The Scientifically Minded: a play by Hirata Oriza

Keenan, Tim (2013) The Scientifically Minded: a play by Hirata Oriza. Comparative Theatre Review, 12 1: 19-28. doi:10.7141/ctr.12.19

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Author Keenan, Tim
Title The Scientifically Minded: a play by Hirata Oriza
Formatted title
The Scientifically Minded: a play by Hirata Oriza
Journal name Comparative Theatre Review
ISSN 1347-2720
Publication date 2013
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.7141/ctr.12.19
Volume 12
Issue 1
Start page 19
End page 28
Total pages 10
Place of publication Tokyo, Japan
Publisher Japanese Society for Theatre Research
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Despite regular international tours by his theatre company Seinendan, interest in Hirata Oriza’s plays in the Anglophone world is not as pronounced as it might be. One reason for this might be negative comments on certain aspects of Hirata’s work by the critic Uchino Tadashi. In introducing this new translation of Kagaku suru Kokoro (The Scientifically Minded, 1990), theatre director Tim Keenan argues that while criticism within Japanese cultural contexts may be merited, it tends to focus on Hirata’s theoretical writings rather than the plays themselves, thereby overlooking some often subtle cultural commentary. Moreover, the import of Uchino’s arguments may be negated when the plays are considered outside Japanese contexts, especially in translation as here. The play itself is an early but characteristic example of Hirata’s ‘Quiet Theatre’ style which, in its aim to represent the mundane interactions of daily life, eschews many of the features of conventional drama including overt theatricality and plotting. Whether in the original Japanese or, as here, in an idiomatic English translation, The Scientifically Minded is ideally suited for university production. The large cast (16) includes nine female roles, the age range is approximately from 19 to early 30s, and actors and directors will relish the performance challenges posed by Hirata’s style.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Special feature: The Scientifically Minded - Scholarly introduction.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
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Created: Thu, 21 Mar 2013, 14:20:40 EST by Ms Stormy Wehi on behalf of School of Communication and Arts