Thursday, November 23, 2017

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"The Matsuyama Mirror" runs from Friday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 26 at SDSU’s Experimental Theatre. (Photo: Ken Jacques) "The Matsuyama Mirror" runs from Friday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 26 at SDSU’s Experimental Theatre. (Photo: Ken Jacques)
 


The Matsuyama Mirror

This Japanese folktale fantasy reimagined for the stage will be performed at SDSU’s Experimental Theatre.
By Lizbeth Persons Price
 

“The Matsuyama Mirror,” a Japanese folktale fantasy reimagined for the stage by award-winning playwright Velina Hasu Houston, runs from Friday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 26 at San Diego State University’s Experimental Theatre. Presented by the SDSU School of Theatre, Television, and Film, this coming-of-age story features a young woman who copes with the loss of her mother by escaping into the beautiful world she sees in her magic mirror.

Coming of age set in Japan’s Edo Period

First produced at the Honolulu Theatre for Youth, “The Matsuyama Mirror” is set in Matsuyama, Japan in the Edo Period (1603-1868), before the discovery of mirrors. The Edo Period was a time of strict social order with elaborate customs and isolationist foreign policies, and yet art and culture flourished, and play was a large part of children’s lives. The original folktale diverges somewhat from stories of mirrors in other cultures. Instead of the often seen ominous moral ending, this version of the classic Japanese story has a special coming-of-age twist that will resonate with audience members of all ages.

“I fell in love with this script because it gives us such a beautiful connection to the process of loss and coming of age,” said director Peter Cirino. “The depth of passion that our students put into this production is moving and how freely they all gave of their time and creativity was astonishing.”

Theatre program with impact

“This play is a beautiful tale about change and growing up,” said Stephanie Kwik, who plays the part of Aiko. “I cannot wait to share this story with the rest of the world, and I am excited for the audience to take this journey with Aiko.”

Paul Scott plays the part of Kokeshi 1 in the young girl’s “chorus” of kokeshi dolls, handmade, wooden dolls originally from northern Japan.

“I've been involved with various theatre programs over the last four years, and I have to say the program at SDSU has had quite an impact. This is my second time working with Peter (Cirino) and the experience has not lessened in any way. He nurtures and guides our creative sensibilities while finding a way to keep the story strong and sensible.”

Tickets and more information

Tickets to SDSU’s production of “The Matsuyama Mirror” are $17 for general admission and $15 for students, seniors, and active military. Show times are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit the SDSU School of Theatre, Television, and Film website.