MapFund

About the Grant

$22,000 to support Tale of the Heike (MAP 2016)
$4,950 to general operating support for A Contemporary Theatre

About the Project

In creative partnership with playwrights Philip Kan Gotanda and Yussef El Guindi, A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) is creating TALE OF THE HEIKE, a devised work based on a significant treasure of medieval Japanese literature. This multifaceted, interdisciplinary production is designed to honor and reflect both the origins of the HEIKE and the work’s central importance in Japanese culture across centuries.

The second in a new series of productions at ACT, termed the Legacy Series, HEIKE is envisioned as part of a yearlong, citywide celebration of Japanese culture and heritage in Seattle. Each Legacy production translates a classic work of literature or oral storytelling from one of the many cultures which are represented in our diverse Puget Sound region into a richly entertaining theatrical performance. Scripts are developed in consultation with the community is the source of the tale, and are designed to speak to contemporary issues of importance in our local Northwest society. Each Legacy work is surrounded and supported by “immersion programming” – cultural celebrations of the source material and the culture(s) which created it, produced in tandem with other arts, civic, business, and cultural organizations in Seattle.

In this way, HEIKE – like RAMAYANA before it in 2012 – builds bridges between diverse communities in Seattle, creating opportunities for many individuals to encounter this epic (and its powerful cultural legacy) in a contemporary, local context.

Related Websites

A Contemporary Theatre

Philip Kan Gotanda




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