photo from private archive
Ken’ichi Kasai (born 1949) is a theatre director and producer. He studied under the supervision of the renowned kabuki theatre researcher, professor Tetsuya Imao, worked as a secretary of the kabuki actor Mitsugorō VIII Bandō, and subsequently began to produce performances of Noh and kyōgen theatre. In the plays he directs, he tries to combine elements of traditional genres with realistic theatre. He works with Noh and kyōgen artists, as well as with dramatic actors and opera singers. He is the author of numerous theatre performances, including Sonezaki shinjū (Double Suicide in Sonezaki) by Monzaemon Chikamatsu; he has staged Claudio Monteverdi’s opera L’Orfeo and modern Noh plays (so-called shinsaku Noh), including Shiranui (Mirage) by Michiko Ishimure, Isseki sennin (Einstein) and Hana kuyō (Repose) by Tomio Tada, and Chōritsushi (Piano Tuner) by Jadwiga Rodowicz-Czechowska.