Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Women in a Holy Mess

Tsunko, a woman in her 50s, just broke up with her boyfriend, 20 years her junior. When two of her childhood friends come to her apartment and find it in total disarray, it doesn’t take long for them to abandon cleaning the place and start adding to the chaos with their own stories, secrets and losses.

Ai Nagai’s Women in a Holy Mess is a hilarious portrayal of post-menopausal life written by one of the most prominent and beloved female playwrights in Japan today. Co-founder of the acclaimed Japanese theater company Nito-sha, Nagai has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Kishida Kunio Drama Award, given annually to the best new Japanese play.

Women in a Holy Mess will feature a cast of American actors led by award-winning director Cynthia Croot at Japan Society on the evening of Monday, February 22nd. Following the reading, there will be a conversation with the artists and with Nagai herself via high-speed digital video conferencing.

Bonus: Performing Arts Network Japan interviewed Nagai in 2006 and her answers were honest and poignant. This is a short quote from her:
"Even though I have taken up this theme of what is happening in the public schools, I have not written it as a play of accusation. And, I believe that even if I took that approach, it would not be interesting. Instead, I wanted to write a play where we could experience what happens when a system is put in place that “forces” us to do something. We may read about these issues in the newspaper, but I think it is hard for most people to imagine the things that are actually going on in these situations and what the people involved are actually saying and doing and what the atmosphere is like. By writing a play about this issue, I first wanted to find out what I personally would experience. Then I wanted people to experience it through my play so that I could find out what they think."

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