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Kôkami Shoji, who heads the Third Stage, is a playwright and director. See his biography and the synopses of a few of his plays.

If you have a query about Kokami's plays and performances, contact him at office1©thirdstage.com (please change © to @)
(English only).


Kôkami, a playwright and director, has been an outstanding figure in Japanese theatre since the 1980s. His first overseas production was in 1991, when he brought The Angel with Closed Eyes to London (Mermaid Theatre), Belfast, and Edinburgh as part of the Japan Festival; those performances were in Japanese with English subtitles. In 1997 he studied the British method of actor training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London , on a Japanese government grant.

He writes and directs for his production company, “KOKAMI@network” and for other organizations; in 2004 he directed “Romeo and Juliet” at the Tokyo Globe Theatre, and on the invitation of Yukio Ninagawa he directed The Merry Wives of Windsor in 2002.

In 1995 Kôkami received the prestigious Kishida Drama Prize for Snufkin's Letter. His other awards include the Grand Prix for Tokyo Game in the short film category of the San Diego Film Festival (1994) and the Kinokuniya Drama Award in the Group Category for With a Sunset Like the Morning Sun (1987).

A board member of the Japan Playwrights Association, Japan Directors Association, and Association of Japanese Theatre Companies, Kôkami is also the author of a textbook, Lessons for Voice and Body. He regularly hosts radio and TV programs and contributes to professional publications.

Kôkami was born in Ehime prefecture in 1958. While at Waseda University, he launched The Third Stage Theatre Company, for which he wrote and directed more than twenty plays. His works continue to attract audiences in the thousands.

  • What's New?
    6-30 June 2007: The world premiere of an English Language version of TRANCE , directed by Kokami, at the Bush Theatre, London.

    The overwhelmingly positive response to the rehearsed reading in February 2006 at the Bush Theatre demonstrated that this play crosses English-Japanese cultural boundaries and merits a full-scale production in English.

    Masa: Stephen Darcy
    Reiko: Meredith MacNeill
    Sanzo: Rhashan Stone
    For further details see http://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/productions/trance.html.

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