Canadian performer and recognized Rakugo master Katsura Sunshine debuts his show Katsura Sunshine’s Rakugo at New World Stages beginning September 19. The show brings the 400-year-old Japanese traditional art of comic storytelling to New World Stages for a limited run scheduled through January 2020.
With a minimal set, Rakugo features a lone storyteller who, dressed in a kimono, kneeling on a cushion, using only a fan and a hand towel for props, entertains the audience with a comic monologue followed by traditional stories.
In order to become a recognized professional Rakugo storyteller, one must apprentice to a Rakugo Master, from whom one receives a stage name, for up to four years. Throughout one’s career, one is only allowed to perform a given story once permission to do that story has been granted by a master storyteller.
Born in Toronto, Sunshine is the only Western master in the world. He has toured his show throughout the world including in London, Japan, and Edinburgh.
Katsura Sunshine’s Rakugo, which runs through January 4, has set design by Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, lighting design by Ayumu Poe Saegusa and is presented by Steven Honigman and Joe Trentacosta in association with Yumi Shinozaki and The Yoshimoto Creative Agency of Japan. The company manager is Marie Fukuda with general management by LDK Productions/Lisa Dozier King.