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Winning first prize at the Theater Green Student Art Festival!

Shun Amano
Marino Satomi
Ryutaro Hiroi

WASEDA is a byword for Student Theater. The University has produced such famous actors as Hisaya Morishige and Koshiro Matsumoto and owns the only theater museum in Japan, the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum. Even now, many certified theatrical clubs are active, and in August 2012, a derivative unit from Company Shin, "Hybrid-Heidi-Za," won first prize at the Theater Green Student Art Festival Vol. 6.

Ryutaro won the CoRich Best Actor Award, playing many different characters

Hybrid-Heidi-Za is a theatrical unit formed of three core members: its leader, Shun Amano (script and direction), a visionary who loves books and films; Marino Satomi who learned the joy of standing on stage through classical dance she has continued since childhood (actress and production); and Ryutaro Hiroi (actor) who calls himself a showboat and has been looking for a place to express himself. The three of them, with their unique personalities met at Company Shin after entering the University. They worked together for the first time at Waseda Festival, and soon became close partners who can accept their individual sensitivities. "After meeting Marino and Ryutaro, I really felt that I should devote myself to theater," says Shun who invited the two to form Hybrid-Heidi-Za in the winter of his second year. The two guys who act out his scripts comment: "As he tries to produce a different world every time, playing the part as he wants it is tough," (Ryutaro); "I always feel that his script is enjoyable." (Marino)

When they became the 3rd year students, they decided to take on the challenge of the "Theater Green Student Art Festival," as one of their targets. All they wanted was first prize. Positioning it as an event to determine their possibilities as theater artists, they were determined to quit theater if the result was poor. To win first prize, it is essential to pay primary attention to the audience. What they targeted was a chaotic "gigantic world" not restricted by the framework of genres. To have the audience watch the long production of two and a half hours, they invited cast members from other organizations and featured many different characters. "After watching the same drama more than 100 times during practice, I started to become uncertain if it was interesting or not," says Shun, really feeling the difficulty of communication. All he could do was believe in his script and the actors.

So the curtain went up. Marino and Ryutaro who most trusted in Shun's script were calm on stage, and played while checking the response from the audience. Shun stared at the audience and the performance of the other two.

Five performances took place over three days, and the result was finally announced. Following a screening by those associated with theater, CoRich running an information website and other judges, their play, "At Theater Green: Up, Up, Hybrid Clara has stood up!" was appreciated as "a play that let nobody feel its length of 150 minutes," and won first prize they had long wanted. Ryutaro who played the main characters also won the CoRich Best Actor Award.

Currently, Hybrid-Heidi-Za is in the process of practicing for their Christmas performance, "Tennen 1." What do they feel about the other two? Marino says, "They show me a new world, and I can feel myself changing." "I've learned that they are interesting guys," Ryutaro says. "I always considered myself a little strange, but after meeting them, I understood I was not the only one (laughing)." "When I'm with Marino and Ryutaro, I can easily show the real me. They are the first people that I can feel safe with," Shun says.

The three of them want to fully pursue the path of theater with Hybrid-Heidi-Za. Please experience the world of chaos that they produce.

Marino appealing to the audience with her earnest look

They look like different people, depending on the characters they play (Ryutaro is on the extreme left, while Marino is second from right)

Enchanting audiences with interesting scripts and enthusiastic performances

Hybrid-Heidi-Za: Twitter @HYBRIDHEIDI _ ZA

Hybrid-Heidi-Za website:


Shun Amano(left)

Born in Shizuoka Prefecture. Graduated from Shizuoka Prefectural Hamamatsukita High School. 3rd Year, School of Humanities and Social Sciences. His favorite director is John Ford. "Horses are so fast. I really feel it."

Marino Satomi(center)

Born in Kanagawa Prefecture. Graduated from Doremus Senior High School, 3rd Year, School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her special skills include choreography (6th degree) and classic ballet. Her interest is cooking. "I am now into boiled dishes!"

Ryutaro Hiroi(right)

Born in Tokyo. Graduated from Tokyo Metropolitan Musashi High School. 3rd Year, School of Culture, Media and Society. Director of Company Shin. His specialty is shogi (2nd degree). He also likes visiting ramen restaurants in the WASEDA area. "The best is salty pig bone ramen at Tonkotsu Daigaku."