Tadashi Suzuki is the founder and director of the Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT), the organiser of Japan’s first international Theatre Festival (Toga Festival), and the creator of the Suzuki Method of Actor Training. He played an important role as General Artistic Director at Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (1995–2007), and also serves as a member of International Theatre Olympics Committee, as one of the founders of the BeSeTo Festival (jointly organised by theatre people of Japan, China and Korea), and as Chairman of Board of Directors of Japan Performing Arts Foundation, a nation-wide network of theatre people in Japan.
His works include On the Dramatic Passions, The Trojan Women, Dionysus, King Lear, Cyrano de Bergerac, Madame de Sade, and many others. Besides productions with his own company, he has worked as a director in the international collaborative projects, such as The Tale of Lear co-produced and presented by the four leading regional theatres of the US, King Lear by Moscow Art Theatre, Oedipus co-produced by Cultural Olympiad and Düsseldorf Schauspiel Haus, ELECTRA by Taganka Theatre and etc.
Through the Toga Festival and Shizuoka Spring Arts Festival, Suzuki has introduced a wide range of the world’s foremost theatre artists to Japanese audiences.
Suzuki has articulated his theories in a number of books. A collection of his writings in English, “The Way of Acting” is published by Theatre Communications Group (US). He has taught his system of actor training in schools and theatres throughout the world, including The Julliard School in New York and Moscow Art Theatre. The Cambridge University Press published “The Theatre of Suzuki Tadashi” as one of the volumes of the “Directors in Perspective” series, based upon leading theatre directors of the 20th Century.
Not just one of the world’s foremost theatre directors, Suzuki is a seminal thinker and practitioner whose work has a powerful influence on theatre everywhere.
Suzuki’s concerns include the structure of a theatre group, the creation and use of theatrical space, and the overcoming of cultural and national barriers in the interest of creating work based on that which is universal. Suzuki has been engaged in a long-term collaborative relationship with the celebrated architect Arata Isozaki. Suzuki and Isozaki have collaborated very closely in the creation of the eight theatres in Japan, Toga, Mito and Shizuoka. The result is buildings that transcend merely a combining of the theatrical arts with architecture, but reach a level of independence as a modern art form that has gathered attention from many circles on the leading edge of today’s arts world.
Suzuki’s activities, both as a director creating multilingual and multicultural productions, and as a festival producer bringing people from throughout the world together in the context of shared theatrical endeavor, reflect an aggressive approach to dealing with many of the fundamental issues of our times.