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Publication Date

Summer 2013

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre Arts


David Kahn

Subject Areas

Theater; Theater history


In 2008, more than 219 theater companies provided 16,278 performances in Japan. However, many of them could not offer enough financial support for the company members. Among the 219 theater companies, the Shiki Theatre Company's annual sales had reached ¥23 billion ($210 million) and it employed more than 1,000 people, making it one of the biggest theater companies in Japan in 2008. This thesis explores how the Shiki Theatre Company adopted new company, performance, and casting styles, all the while contributing to the development of Japanese theater from 1953 to 2008. Applying a case-study methodology this thesis examines Shiki's current administration, casting and acting style. Shiki has the most original company management style, which includes long-run performances, owning theaters, and promoting its shows by using Television. The company employs more than 500 actors and its saviors are its competitions, auditions, multiple cast members for each role, and original acting methods which have produced well-trained actors who are loyal to Shiki. Shiki's 55-year history and the management style and artistic vision of Asari Keita, the company's founder, tell a story of corporate changes and development.