© Niwa Gekidan Penino
Fortress of Smile
May 10 – 11, 2023
Running time 115’ Performance in Japanese with Italian and English surtitles. The surtitles include information for people with hearing disabilities
For the first time in Italy, Kuro Tanino, one of Japan's most celebrated contemporary theater directors, presents Fortress of Smile together with his company Niwa Gekidan Penino. The director-dramaturg paints a voyeuristic slice of life about two small and neglected adjacent apartments in a coastal village. Hyperrealist rooms and sets become the stage for two parallel, intertwined stories. On the one hand, a few lively fishermen meet daily to drink and have a good time; on the other, an elderly woman – aided by her son and granddaughter – comes to terms with old age and loneliness. Following the unchanging routine of these lives, we gradually realize that something is changing. A poetic and radical performance suspended between humor and surreal situations.
Born in Toyama in 1976 (Japan), Kuro Tanino is leader of the theater company Niwa Gekidan Penino (“Theatre of the Garden Penino”) and serves as its representative, playwright and director. While a medical student, he formed the company in 2000. Kuro Tanino’s recent works include Chekov?! (2011), The Room, Nobody Knows (2012), Box in the Big Trunk (2013), Tanino to Dwarf-tachi ni yoru Kantor ni Sasageru Homage (2015), The Dark Master (2003, 2006, 2016) and others. The play Avidya – The Dark Inn, which premiered in 2015, was the winner of the 60th Kunio Kishida Drama Award. Kuro Tanino has received many awards, including Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency Arts Festival Excellence Award in 2016 and Toyama Prize in Arts and Culture in 2019.
Read the programme
directed and written by: Kuro Tanino with: Susumu Ogata, Kazuya Inoue, Koichiro F.O. Pereira, Masato Nomura, Hatsune Sakai, Natsue Hyakumoto, Masayuki Mantani stage manager: Masaya Natsume, Yuhi Kobayashi director assistant: Haruka Kikuchi scenography: Takuya Kamiike light designer: Masayuki Abe, Risa Noguchi sound designer: Koji Shiina tour manager: Tsubasa Shimizu, Chika Onozuka with the support of: Agency for Cultural Affairs (Government of Japan) With the patronage of Consulate General of Japan in Milan