The Chojinyobiko Theater Group from Osaka, Japan, had a wonderful time performing in Lewes and teaching students about cultural traditions and performing arts during their exchange with Clear Space Productions. “The new theatre is exceptionally beautiful!” said Sue McMillan, Box Office Manager for Clear Space Productions. “All of the patrons were thrilled about the new venue and had a very fulfilling experience watching the performance in the new space.” Sue received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from audience members visiting the new theatre for the first time. The seats are more comfortable, the temperature is just right, and there isn’t a bad seat in the house! Also, there are many new technological aspects at the theatre that the audience was able to view for the first time including use of a fly system, new lighting instruments, and flawless acoustics. One patron, after leaving the show on Saturday evening commented how thrilled he was about the sound. “In the old theatre it was usually hard to hear, while at other times, it was too loud. The sound here [at the new Cape Henlopen Theatre] is perfect.” In addition to having a beautiful space in which to perform, the New Theatre has assigned seating. Sue said, “It is helpful if the patrons reserve their seats ahead of time. This way they can choose the location of their seats and we can have the tickets ready for pick-up. However, tickets are available at the door for all performances.”
Aside from teaching a community workshop to the public on kimonos, dance, and origami, the Japanese Theater Group also taught classes at the Theatre Arts Academy at Cape Henlopen High School last week. Over 40 students of the Academy were able to work one on one with cast members from the show as well as have a discussion with both American and Japanese students regarding their experiences from the exchange. The Director of the piece was also present to answer any questions that the students had. Both cultures benefited immensely from the exchange and felt grateful to have had this priceless experience. Theatre Arts Academy student, Katie Moshaver, said during class, (which was then translated to the Japanese Company), “Being able to experience another culture’s perspective on the performing arts, both in the classroom and through a performance, has been an awesome experience for all of us.”
The Chojinobiko Theater Group has safely returned to Osaka, Japan, after visiting New York and looks forward to having Clear Space visit Osaka in April 2011 to complete the Arts Exchange. For more information about the New Theatre, or upcoming Clear Space events, visit www.ClearSpaceProductions.org or call the Clear Space Box Office at 302.644.3810.