Two actors speaking about their roles in After the quake

In after the quake, Kevan Ohtsji is playing Katagiri and Katasuki, and Tetsuro Shigematsu is Junpei. We have asked them to tell us more about their characters.

Tetsuro Shigematsu:

Playing Junpei in after the quake has been one of the most exhilarating creative adventures of my life. Not only has this given me the opportunity to re-explore my own memories of living in Japan during the Kobe earthquake, but it been so enlightening to work with such a talented team of people. Alessandro, Manami, Kevan and Leina are all such talented and generous actors. Not only do they give me so much to respond to moment by moment, but when I’m beginning to sink, I can feel them reaching out to me in their own skillful way, and lift me back up. And thanks to our directors Richard and Craig, I feel like I’m twice the actor I was than when I first began.

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A descendant from a long line of Samurai warriors, Tetsuro Shigematsu was born in London, England. A former writer for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, he also hosted The Roundup on CBC Radio One. He recently completed his first feature film for which he wrote and directed. Currently, he can be seen on Spike TV'sThe Deadliest Warrior. He's also doing his MFA in the Creative Writing program at UBC. Tetsuro is thrilled to be working with such talented artists in such an auspicious production.

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Kevan Ohtsji:

I am thrilled to be working with such generous and amazing directors, cast & crew.

Personally, I absolutely love Murakami’s books. And this play which interweaves two of his short stories is nothing less than breath-taking.

It’s been a really fun and interesting time exploring the realm of theatre performance. I come from a background of television and film so projecting is the lines, and playing to and including the audience has been a new thing for me. I absolutely love the beautiful set that has been built for us, and am looking forward to performing the play with such a wonderful cast & crew.

As we discover, work through and rehearse the scenes I am awestruck at how interconnected each character is to one another, and constantly find new, abstract, and surprising ways in which they collide. And symbolically the possibilities are infinite.

There are many scenes which may or may not be in Katagiri’s mind, and subconscious mind. It’s been a thrill to delve into Katagiri’s world of hope which he is so afraid to believe in. It’s such a rich world full of hope, loneliness, fear, and in desperate need of love.

Looking into Takatsuki’s inner workings has revealed many surprises for me. I find that many of his hopes and dreams mirror Katagiri’s to a T – it’s just that the methods he utilizes to achieve his goals is drastically different. The love triangle he finds himself a part of is spinning out of his control, and he finds himself unprepared in so many ways to deal with life. Deep within his gregarious outer shell, he is just as, if not more frightened by life than even Katagiri.

Those are just but examples from two characters. The real juice is how so many parallels can be drawn from every single character in this play intermingled with one another. It’s a wonderful process and I’m thrilled be a small part of it all!

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This Canadian-born Japanese has claimed one of the few slots for Asian actors in the movie industry after many years of hard work and determination. Born and raised in Burnaby, BC he began studying his craft seriously as a teenager and at the age of seventeen, garnered his first role in Christophe Gans' Crying Freeman. The years following, Ohtsji delved deeper, studying mercilessly and embarking on such shows as Smallville, The Outer Limits, Dreamcatcher, The Butterfly Effect, Andromeda, Stargate, and The Fringe, to name a few.  He's also been the voice of lead characters in animated shows like G.I. Joe's Valor vs Venom, the Hot Wheels series Highway 35, and Acceleracers, in addition to the popular EA Sports' video game Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

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