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Friday, Nov. 3, 2006


A cultural emblem

Written by Wesley Enoch, one of Australia's leading young director-writers, the world premiere of "Cookie's Table" will be staged with a Japanese cast in Tokyo from Nov. 8 by Rakutendan Theatre Company.

Cookie's Table
From left: Rika Tanaka, Hisako Okata and "Ba-by" will perform in "Cookie's Table."

The autobiographical story of four generations of an Aboriginal family on Stradbroke Island in Queensland, "Cookie's Table" draws its title from a girl named Cookie, born in 1870 under the only tree on the island. When Cookie becomes a cook in the household of a rich white family on the mainland, her prize possession is a table made from the wood of the tree under which she was born. Later, Cookie's descendants sit around the same table each claiming they have more right to possess what has now clearly become a powerful emblem of a culture striving to rebuild itself.

In a recent interview, Yoshio Wada, founder of Rakutendan, which organized this collaboration with Enoch, explained his enthusiasm for the project, saying, "Theater in Australia does not have the same long history as it has in Europe and Japan, so that sometimes gives them more opportunity to create a completely new dimension of drama without being influenced by old traditions. Aboriginal dramatists in particular are creating lots of marvelous stagings, many of which are delving into their history to try to examine the roots of their problems in the 21st century."

"Cookie's Table" runs Nov. 8-14 at Theater KAZE, near JR Higashi-Nakano Station. Tickets are 3,800 yen at the door. For more details, call Office Mube at (042) 727-8640.

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