(Koya Segi’s article appeared in the Japan Times, 8/19.)

OSAKA – A robot-themed theater production in Kyoto has attracted packed houses since opening in 2012.

“Gear,” a 75-minute nonspeaking performance that combines music, projected images and human movement, tells the story of humanoid “Roboroids” who continue to make dolls at the assembly line of an abandoned toy factory.

Since the acting parts are nonverbal, the show is popular among people who don’t understand Japanese and people with hearing impairments, with many coming in groups, according to producer Keito Kohara.

The show has been performed some 1,300 times since its opening.

The cast for the twice-a-day performances that take place most days of the week includes mimes, break dancers, magicians and jugglers.


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