Help AMATERASU ZA Kick Off their Inaugural Season of Performances!
☀️☀️ Hello Friends! ☀️☀️
AMATERASU ZA is a new nonprofit Japanese/English bilingual theater company that brings both TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE THEATRE WORKS to New York City, founded and led by veteran Japanese American theater artist Ako Dachs. In Japanese mythology AMATERASU is the name of the goddess of the Sun, literally meaning “that which illuminates”, and ZA means “theater”.
We have ambitious plans, starting with our first public performance workshop in March 2019 of Courier of Love, a classic Japanese play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon. Born in 1653, Chikamatsu is considered the greatest Japanese dramatist of all time and is called the Shakespeare of Japan.
☀️☀️ TO HELP US GROW,
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! ☀️☀️
Please keep us in mind during your end-of-year giving! Your tax-deductible contribution will help us realize AMATERASU ZA's vision to stir the heart, open the mind, and illuminate our shared humanity throughtheater, film, and video projects that present re-imaginings of both contemporary and classic American and English works seen through the lens of traditional Japanese art and movement theater forms.
ABOUT AMATERASU ZA THEATER COMPANY
Our mission is to bring together talented bilingual theater artists of all backgrounds to explore classic and contemporary Japanese theater works for both Japanese and English-speaking audiences. Our programs include:
- Ongoing classes and workshops in both traditional Japanese movement theatre techniques;
- Bringing significant traditional Japanese theater makers and musicians from Japan to NYC for performances for American audiences;
- Productions of both classic and contemporary Japanese plays, as well as re-imaginings of both American and English classic and contemporary plays, all presented with and inspired by traditional Japanese movement theater and music.
Through our work, we will cultivate artistic excellence, foster a deeper understanding between cultures; provide the opportunity for Japanese-Americans and Japanese audiences and artists living in the U.S. to explore their cultural heritage; and promote equity, diversity, inclusion, and community.
Born in Japan and raised in Tokyo, Ako is a former member of the world-famous Takarazuka Theatre Company in Japan. There she played featured roles in musicals, revues, contemporary and traditional dramas. Following a successful stage and television career in Japan, Ako moved to New York. She has appeared in films including SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS directed by Scott Hicks, a BBC-film called PRISONERS IN TIME with John Hurt and Randall Duk Kim, I ORIGIN, TOO TIRED TO DIE, SHADOW PLAY, DAITORYO NO CHRISTMAS TREE, NO RESERVATIONS also for Scott Hicks, and TWELVE directed by Joel Schumacher. Television work includes 30 ROCK with Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, and with Jennifer Aniston in MERCY.
She has worked in some of America’s leading regional theaters, including Actors Theatre of Louisville (KY), Williamstown Theatre Festival, Arena Stage (DC), Alley Theater (Houston), Papermill Playhouse (NJ), TUTS (Houston and Seattle), ESIPA (Albany), ACT (Seattle), Pittsburgh Public Theater, and the Contemporary American Theater Festival (WV) and O’Neill Playwright Conference.
She was the Oregon Shakespeare Festival acting company member, 2010-2012 season; she played as Lady Asaji (Lady Macbeth) in ‘THRONE OF BLOOD’, that was adapted/directed by Ping Chong from Akira Kurosawa’s film based on Macbeth, it was transferred to BAM as a part of the Next Wave Festival. 2011 season; as Soothsayer/Caius Ligarius in ‘Julius Caesar’ and as Madame Mercade in ‘Love’s Labor’s Lost’. 2012 season; as Acolyte/Ensemble in Mary Zimmerman’s ‘The White Snake’ and as Cook/u/s Polina in ‘Seagull’.
AKO was critically-acclaimed on tour throughout the U.S. as Katsumi in the musical SAYONARA based on James A. Michener’s book SAYONARA made famous in the Marlon Brando film.
New York Off Broadway productions include KENTUCKY, SAYONARA, SONG OF SONG OF SONGS, TAMAR OF THE RIVER, TEA WITH THE HAIKU GEISHA, TWO CITIES, TEA HOUSE OF THE AUGUST MOON, A MAJORITY OF ONE, SHOGUN MACBETH, GASHRUM KOTWAL, Velina Hasu Houston’s play TEA and KOKORO .
AKO recorded an Original Cast Album for the musical TAMAR OF THE RIVER (music by Marisa Michelson, book Joshua H. Cohen) in which she appeared in an Off Broadway production in New York in 2014.
Ako will be in GOD SAID THIS by Leah Nanako Winkler, directed by Morgan Gould at Primary Stages in Jan-Feb 2019.
Ako is also well known as a Kabuki choreographer and a Japanese authenticity advisor, and is a Certified teacher of Japanese Kabuki Dance. She dedicates her work to her mother Akiko and her husband Joshua Dachs, principal of Fisher Dachs Associates, a theater planning and design firm. She has appeared on stages he has designed at the Pittsburgh Public Theater and Arena Stage. http://www.ako-actress.com/