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Recycling: Washi Tales brings to life in performance human stories
contained in a sheet of “washi” (Japanese handmade paper) as it is
recycled through time. Four tales of papermaking from different periods
of Japanese history unfold on stage with a company of extraordinary
performers and musicians. The Papermaker is narrator and guide as
she makes paper on stage, creating something new from what she
learns of the old. Recycling: Washi Tales explores aesthetic and
spiritual values of recycling, enriching the crucial role recycling plays
in conserving the environment. Working internationally, we collaborate
with local artists and encompass different papermaking traditions
around the globe; in Egypt a Papyrus Tale. There is an important
educational component to our “washi work,” with workshops in
papermaking and performance reaching students of all ages.
Felon: An American Washi Tale expands the scope of the project to
include “prison paper” that poet/lawyer and MacArthur fellow Reginald
Dwayne Betts made from clothing of friends he did time with in prison,
who were still locked up. A solo performance based on Betts’ book of
poems Felon, it tracks the power of paper, from books to parole packets,
to transform lives in prison and beyond.

styles < Click for descriptions of Japanese traditional art forms.


Tale 1 tale 3 tale 2 tale 4

Tale 1:
Najio River

Tale 2:
Sen no Rikyu

Tale 3:

Tale 4:
Fujiwara Tamiko


An American Washi Tale