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U.S. Theater Premiere of 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' Based on Haruki Murakami Book, in January

Dec 22, 2009
Description : 

The Ohio Theatre to host U.S. Premiere of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, a multimedia theatrical adaptation of Haruki Murakami's internationally acclaimed novel

Previews on January 12, Performances run through January

(December 22, 2009) New York, NY – Wind-Up Productions and the Asia Society, in association with the Baryshnikov Arts Center and Pamela Lubell, are proud to present the U.S. Premiere of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, an interdisciplinary, multimedia theatrical production based on the internationally acclaimed novel by Haruki Murakami, one of Japan’s most celebrated writers. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is conceived and directed by Stephen Earnhart and written for the stage by Stephen Earnhart and Greg Pierce. The production runs from January 12 - 30, 2010 in a limited engagement at the Ohio Theatre, located at 66 Wooster Street (between Spring & Broome) in Soho, NY. Previews begin January 12 for a January 15 opening. The production is part of the Public Theater’s “Under the Radar” Festival.

Performances are Wednesdays-Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm with an additional performance on Tuesday, January 12 at 6pm. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased online at www.TheaterMania.com or by calling 212-352-3101. Tickets are $50 for the January 30 closing night benefit performance and party. Running time is 1 hour and 45 minutes. Appropriate for ages 16 and up. Trains: R, W to Prince St. or 6, C, E to Spring St. For more information on the show visit www.windupbc.com.

At once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of buried secrets from World War II, this surreal mystery follows an unassuming “everyman,” Toru Okada, as he searches for his wife who has inexplicably vanished. Toru soon encounters a cast of strange characters, each with their own intriguing stories, who begin showing up in his dreams, opening doors to a hallucinatory world charged with sexuality and violence. As the lines between dreams and reality dissolve, Toru must confront the dark forces that exist inside him as part of his human nature.

Inspired by Murakami’s visionary style, director Stephen Earnhart, former Director of Production for Miramax Films, combines elements of live performance, live music, puppetry and dance/movement, with cinematic video and audio technology to create a hypnotic “theatre of dreams.”

One of Japan’s most renowned writers, Haruki Murakami’s work has been translated into forty-two languages, making him one of the most widely read Japanese authors ever. A Pulitzer Prize nominee, Murakami’s many honors include the prestigious Franz Kafka Prize and the Yomiuri Prize. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is considered his most important work. Murakami writes specifically about his native Japan, but his characters’ struggles are universal, including urban loneliness and a longing for intimate connection.

Director/creator Stephen Earnhart has traversed the film and theater worlds for more than twenty years. Formerly Director of Production for Miramax Films, his feature length documentaries, Mule Skinner Blues and Source of Pride, were distributed by Sundance Channel and Warner Brothers, respectively. A. O. Scott of The New York Times called Mule Skinner Blues “a charming movie.” Earnhart’s created and performed in several multimedia theatrical productions, including Trialog at Hangar 7, commissioned by Dietrich Mateschitz, president of Red Bull.

Praise for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, the novel:

“A surreal, sprawling drama…Murakami’s most ambitious work.” ~ Publisher’s Weekly

“A beguiling mystery that draws us irresistibly into the world of pain and memory.” ~ The Los Angeles Times

“Murakami’s novel is mesmerizing…daring, mysterious and profoundly rewarding.” ~ The Baltimore Sun

The cast includes James Yaegashi (Broadway: Take Me Out, A Naked Girl on the Appian Way) as Toru Okada, Pepper Fajins, Yoriko Haraguchi, Akira Ito, Yoko Myoi, James Saito, Sonoko Soeda, Yasu Suzuki, Akira Takayama, Toshiji Takeshima, Nana Tsuda, Yoshi Watanabe and Stacey Yen. 

The design and production team includes Tom Lee (Set Design/Puppet Design & Direction), Laura Mroczkowski (Lighting Design), Jane Shaw (Sound Design and Music), Oana Ban (Costume Design), Bora Yoon (Music and Live Performance), Claudia Orenstein (Dramaturg), Adam Larsen (Projection Design), Shawn Duan (Projection Associate), Andrew Berg (Story Consultant), Stephanie Gilman (Staging Director), Karen Beaumont (Movement Consultant), Colin Kilian (Technical Director), Jake Witlen (Production Manager) and Laura Wilson (Stage Manager).

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is supported by the Japan Foundation, the Saison Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, the Japan US-Friendship Commission, the New York State Council for the Arts, Goh Productions and the Asian Cultural Council. This cross-cultural theatrical production has been developed in New York at 3-Legged Dog Art & Technology Center and the Asia Society, and in Tokyo at Morishita Studios, and represents an international collaboration between Western and Asian artists and designers.

Press contacts:

David Gibbs, DARR Publicity
718-721-7907 or [email protected]

Elaine Merguerian, Asia Society
212-327-9271 or [email protected]