24th Entertainment Division Excellence Award
GEKIDAN NOMEETS (HIROYA Yuki, Representative)［Japan］
GEKIDAN NOMEETS is an online theater company that produces plays remotely without any physical meetings from rehearsal to performance. Under the theme of “intense time with no three Cs,” it was founded two days after the state of emergency declaration in April 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The members are mainly creators in their 20s from the film, theater, events, advertising, and engineering fields. Its early works (140-sec plays produced using Zoom) were posted on Twitter and viewed more than 30 million times. Since May, full-length performances have been live streamed for a fee, attracting more than 10,000 viewers in total. GEKIDAN NOMEETS opened up a new area of activity for the pandemic-stricken entertainment industry, through a new form of theatrical expression, created without physically meeting each other. Possibilities for online artistic expression have been sought since the second performance, including remote camera work and lighting control, as well as a play in which the story changes according to the audience’s choices.
Reason for Award
The coronavirus pandemic cast a long shadow over our lives. How do we live? What do we look forward to? How do we incorporate these major questions into our works? Creators worldwide were troubled alike, but GEKIDAN NOMEETS was very quick to take action. Remote learning and work have become the norm. Visiting the museum and theater—what used to be ordinary—has become something out of reach. GEKIDAN NOMEETS swiftly accommodated to such conditions and has been posting its output as entertainment on social media. The remote environment is used as a stage set, replacing a theater. No role model exists anywhere. Its story was invented along with the production method. The works widely reflect the younger generations’ casual attitude towards virtual communications, and I found it to be encouraging. (KAWADA Tom)