Katsura Sunshine’s Rakugo, in which Canadian performer and recognized Rakugo master Katsura Sunshine brings the 400-year-old Japanese traditional art of comic storytelling to the New York stage, opens Off-Broadway September 28. Now playing at New World Stages, the show is scheduled to continue through January 2020.
Rakugo features a lone storyteller who, dressed in a kimono and kneeling on a cushion, uses only a fan and a hand towel for props to entertain 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 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.