Bird Theatre – A Movement, Company, and Place
The Bird Theatre is a unique cultural institution located in the historic town of Shikano, Tottori Prefecture, japan. Situated next to the castle ruins, it occupies the buildings of a closed-down kindergarten and elementary school. The theater aims to establish itself as a cultural center of the local community through its educational and outreach programs. This article will explore the history, facilities, events, and impact of the Bird Theatre.
History and Renovation:
The Bird Theatre was established in the early 2000s with the vision of promoting performing arts and cultural exchange. The founders saw the potential of the abandoned school buildings and decided to convert them into a theater. The majority of the refurbishment work was done in-house, and the theater staff took great care to retain the original character of the nursery school in the administrative space.
The Bird Theatre boasts a main theater area that can seat up to 200 patrons. It is a converted gymnasium that exudes a wonderful and intimate atmosphere. The theater staff welcomes visitors throughout the year and is happy to provide guided tours if time permits. While basic Japanese language skills are beneficial, they are not essential for visitors. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, admission to the theater may be limited to residents of Japan or Tottori Prefecture to reduce the spread of the virus.
How to Get There:
The nearest train station to the Bird Theatre is Hamamura on the JR Sanin Main Line. From Hamamura Station, visitors can take the “Shikano-yuki” bus, which will bring them to the theater in approximately 20 minutes. From there, a short 10-minute walk will lead them to the theater, which is situated next to the castle ruins. During the festival season, free buses run from Tottori and Hamamura stations, making it convenient for visitors to attend performances at the Bird Theatre.
Events and Festivals:
One of the highlights of the Bird Theatre is the annual Bird Theatre Festival, which started in 2008. This festival showcases performances by theater companies from around Japan and overseas. It has gained significant interest both locally and internationally as it continues to grow. The festival takes place on three consecutive weekends in September, offering a diverse range of performances and cultural experiences. In addition to the festival, other performances can be enjoyed at the Bird Theatre approximately four times a year.
Accessibility for Non-Japanese Speakers:
The Bird Theatre understands the importance of cultural exchange and strives to make its performances accessible to non-Japanese speakers. iPod translators are available for borrowing, allowing non-Japanese speakers to enjoy the performances fully. However, it is advisable to check the official website for the latest information, as the availability of translators may vary.
Community Outreach and Educational Programs:
The Bird Theatre is committed to engaging with the local community and nurturing young talent through its outreach and educational programs. These programs aim to inspire and educate children and adults about the performing arts. By collaborating with schools and community organizations, the theater provides workshops, lectures, and performances that enrich the cultural landscape of the town and beyond.
The Bird Theatre in Shikano, Tottori Prefecture, is a unique and vibrant cultural institution. It has transformed the buildings of a closed-down kindergarten and elementary school into a thriving theater that promotes performing arts and cultural exchange. With its annual Bird Theatre Festival, regular performances, and commitment to community outreach and education, the theater has become a significant cultural center in the local community. Visitors are warmly welcomed to experience the intimate atmosphere of the main theater area and explore the rich history and offerings of the Bird Theatre.
Address And Maps Location:
1812-1 Shikanocho Shikano, Tottori-shi, Tottori-ken