Virtual Reimagining of Ogawa Play to Commemorate 3.11 at Japan Society

Ludic Proxy: Fukushima

Saturday, March 6 at 9:30 p.m. EST
Sunday, March 7 at 4:30 p.m. EST
Thursday, March 11 at 8:00 p.m. EST—Followed by an artist Q&A

Live Virtual Presentations

Admission: $15/$12 Japan Society members

Japan Society presents, in association with PlayCo, the virtual production of Ludic Proxy: Fukushima, written and directed by the Brooklyn-based theater-maker Aya Ogawa. Based on her own play Ludic Proxy, commissioned by PlayCo and first performed in 2015, this upcoming digital theater event represents a virtual reimagining of the original play’s second act commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture.

About Ludic Proxy: Fukushima

Set a few years after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, this video adaptation of Aya Ogawa’s play Ludic Proxy follows a woman named Maho, visiting her older sister Maki, who lives on the outskirts of the Fukushima nuclear evacuation zone. Maho functions as the audience’s avatar in the story as she cautiously navigates daily life in their hometown post-3.11, which takes on added urgency when Maki reveals that she is pregnant.

Using video games as a dramaturgy, viewers are asked to vote, in real time “audience polling,” on how Maho progresses through this harrowing set of circumstances, thus determining outcomes along the way. The New York Times coined the original Ludic Proxy, “a sort of choose-your-own-adventure story of two sisters,” and noted, “The play shows how the simulated can adjoin, infuse or ultimately replace the actual.”

In this new digital adaptation, featuring original cast members Saori Tsukada as Maho and Yuki Kawahisa as Maki, the line between actual and virtual reality begins to blur once again in this interactive, dark play exploring human survival in the face of disaster.

A live Q&A with Aya Ogawa will take place following the performance on March 11.  Performed in Japanese, this production will be streamed with English subtitles.

Watch Ogawa’s explanation of Ludic Proxy: Fukushima on Japan Society’s YouTube channel.

Tickets and Information

Ticket holders will be able to participate at the date/time for which they’ve reserved, as well as any subsequent live presentations in the schedule (March 6, 7, 11). Given the myriad possibilities of plot outcomes as determined by the live audience polling, ticketholders are invited to return for new viewing experiences as offered by these three distinct presentations.

Additionally, an “on demand” version will be available March 12 through 26. This version will incorporate real-time input from the solo viewer as opposed to collective audience polling.

You can find more information about Ludic Proxy: Fukushima on Japan Society’s website. To purchase tickets, please visit Japan Society’s website or call Japan Society’s Box Office at 212-715-1258 (Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.).

Saori Tsukada (left) and Yuki Kawahisa of "Ludic Proxy: Fukushima"
Saori Tsukada (left) and Yuki Kawahisa of “Ludic Proxy: Fukushima”

About Aya Ogawa

Aya Ogawa is a Tokyo-born, Brooklyn-based playwright, director, performer, and translator whose work reflects an international viewpoint and uses the stage as a space for exploring cultural identity and the immigrant experience. Cumulatively, all aspects of her artistic practice synthesize her work as an artistic and cultural ambassador, building bridges across cultures to create meaningful exchange amongst artists, theaters, and audiences both in the U.S. and in Asia.

Her original plays include The Nosebleed (Incoming! Under the Radar), Ludic Proxy (PlayCo), Journey to the Ocean (Foundry Theatre), and oph3lia (HERE). Most recently she directed Haruna Lee’s Obie Award-winning Suicide Forest at The Bushwick Starr and its Off-Broadway remount for Ma-Yi Theater.

She has translated into English more than a dozen plays by Toshiki Okada and numerous other contemporary Japanese playwrights that have been published and produced in the U.S. and U.K. She is currently a resident playwright at New Dramatists, a Usual Suspect at NYTW, and recipient of the President’s Award for Performing Arts from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

About PlayCo

PlayCo (Kate Loewald, Founding Producer and Robert G. Bradshaw, Managing DIrector) is an Obie Award-winning Off-Broadway theater. PlayCo produces adventurous new plays from the U.S. and around the world to advance a dynamic global experience of contemporary theater and expand the voices and perspectives represented on U.S. stages.

Now celebrating its 20th year, PlayCo has produced 37 new plays from the United States, Central and South America, Europe, Russia, South and East Asia, and the Middle East. PlayCo’s distinctive international programming links American theatre with world theatre, American artists with the global creative community, and American audiences with a whole world of plays. Previous productions include Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas’s wry and wrenching Recent Alien Abductions, Lee Sunday Evans’s New York Times Critics’ Pick production of Stefano Massini’s Intractable Woman: A Theatrical Memo on Anna Politkovskaya, the sold-out run of Amir Nizar Zuabi’s critically acclaimed Oh My Sweet Land, Guillermo Calderón’s Villa, Christopher Chen’s Caught (2017 Obie Award for Playwriting), Maria Milisavljevic’s Abyss, Kyle Jarrow and Lauren Worsham’s The Wildness, debbie tucker green’s generations, Aya Ogawa’s Ludic Proxy, Antonio Vega’s The Duchamp Syndrome, and more.

PlayCo’s office space on the island known as Mannahatta (Manhattan), and the rehearsal and performance spaces they use throughout New York City are located in Lenapehoking, the homeland of the Lenape people.

About Japan Society

Founded in 1907, Japan Society in New York City presents sophisticated, topical, and accessible experiences of Japanese art and culture and facilitates the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and innovation between the U.S. and Japan. More than 200 events annually encompass world-class exhibitions; dynamic classical and cutting-edge contemporary performing arts, film premieres, and retrospectives; workshops and demonstrations; tastings; family activities; language classes; and a range of high-profile talks and expert panels that present open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan, and East Asia.