Daizo Sakurai and His Tent Theatre
Daizo Sakurai entered Waseda University of Japan and studied at Department of Political Economics during the Second Anti-Security Treaty Movement. In the upsurge of the student movement, Sakurai joint Theater of traveling Acrobats and became a member of the second-generation tent theatre. Theater of traveling Acrobats is representative of the second-generation tent theatres, whose members dramatically criticized the first-generation tent theatres and made theatrical performances in an ascetical gesture of “disintegrating theatres”.
Sakurai’s tent theatre, stemmed from social movements, has not been simply integrated into the mainstream of society with the falling tide of social movements; surely, it also cannot subvert capitalist system as the social movements have expected. However, what is important, having gone through romantic movements and violent revolutions, Sukurai’s tent theatre has not simply descended into an aesthetic manner in the overall pattern of capitalist production, and maintained the most fundamental subversiveness of the tent theatre. The reason of the above saying is that Sakurai has continued the most powerful challenge of tent theatre to the drama system under the capitalist production system: first, on the economic basis, tent theatres have gone beyond the modern manner of theatre production that depends on government fundings, NGO supports and enterprise investments; second, they have preserved in activities at the bottom of the society, broken the boundaries of theatres and non-theatres, and integrated theatres with desires of the bottom. Both points, one relying on the other, make Sakurai’s journey and creation maintain living resistant powers.
No matter what manner he has utilized, Sakurai has been challenging the toughest economic foundation in the theatre system, i.e. being completely independent from capitalist cultural strategies. It is with this economic independence that the tent theatre can independently walk at the bottom of the society.