July 9th, 2012 | Published in News
After spending half of the workshop period on the storyline of Brighton Beach / Pripyat, today we embarked on a journey in another direction. With the wonderful actresses Saori Tsukada (former collaborator of John Moran and more recently in hoi polloi’s All Hands) and Makiko Ikeda along with Magin Schantz, we created a scene that would be the foundation for the rest of the workshop period. The setting is Fukushima city, in Fukushima prefecture. Technically this location is outside of the exclusion zone, and evacuation is not mandatory — in fact the official government line has been for residents to stay put and continue their regular lives. In the scene, Saori lives in Tokyo and plays Makiko’s sister, who is pregnant and is living in Fukushima. Saori is visiting her sister with the intention to convince Makiko to come back to Tokyo with her, fearing the affect of the radiation on her sister’s unborn child. Makiko, whose husband works for city hall and is committed to the recovery efforts, does not feel she can leave her home or husband. The scene they improvised was very realistic — difficult, with many pauses, and also in some ways quite mundane. There were no big dramatic moments, just two very rational people trying to exert their opinions on the other. The gravity with which the actors tackled the improvisation was remarkable, and a testament to just how laden the subject matter is — even though it has disappeared from the headlines in the U.S. media. The video of the scene was too long to post – but we’ll keep touching on this scene this week.