THE TRUE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA is the first show and the world premiere of Kunoichi Productions, a new theatre company co-founded by 3 theater makers: Ai Aida, Keiko Shimosato Carreiro and Nick Ishimaru in February 2020.
It's a modern retelling of the Japanese classic folklore The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter written with a feminist twist from a genderqueer perspective. It explores the life of a princess called Kaguya, who was found inside the stalk of a shiny bamboo as a baby. Unlike the original text, in which the beautiful heroine becomes an object of male gaze and male desire, THE TRUE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA centers around an intelligent, eloquent, rebellious tomboy who revolts against traditional gender norms. In this full-length play, Kaguya questions the concept of gender, seeks an identity of her own, and tries to become a whole person without marrying any man, rejecting all the suitors’ advances.
It's a story about the struggle of a woman who finds herself trapped in a patriarchal narrative wherever she goes –either on the Moon where she is from or on Earth which is her adopted home– and her desperate attempts to break away from the male-dominant system that oppresses and marginalizes all females on the basis of their sex in order to become a truly free, independent individual.
This show will be a virtual Zoom production and presented as part of PlayGround's Innovator Incubator Showcase 2020. Conceived initially as a conventional stage production, with The True Tale of Princess Kaguya we're re-envisioning theatre in the age of COVID-19 and pioneering theatricality over digital streaming platforms. Our cast of seven includes actors from all across the USA, building the arts community in ways we previously would never have been capable of doing. I believe it's important to continue working even or especially during hard times such as now and show the world that we theater artists can still collaborate, create and present works while sheltering-in-place.
Funded by San Francisco, CA (November 2020)