Yukiko Kato on the curtain closing in Tokyo

Yukiko Kato is an assistant stage director in Tokyo. Here she reflects on how the pandemic has impacted her life. 
My last production “Musical Chess in Tokyo” with Nick Winston finished in Tokyo in January. Since then, I have lost any chance of having a performance in public.

The next thing was supposed to be the Cherry Orchard in February and March but that was when Covid-19 started to gradually erode our “play ground”.

My team heard at the end of February, that a well known company “General probe” had given up on their whole show. We thought how sad it was but we didn’t know what would happen on us.

Then in March, the number of Covid-19 patients started increasing. But our prime minister just said to theatre people  “please close your curtain  IF POSSIBLE… Please exercise self-restraint”… He never said “Don’t open the curtain” because there would be no compensation.

But many, in fact most of theatre productions, decided to cancel the shows for the sake of saving people’s lives. I heard the Cherry Orchard’s cancellation just after getting back my home after the final dress rehearsal. It was over. We lost any chance to good-bye or thank you to each other.

I just thought of the law of conservation of the mass. I was like…”We gave our passion and energy to the Cherry Orchard. The weight is not in proportion to the situation”.

And now I have started the “Social distance tango lab” to experiment with telecommunication performance in this chaotic moment.

How has the pandemic impacted your life? Let us know

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