Sudo, Rei (Japanese playwright, screenwriter, stage manager, 1973-____), “Indebtedness,”
a 30-minute surreal drama in English, set in New York City and ancient Japan, 2002,
• © 2002 by Rei Sudo; • in Rei Sudo’s Indebtedness (Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.: The Author, 2002); • script/rights available from Rei Sudo, P-2, 66 Shimo, Fussa-shi, Tokyo 197-0023 Japan, telephone/fax 042-551-5368, cell 090-5995-4166, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, cell e-mail email@example.com (500 letters or fewer). • Cited by Rei Sudo, via ftp, January 7, 2003; Sudo says,
§ Dramatis Personae “Chris (m), 29, a lonely American man looking for a love/life partner; doesn’t have any other desire or ambition such as a career goal in spite of his age, more traditional and conservative compared to other men his age; Chizuru (f), 19, a Japanese girl, a ‘yellow-cab’ (term for a Japanese girl who gives ‘free rides’ to American men), recently arrived in New York, sexually open-minded, wild active, and outgoing; lacks a sense of morality like some Japanese teenage girls today but has a good heart; wants to stay free, without being committed to anybody/any relationship; Traditional Woman (f), a young Asian woman narrator in a kimono, a traditional Japanese dress with crane patterns, and maybe a geisha wig with chopsticks as a more classical, conservative, traditional ‘Japanese’ figure/image, in contrast to Chizuru.
§ Synopsis “A hunter saves a beautiful crane in a trap. A few days later, he meets a beautiful woman, and they fall in love. They make money with beautiful cloths she makes, but she always tells him not to see when she’s weaving. One day, he peeps inside and sees the crane weaving with its feathers. She flies away and never comes back again. Present day in New York, Chizuru is attacked by a few guys and saved by Chris. She meets him again with a completely different look, and they fall in love. Chizuru finds that Chris is in debt and decides to help him. He questions her absence every night, but she evades his questions. One night, Chris follows Chizuru and sees her in a prostitute-like dress with her customer. Chris finally realizes that she was the girl he saved and that she was sacrificing herself in order to return his favor. Chizuru leaves him and returns to her own life.
§ Comment “‘Indebtedness’ is about an American man and a Japanese girl in parallel with an old Japanese story about a man and a crane. The fable is presented by Traditional Woman and puppets. ‘Indebtedness,’ directed by Camille D’Ambrose, premiered at the Metropolitan State University New Play Series in Minneapolis, Minnesota, spring 2001. The dramaturg was Gail Smogard. In the original production, most characters entered and exited USC. Music with Japanese instruments, such as koto (harp), shamisen (guitar), shakuhachi (flute), and/or vocal was played during the fable. The Traditional Woman stood DSL throughout the play, spotlighted while telling the fable. The street scenes (wherein Chizuru is attacked and when she’s with her customer) occurred DSR in front of a brick wall. All furniture was draped until the first apartment scene. The apartment was simple and basic: a kitchen counter at DSL behind the Traditional Woman, a kitchen table and two chairs at USL; cubes painted in black at SR formed a table, sofa, and shelf. Paper cranes accumulated as the story progressed.”
§ Themes indebtedness, independence, fable (Japanese), freedom, international/intercultural relationship, Japanese culture, love, puppets.
See also Rei Sudo’s
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