pangea World Theater, Minneapolis.

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bodhi puppet by Masanari Kawahara

Bodhi Show

Feb, 2012. A solo puppet show with an anatomically correct sock-monkey.  It is an exploration of a sock-monkey in everyday situation such as birth, love, anger and death.

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Pinocchio

Sept-Oct, 2011. Masa was part of this amazing cast, including Noah Bremer of Live Action Set, of Pinocchio.  The show was directed by Jon Ferguson.

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little shop of horrors at mu performing arts

Little Shop of Horrors by Mu Performing Arts

March-April, 2011. The Ritz Theater’s presentation of Mu Performing Arts production of Little Shop of Horrors. Puppet Design by Masanari Kawahara.

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HIROSHIMA is written and performed by Masanari Kawahara Directed by Molly Van Avery Performed at Pangea World Theater

HIROSHIMA by Masanari Kawahara

Feb, 2011. Written and performed by Masanari Kawahara. Directed by Molly Van Avery. Performed at Pangea World Theater.

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Gwacheon Dreams

Gwacheon Dreams

Sept, 2010. Masanari was in Gwacheon, South Korea, with a team working with many community members creating the opening ceremony for 14th annual Gwacheon Hanmadang Festival led by Beth Peterson.

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Mesujika DOE

Aug, 2010. A workshop presentation of a collaboration in progress, created by Shirotama Hitsujiya and Trista Baldwin at the Playwrights’ Center. Masa as Ichiro, performing in English and Japanese.

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masanari kawahara & bart buch - lantern for father patrick

Peace Day Lantern Ceremony

Aug, 2009 & 10. Initiated by Bart Buch, several artists gathered to create a community peace ceremony commemorating August 6th – the day the first Atomic bomb was used on human and its surroundings at Hiroshima, Japan.

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A Path Home: A Story of Thich Nhat Hanh

Nov, 2009. An intimate performance exploring the life and work of Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese monk, poet, and peace activist. In the hands of master visual storyteller Masanari Kawahara, eloquent puppets weave an interpretation of the man and his teachings.

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gotama by masanari kawahara

Gotama: A Journey to the Buddha

2006. The heroic journey of Siddhatta Gotama, the young man who, in search of his own humanity, becomes the Buddha. Co-created with director Andrew Kim, designer and performer Masanari Kawahara.

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godzilla by Masanari Kawahara

GOJIRA! (Godzilla)

2004-06. Based on the 1954 movie, Masanari created a solo puppet show – funny, poignant, yet faithful to the message of the movie: horror of nuclear warfare and hope to eliminate all the nuclear weapons from the earth.

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