Preview: Tempus Theatre
Spring Arts Preview
Naomi Iizuka’s play 36 VIEWS gets its name from a series of famous woodblock prints called 36 Views of Mount Fuji by nineteenth-century artist Hokusai. Premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in September 2001 under the direction of Mark Wing-Davey, the play had its New York premiere in March 2002 at the Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival.
An award-winning, prolific playwright, Iizuka is the daughter of a American Latina and a Japanese banker, and she grew up in Japan, Indonesia, Holland and Washington, DC. She is recognized for her skilful blending of the ancient with the contemporary.
Tempus Theatre presents 36 VIEWS May 1 to 23 at the Jericho Arts Centre. In the play, an art dealer and an art historian discover what appears to be an ancient manuscript: a priceless Japanese pillow book created by a medieval courtesan. As they try to prove its authenticity, their search becomes an erotic game of greed, love, and sleight-of-hand. In a series of 36 interlocking scenes, Iizuka’s play explores the relationship between the imaginary and the real, and the lines and spaces that separate feelings and words, objects and images of objects, antiques and reproductions, and a person’s heritage and physical features. Culture and commodity, fetish and forgery, and personal and professional revenge are all exposed in 36 VIEWS.
A contemporary play set in a modern, metropolitan city, it incorporates strong elements of traditional Japanese kabuki, Noh theatre, and references to touchstones of Japanese culture such as Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book, Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji and traditional music.
The San Francisco Chronicle says “. . . thoughtful, humane, poetically phrased and staged with intricate, shimmering beauty . . . a multi-textured web that became completely engrossing. Each facet of 36 Views offers another perspective on the art and artifice of our lives.”
36 VIEWS by Naomi Iizuka
May 1 – 23, 2009
Jericho Arts Centre
1675 Discovery Street, Vancouver
Directed by Anthony F. Ingram
Tickets: Tickets Tonight
Plaza Level, 200 Burrard Street