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Rebuilt Waseda Small Theater Drama-kan to open April 2015
New symbol to make “Waseda of Theater” an even more lively part of town

Waseda University (Shinjuku City, Tokyo; Kaoru Kamata, President) will open the Waseda Small Theater Drama-kan in April 2015, a new theater facility for student theater circles and others to use. Location is the former Waseda Cultural Arts Theater Plaza Drama-kan site, where many generations of Waseda students produced their own theater events. Tadashi Suzuki, Waseda Small Theater founder and internationally-known director (1966 graduate of Waseda’s School of Political Science and Economics), gave consent to the use of the name Waseda Small Theater. We hope that the facility will make “Waseda of Theater” even livelier and become a new symbol in the town.

Conception drawing of Waseda Small Theater Drama-kan

The first Waseda Vision 150 Student Competition was held in March 2013. Waseda Vision 150 is the strategic plan for 2032, the University’s 150th anniversary. Team Theater Waseda, a group of students, proposed a new theater building to replace the Drama-kan. Together with the proposal, the increasing needs of students aspiring to be theater professionals became the trigger to build a new “Waseda Small Theater, Drama-kan.”

Comment from President Kaoru Kamata

In order to support student culture and arts, sustain Waseda’s culture, and be useful in creative development, the former Drama-kan was an activity base for our theater circles since the move from the former Waseda Small Theater. Thus, it became a facility which was indispensable to preserving Waseda’s theater tradition and produced many theater professionals. I, myself, belonged to a theater circle when I was a student and have special memories of the theater. I hope that the beacon of Waseda Theater will be further evolved, that many theatrical people will go out into the world from this theater, and that it becomes a major hub in Japan’s small theater movement.

Project summary

・Name: Waseda Small Theater Drama-kan (To be completed in March 2015)

・Address: 1-101 Totsukamachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo

・Structure: Three-story steel frame construction, total floor area: about 210 square meters, seating capacity of about 70 (2nd floor)

・Other: Office, kiosk, elevator, toilets, barrier-free facilities

・Users: Student theater circles etc.*
*Use by others, including non-university groups, is under consideration.

Brief history of Waseda Small Theater Drama-kan

In 1966, Tadashi Suzuki and playwright Minoru Betsuyaku (also of the School of Political Science and Economics) established the theater troupe Waseda Small Theater, and with help from the owner of the intimate coffee shop Mon Cheri created a theater of the same name on the 2nd floor of the shop. With the expiry of the lease in 1976, the Waseda Small Theater moved its base to Toga Village in Toyama Prefecture, and renamed itself SCOT. The theater was run as a private rental venue named Waseda Drama-kan, then purchased by Waseda University in 1997. The building was closed in February 2012 due to the lack of earthquake resistance and demolished the same year.

Links

Tadashi Suzuki/Scot (Suzuki Company of Toga)

Tadashi Suzuki Talk Show “Theater’s Social Mission” at the Ground-breaking ceremony for Waseda Small Theater Drama-kan (May 8)