I HAVE BEEN TO HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR by Chiori Miyagawa, directed by Jean Wagner, with original music by Du Yun
A French woman and a Japanese man speak of the bombing of Hiroshima, 14 years after it happened:
JAPANESE MAN: The world rejoiced. And you rejoiced with them. I heard that it was a beautiful day in Paris. Do you remember?
FRENCH WOMAN: No, it wasn't a beautiful day at all. It rained all day and people mourned.
JAPANESE MAN: Is that true?
FRENCH WOMAN: It's true now. We all mourn the tragedy of Hiroshima now.
A young Japanese woman dies instantly at the moment of atomic bomb detonation. Fourteen years later, a film about peace is shot in Hiroshima. At present day, three Americans watch the DVD of this movie. With shifting realities, transforming characters, and an expansive sound-score and video, I Have Been to Hiroshima Mon Amour creates a mystical world, exploring war and destruction through intimate love stories.
In May of 2009, Voice & Vision and Crossing Jamaica Avenue co-produced I Have Been to Hiroshima Mon Amour at the Ohio Theatre. The project was the fruit of a multi-year collaboration between playwright Chiori Miyagawa and director Jean Wagner, who developed the project through readings at New Dramatists and The Women's Project, The Culture Project's 2008 Women Center Stage Festival, and the 2008 ENVISION Lab and Retreat.
The Ohio production featured music and sound by Du Yun, projections by Hap Tivey, lights by Rick Martin, costumes by Liz Prince, choreography by Hillary Spector, and sets by Glenn Reed. The amazing cast of Joel de la Fuente, Juliana Francis-Kelley, and Sue Jean Kim brought the multi-dimensional world of the play to vibrant life. Special thanks to producer Karen Grenke, stage manager Sunneva Stapleton, assistant stage manager Adam Goldman, assistant to the producer Lacy Post, and assistant director Rachael Hayes for their tireless efforts.
The production was part of the larger Hiroshima Project, which included post-show discussions with artists and historians, screenings of Steven Okazaki's award-winning documentary White Light/Black Rain, and readings of Japanese plays about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All of the events took place at the Ohio Theater, and provided further resonance to Miyagawa's poignant new play.
“But underlying everything in the play, I felt a keen and sad sense of the futility of addressing a tragedy of the proportions of Hiroshima in any word or deed or art.” Nytheatre.com
“She [Miyagawa] also creates especially well observed characters—you might detect slivers of yourself in the performances, none of which hits false notes. No doubt the actors were nurtured by Jean Wagner's staging, which is pretty as a lilac, and by Hillary Spector's choreographic diversions.” Backstage