News (16)

TIP News

Tokyo International Players (TIP) is looking for volunteers!
TIP will be presenting its production of the Diary of Anne Frank in May, and we need your help to make it happen!
Whether you are an old theatre hand or totally new, we would love your help.
Some things we need help with:
Mid-April to early May:
- Props
- Costumes
- Publicity
Production Week (May 15-21)
- Front of House (dealing with the public on show days)
- Backstage Crew (show days)
- General Crew help for theatre load-in (May 15) and strike/cleanup (May 21)
Please note it is possible to work on one or all shows--just let us know your availability. If you are interested, please get in touch--we'd love to hear from you!

Auditions can be stressful… or exhilarating! Here are some DOs and DON’Ts for approaching this important part of any performer’s life:




DO… Read the audition notice carefully so there are no surprises. Do you have to prepare a monologue? Will you be expected to sing? Dance? Cold read? Do you need to bring a photo?


DO… Understand what the casting team wants. A “two-minute monologue” should be just that (give or take a few seconds). The traditional cutoff between “classical” and “contemporary” for monologues is the year 1900. “Sixteen bars” of a song is usually the length of one chorus, or about 30 seconds.


DO… Choose suitable material for your age and type. Juliet’s monologues are absolutely beautiful, but her mother Lady Capulet is a more appropriate choice if you’re over 30!


DO… Dress nicely and comfortably in something that makes you feel good. Tend toward simple, clean-looking makeup with minimal jewelry. Pull your hair back so the casting team can see your face.


DO… Arrive 10 minutes early and check in. Wait patiently and quietly for your turn. Read a book. Do a Sudoku puzzle. Better yet, go over your lines or music!


DO… Make a point of being the friendliest, most courteous actor in the room. Say “thank you” at every opportunity. Today’s lowly casting assistant may be tomorrow’s director or producer!


DO… Treat other actors respectfully. Give them space to relax and concentrate by avoiding chit chat before the audition; smile and congratulate them afterwards.


DO… Ensure that your paperwork is completely filled out. Bring extra pencils, pens, highlighters, and a cheat sheet with vital statistics (height, shoe size, vocal range, emergency contact, etc.)


DO… Have an idea about your schedule and availability for the rehearsal/performance period. At the very least, be totally honest with the casting team about any potential conflicts (vacations, etc.)


DO… The best you can. Nerves are to be expected; try to channel them into positive energy!


DO… Be ready to take direction and “play around” with your monologue or song by trying it with a different inflection, different blocking, etc. Consider it a chance to show off your skills!


DO… Understand that casting decisions are based on a huge variety of factors, only a few of which are under your control.




DON’T… Choose a monologue or song from the show for which you’re auditioning, unless specifically requested to do so. Not sure how to select an audition piece? One good trick is to find something from another show by the same playwright or composer.


DON’T… Do a monologue or song that you’ve written yourself, unless you’re Tracy Letts.


DON’T… Wear a costume, stage makeup, or fancy hairstyle to an audition. Props are also a no-go unless they are very minimal and absolutely essential (a letter or cell phone, for example). You want the casting team to focus on your acting, not on your cute French maid outfit and matching feather duster!


DON’T… Be late, unprepared, or expect the director to help you warm up.


DON’T… Talk while anyone else is talking or singing!


DON’T… Force the casting team into double duty as your scene partner by making eye contact during your monologue or song. Find a spot on the back wall, just above the director’s head, toward which to focus your energy.


DON’T… Apologize for your performance or make excuses about why you usually do better. The casting team can tell if you have a sore throat and are almost certainly NOT worrying about it, so why draw any unnecessary attention?


DON’T… Criticize or gossip about other actors at an audition. Judgmental behavior is a major red flag and might even get you blacklisted from future productions. Remember: you’re auditioning to work WITH these people!


DON’T… Get frustrated if your audition isn’t perfect. Above all, never direct your own frustration at anyone else in the audition room.


DON’T… Worry if you mess up. Keep going! This is especially true of cold reads and dance auditions.


DON’T… Call or email the director after the audition to see if you’ve been cast. Casting is often a long and arduous process. For an actor, it’s a waiting game. The director has your contact information and WILL be in touch.


DON’T… Get too frustrated if you aren’t chosen for a role. There are plenty of ways to get involved in a theatrical production and plenty of opportunities to shine onstage in the future!


A newcomer to TIP, Ensemble Abbi Hamed is excited to get back onto a stage after a little hiatus…

Abbi Hammed: Ensemble


Tell us about yourself.

I’m a robotics engineer from London and have lived in Japan for 5 years. I used to have lots of hobbies back home, including acting, which were sadly but inevitably lost for a long while when I moved away.

With regards to previous involvement in drama, all my experience has been from the drama society at my last university, in which I was heavily involved! I did that for around four years, and had the chance to try out lots of different activities such as directing, producing, acting and even marketing for the plays. I was directly involved in four main productions, acting in small to medium roles in three of them. There were also several short-plays of which I acted in a couple. Also, I regularly took part in the weekly drama workshops wherein we had the chance to learn about various techniques including improvisation, voice projection and even tried radio plays!

I had a great time at the drama society and it is one of the things I've missed the most about my life back in England.


What are you looking forward to in the production?

Its been more than 5 years since I did anything drama at all!

I'm very excited to be doing something again and I'm hoping that this experience will help me to get back into it, despite being in Japan.

I'm also excited to meet the people involved in TIP, learn from other much more talented and experienced directors, actors and actresses, and through that hopefully have the chance to make new friends and also perhaps new chances to do more drama in the future.


Why do you think people should come see the show?

Because I'm in it… just kidding obviously! I think TIP seem to be a very professional and organised group despite being comprised of volunteers. I think many here are very experienced and the production team all seem to know a lot. In particular the director seems to be passionate about the source material and has some interesting ideas. As such, I feel that this is bound to be a great show. And besides, its Macbeth!

Today we meet David Baldwin, a TIP newcomer who’s taking to the stage again after a long break.

David Baldwin: Second Murderer, Seyton


Tell us about yourself.

I studied drama in college and wanted to direct. This will be my first production in 21 years. I played Macbeth in college.


What are you looking forward to in the production?

Getting my feet wet.


Why do you think people should come see the show?

I like that the director is saying, ‘It's a dark, violent play and we're going to be showing it as such’. He is not simply ‘doing Shakespeare’.

Supporters of TIP are invited to come join us on August 22nd to take part in an important annual meeting.


Tokyo International Players Annual General Meeting (AGM). The one time a year that anyone can vote! Come out and have your say!


To be voted on:

1. Election of Officers to serve for a period of one year commencing September 1, 2016.

2. Election of the portion of the Board that will serve a two-year term commencing on September 1, 2016.

3. Addendums to the Constitution.

4. Approval of the budget for 2016-2017 season.


*The regular monthly board meeting will follow immediately after the Annual General Meeting.


Monday 22nd August 2016 at 7pm


Our Space in Hatagaya.

Meet Taishi Fujiwara, who has trod the boards for TIP before, in our production of 15 Minute Hamlet for the One Act Comedy Festival!

Taishi Fujiwara: Donalbain, Siward


Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in Japan. I studied Shakespeare in a U.S. college.


What are you looking forward to in the production?

I am looking forward to working in an English-speaking environment.


Why do you think people should come see the show?

Living in Japan, I think it is a rare opportunity to see a show in English. So please come and support us!

Jaya Powell is a new face at TIP, who’s looking forward to getting her teeth sunk into her first Shakespeare production.

Jaya Z. Powell: Doctor


Tell us about yourself.

I am a research student at Sophia University. It's a very challenging task to do research nonstop, and I'm in my own head a lot of the time. I'm looking forward to express myself emotionally through this play, as well as stepping into "someone else's" headspace for a little while.


Why do you think people should come see the show?

I think the play delves deeply into human nature, and shows us what can happen when we let our own selfish interests cloud our better judgment. I think it's a lesson that many people would do good to be reminded of.

New to TIP, new to Shakespeare performances, and new to the stage! Meet…

Theresa Hyland: Ensemble


Tell us about yourself.

I'm an English teacher at a university in Tokyo. When I'm not teaching English or rehearsing for Macbeth, I'm usually studying more languages or doing something with the "Lord of the Rings" fandom.


What are you looking forward to in the production?

Everything! This is my first show ever -- not just my first with TIP or my first Shakespeare show. I'm excited to learn more about acting and to have my first experience on stage.


Why do you think people should come see the show?

If you want to see an interesting interpretation of a great play put on by friendly, passionate people, this is the show for you, and I'm looking forward to seeing you in the audience!

Today we meet TIP veteran Ghiselle Camacho.

Ghiselle Camacho: The Porter, Ensemble


Tell us about yourself.

A want to be a Renaissance woman who dabbles in art, theatre, music, history, theology, gardening, cooking, kimono collecting, early childhood education, parenting, movies, and Plants vs. Zombies.


What are you looking forward to in the production?

This is my first Shakespeare play since university. Reading Shakespeare was a favourite course. I'm excited to have the opportunity to work on a piece by The Bard.


What challenges do you foresee?

The role of the Porter is traditionally a male. His appearance is brief but there's so many reasons for him being there. The challenge is being able to convey those reasons to the audience in that short space of time.


Why do you think people should come see the show?

For the same morbid and exciting reasons we watch the Game of Thrones, Spartacus, The Sopranos, Harry Potter, and all the other blockbuster hits: to be entertained. The only difference is that this is live theatre and so the experience is way more intense. And it's Shakespeare! The English language would be pretty boring without him!

Meet TIP newcomer, Rob Donegan!

Rob Donegan: First Murderer, Menteith


Tell us about yourself.

I am interested in acting, music, reading and I love living in Tokyo.


What are you looking forward to in the production?

I am looking forward to being part of a fast moving and dynamic production..


What challenges do you foresee?

I think the challenge of Shakespeare is to make it real and relevant.


Why do you think people should come see the show?

I think this will be a great opportunity to see some Shakespeare in Tokyo in the 400th year since his passing. Fresh perspectives will be shown on the universal themes of ambition and the corruption of power. As well as that, it will be a marvellous night out with lots of potential for post show chats over gin and tonics!

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