Sugar Train, Inc. to open a theater for Okinawan performing arts

Sugar Train, Inc. to open a theater for Okinawan performing arts

On September 18 at the Prefectural Government, Sugar Train Representative Director Ide, Okinawa Department of Culture, Tourism and Sports Director General Hirata, and Art Community Organization Okinawa Representative Shimoyama promoted “Tee! Tee! Tee!”

September 19, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

In October 2013, film production company Sugar Train, Inc., will open a permanent theater for plays composed of Okinawan performing arts such as Ryukyuan dance, eisa, and karate. The Okinawan Nonverbal Entertainment Performance “Tee! Tee! Tee! Project” will perform plays that even foreigners who don’t speak the local language can also enjoy. It seeks to create a new night tourist attraction that makes use of traditional culture.

On September 18, Representative Director Yuichi Ide announced the project at a press conference held at the Prefectural Government. The permanent theater will be equipped with a 400-seater portable tent that can also be used for performances outside Okinawa. It will be set up near a monorail station in Naha. There will be two performances a day for about 20 days a month. The company plans to sell tickets to travel agents, aiming to attract 115000 customers a year and earn 120 million yen in sales in the first year of operations.

The company will recruit 10 staff and performers by November 26. They plan to hold auditions and the successful candidates will be hired as fixed-term employees. Pilot “try-out performances” will be held from next January. Audience reviews of those performances will be collected through facebook and smartphone applications and they will then reflect on the performances from there. They will utilize the prefectural industrial promotion fund (15 million yen) and the cultural industry business model support project (three million yen).

At the press conference, Ide said, “We hope that it is really entertaining and serves as a starting point for people from all over the world to enjoy Okinawan culture. Okinawa Department of Culture, Tourism and Sports Director General Daiichi Hirata hopes that it will become a model for the cultural industry in Okinawa. Project partner Art Community Organization Okinawa Representative Hisashi Shimoyama said, “If this goes well, we can think about other projects that extend on from there.”

For more information about performers and staff recruitment call Sugar Train at 098 (882) 3123.

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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