Japanese artists work with local youth as part of Youth Theatre Northwest’s international program in February. Photo courtesy of Manny Cawaling

Japanese artists work with local youth as part of Youth Theatre Northwest’s international program in February. Photo courtesy of Manny Cawaling

YTN brings international art project to Mercer Island

Japanese artists will teach the community about Kamishibai at Sunday workshops in February.

  • Wednesday, February 7, 2018 1:22pm
  • Life

Youth Theatre Northwest (YTN), with support from the Japan Foundation and King County Council, has brought two expert artists from Japan to provide instruction to its youth and the broader community on the art form Kamishibai.

YTN received a special grant to bring Tatsuo Kawakami and Takamitsu Terukina, two famous Kamishibai artists from the Marguerite Family Troupe in Japan, to work with YTN’s “Through The Looking Glass and What Alice Found There” cast in a special residency during the month of February.

Kamishibai is a form of traditional street theatre and storytelling that is told by a Kamishibaiya (Kamishibai narrator) who travels to street corners with sets of illustrated boards (the paper) that he or she placed in a miniature stage-like device and narrates the story by changing each image.

YTN is hosting Sunday community workshops this month, with upcoming sessions from 1-5 p.m. on Feb. 11 and Feb. 18 at the Youth Theatre Northwest Parish Hall Theatre, 4400 86th Ave. SE. The workshops are free, and for kids in fourth grade and up (adults too).

“I was excited to award King County District 6 grant funds to help make this unique cultural and educational program happen,” stated King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci. “Youth Theatre Northwest is making the most out of a modest investment of resources to expose local youth to the Japanese art form of Kamishibai.”

To sign up, go to youththeatre.org or contact Stephanie Bull at 206-232-4145 ext. 100, or registar@youththeatre.org.

Kamishibai combines visual and performance art. Photo courtesy of Manny Cawaling

Kamishibai combines visual and performance art. Photo courtesy of Manny Cawaling

YTN youth learn the art of Kamishibai, a form of traditional street theatre and storytelling. Photo courtesy of Manny Cawaling

YTN youth learn the art of Kamishibai, a form of traditional street theatre and storytelling. Photo courtesy of Manny Cawaling

Famous Kamishibai artists lead workshops for the Mercer Island community. Photo courtesy of Manny Cawaling

Famous Kamishibai artists lead workshops for the Mercer Island community. Photo courtesy of Manny Cawaling

YTN created multiple ways for the larger community to enjoy its Kamishibai Project, including workshops and performances. Photo courtesy of Manny Cawaling

YTN created multiple ways for the larger community to enjoy its Kamishibai Project, including workshops and performances. Photo courtesy of Manny Cawaling

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