Commons Forum #1
"Unsynchronized Voices: How can we generate an unsynchronized dramaturgy?"

  • Forum
  • Online participation
© Li Yinjun

Two years on, the pandemic continues to “forcibly synchronize” the world. Lockdowns, border closures, vaccine distribution, and the disparities and discrimination produced by these measures keep us constantly on edge. This forced synchronization is skillfully automated and instantly migrated to the cloud, reinforcing an administratively controlled society on a global scale.
How can we create a fissure in these new totalitarian systems brought on by the pandemic and consciously listen to and raise unsynchronized voices? This will require a dramaturgy that disrupts the simple binaries of male and female, human and animal, artificial and natural, inside and outside, righteous and evil, throwing a wrench into the institutions and histories that have been built from an anthropocentric perspective.
This forum seeks to explore new dramaturgical strategies in the age of pandemic through conversations with artists who have been cultivating “Unsynchronized Voices” during these past two years.

Panelists | Satoko Ichihara (Playwright, Director, Novelist, Artistic Director of Kinosaki International Arts Center), Wen Hui (Dancer, Choreographer, Documentary filmmaker), Kyun-Chome (Artist)
Moderator | Chiaki Soma (Director of Theater Commons Tokyo)


Satoko Ichihara
Playwright, director, novelist and Artistic Director of Kinosaki International Arts Center(KIAC). Born in 1988 in Osaka, raised in Fukuoka Japan. Studied theater at J.F. Oberlin University. Ichihara Satoko has led the theater company Q since 2011. She writes and directs plays that deal with human behavior, the physiology of the body, and the unease surrounding these themes, using her unique sense of language and physical sensitivity. In 2011, received the Aichi Arts Foundation Drama Award with the play “Insects.” In 2017, Nominated for finalist of 61st Kishida Kunio Playwriting Prize for “Favonia’s Fruitless Fable.” In 2019, she published her first collection of stories, “Mamito no tenshi (Mamito’s Angel).” In the same year, “The Bacchae−Holstein Milk Cows,” based on a Greek tragedy, premiered at Aichi Triennale 2019 and won the 64th Kishida Kunio Playwriting Prize. In 2021, she co-produced “Madama Butterfly” with the Theater Neumarkt (Zurich), which was presented at the Zurcher Theater Spektakel and the SPIELART Theatre Festival (Munich). She is a Saison Fellow I artist of The Saison Foundation.

© Flavio Karrer

Wen Hui
Wen Hui is one of the pioneers of Chinese contemporary dance theatre. She is a choreographer, dancer, and she also makes documentary films and installations. She graduated with a degree in choreography from Beijing Dance Academy in 1989, and in 1994, she studied modern dance in New York. In 1994, together with filmmaker Wu Wenguang, she founded China’s first independent dance theatre company, “Living Dance Studio.” Wen Hui’s works research how the body holds an archive of personal social documentation, and experiment with how bodily memory catalyzes collision between history and reality. In her work “The Report on Giving Birth” (1999), she interviewed a group of women about their experiences of childbirth, and used the body as a strategy of resistance to show the cultural and everyday complexity of women during that particular time. Her latest work, “I am 60” (2021), has been performed in several cities in Europe. In 2021, she received the official Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Goethe Medal.

© Richy Wong

Kyun-Chome is an artist unit comprised of the female-male duo Eri Homma and Nabuchi. They have created work, mainly in the form of video installation, in socially divided areas such as Fukushima Prefecture, Ishinomaki City, and Okinawa Prefecture, as well as in Hong Kong and Berlin. Kyun-Chome investigates the object of modern faith, which people seek out despite its transgressions of science and logical reasoning. Realized by way of unveiling this faith’s underling emotions and truth, their body of work blurs the boundaries between perpetrator and victim, parties involved and disinterested, and good and evil, poetically and humorously sublimating them.
For Aichi Triennale 2019, they engaged with sexual minorities such as transgender and non-binary, and created work called “I’m Sage” and “Until My Voice Dies” which describe the hardness to live in the Japanese society and the conflicts between parents and children.

Chiaki Soma
Before establishing Arts Commons Tokyo in 2014, Soma was the inaugural Program Director of Festival/Tokyo, where she served from spring 2009 to 2013. She has produced or curated global projects that transect categories of theater, contemporary art, and community-engaged art. She was the recipient of the Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France’s Minister of Culture in 2015. Since 2017, she has served as the Chairperson of the Theater Commons Tokyo Executive Committee, as well as its Director. She was the Curator for the Aichi Triennale 2019. She is the recipient of Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs’ 71st Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize in 2021. Since 2021, she has been the General Producer of Toyooka Theater Festival 2021, and the Curator of Aichi Triennale 2022. She was appointed as the Program Director of Theater der Welt 2023 in Germany.

©Yurika Kawano


February 23rd [Wed] / 17:00–19:00

Performance times

120 min.


Goethe-Institut Tokyo
7-5-56 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052

How to Participate

In-person participation |
Booking essential. Show general admission pass on entry.
Online participation |
Please access the program via the link on the dedicated page sent upon purchase of your pass.

Buy Pass


Japanese(with Chinese interpretation)


Venue support | Goethe-Institut Tokyo