Commons Forum #2
“Gender and performance today”

  • Forum
©︎ Aya Momose

In 2023, Japan ranked 125th among 146 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report. As this sense of crisis becomes visible, patriarchal values and structural sexism are being questioned by an increasing number of activities, including artworks, taking on feminist approaches.
This forum will focus on works that intentionally dismantle male-dominated perspectives on gender to reveal radical forms of expression that destabilize ideas of power, prejudice, and desire. Sociologist Tomoko Shimizu will also join to discuss the correlation between queer theory, gender theory, and social performance while considering the latest trends in research.

Panelists | Satoko Ichihara (Playwright, Director), Aya Momose (Artist), Tomoko Shimizu (Cultural theory, Associate Professor of Graduate School of Global Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts)
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 Zurcher Theater Spektakel, SPIELART Theatre Festival (Munich) and Wiener Festwochen. In 2023, “Yoroboshi: The Weakling” premiered at Theater der Welt 2023 (Frankfurt).

© Bea Borgers

Aya Momose
Born 1988 in Tokyo. Using video as a method to record the performance, by employing a self-referential methodology that reconsiders the structure of moving image via moving image itself, Momose’s work deals with the multi-layered complexity of communication with the other. Focusing on bodies appearing in moving images, her recent practice further questions sexuality and gender. Her solo exhibitions include “Interpreter”, Towada Art Center (2022), selected group shows include “Aichi Triennale 2022”, Aichi Arts Center (2022); “FEMINISMS”, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2021) and performance works include “Performing Acupuncture”, Theater Commons Tokyo ’21 (2021); and “Crawler”, Aichi Triennale 2022 (2022). Momose has participated in an artist residency program in New York sponsored by the Asian Cultural Council (ACC). She received the 34th Takashimaya Art Award from the Takashimaya Cultural Foundation (2023).

Photo: Shingo Kanagawa

Tomoko Shimizu
Born in Aichi. Associate Professor of Graduate School of Global Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts. Her research interests are media and cultural theory. She is the author of “Culture and Violence: The Unravelling Union Jack” (Getsuyosha), and “Disney and Animals: Breaking the Spell of Magic Kingdom” (Chikuma Shobo). Her co-translation works include: “Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly” by Judith Butler, “The Force of Nonviolence” by Judith Butler, “Declaration” by Antonio Negri and Michael Hart, and “Surveillance after September 11” by David Lyon.

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, the Curator of Aichi Triennale 2022, and the Program Director of Theater der Welt 2023 in Germany.



March 9th [Sat]/15:00-17:00
*Reception opens 15 minutes before the show time.

Performance times

120 min.


Spiral Hall Foyer
3F Spiral, 5-6-23 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062

How to participate

Free / Booking essential.

Book now




Organized by Theater Commons Tokyo Executive Committee
Venue Support | Wacoal Art Center