Shout Out to Japan Event at Teatro ZinZanni
On Saturday morning, March 12th, Teatro ZinZanni will host an emergency preparedness event in reflection of the 5 year anniversary of the devastating 2011 northeastJapan earthquake and tsunami. The event is presented by the Japan America Society of the State of Washington (JASSW) with support from the Consulate General ofJapan, emergency preparedness experts and a number of businesses and organizations in Washington and Japan. Teatro ZinZanni and its founding company One Reel have partnered with the Society and many Japan-related organizations since the 1980’s, when One Reel produced a number of Japanese cultural events, from Family Fourth fireworks to a trilingual musical to national tours of Grand Kabuki Theatre.
On March 11, 2011, the northeastern coast of Japan was struck by a massive earthquake, followed by a devastating tsunami, resulting in almost unimaginable damage to large cities, a nuclear power plant, and dozens of small communities along the coast. In 1995 Seattle’s sister city of Kobe also suffered a great quake. After these disasters, many rushed in to help, but most impressive was the way that survivors came together to rebuild their communities and their lives. In the Pacific Northwest we are all aware of the risk of a large earthquake and possible tsunami. What will it be like? What will we do?
It was a Japan-related cultural that led to the creation of Teatro ZinZanni. In 1991, One Reel worked closely with Japanese company Furusato Caravan and its musical director Tateo Teramoto and his wife Mana Sofue to produce a trilingual rice farming musical. Many Seattle artists were involved, including Teatro ZinZanni keyboard player extraordinaire Marina Albero and Seattle Children’s Theater founder Linda Hartzell. The musical toured rice-farming areas in Japan and the United States, and then went on to Barcelona for the Olympics Arts Festival in 1992. It was there that founder Norm Langill saw a Spiegeltent –which in 1998 would become what Teatro ZinZanni is today.
After the tsunami in 2011, Tateo Teramoto and Mana Sofue worked with survivors of the disaster to create a musical about the shock of the disaster, their gratitude for the help they received, and the way they wanted to rebuild and reclaim both their traditions and their futures. They made a book and film about the musical: 100 Ways to Say Thank You. Teatro ZinZanni and the Japan America Society are proud to host Mr. Teramoto and Ms. Sofue to present a short version of the film during the March 12th event.
The event will help Seattle imagine what it would really be like to experience an earthquake/tsunami disaster on a large scale. We know we should prepare, but it’s hard to imagine it really happening. What would it be like? How could we respond? We also want to send words of comfort, admiration and thanks to those in Japan whose bravery inspires us.This event is free to the public and will include speeches from Japanese dignitaries, emergency preparedness experts, along with a sing-a-long of a song from the musical with Mr Teramoto and Hans Teuber, director of the Teatro ZinZanni band. It will close with a number from the Winds of Hope chorus, sung every year since the disaster. We encourage you to join us to Remember, Repair and Prepare.