Otaku USA Magazine
SPIRITED AWAY: Live On Stage Coming to U.S. Theaters This Spring

Not everyone can be in Japan to see SPIRITED AWAY: Live On Stage, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t see it at all! GKIDS, which also distributes Studio Ghibli anime movies, has revealed that it’s gotten North American audiovisual distribution rights for SPIRITED AWAY: Live On Stage.

There are two sets of alternating actors for the play, so GKIDS is releasing an example of both cast performances. These were filmed in 2022, while being performed at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo. You’ll be able to catch one — or both! — performances in theaters sometime this spring. A more specific date has not yet been released.

“We are thrilled to offer this unique opportunity for Studio Ghibli fans in America to experience the stage production that wowed Japanese press and audiences last year,” remarked GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt in a press release. “This imaginative stage adaptation by the legendary John Caird, featuring two wonderful performances by lead actors Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi, helps bring to life one of the greatest films of all time in a dazzling new way.”

John Caird, the Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, adapted and directed the stage version. It has an original score by Joe Hisaishi.

Here is the cast: Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi play Chihiro, Kotaro Daigo and Hiroki Miura play Haku, Koharu Sugawara and Tomohiko Tsujimoto play No Face, Miyu Sakihi and Fu Hinami play Chihiro’s mom, Tomorowo Taguchi and Satoshi Hashimoto play Kamaji, Mari Natsuki and Romi Park play Yubaba/Zeniba (and Natsuki was their original voice actress in the anime!), Kenya Osumi plays Chihiro’s dad, Sunao Yoshimura plays Chichiyaku, and Obata no Oniisan plays Aogaeru.

GKIDS gave this description for the play:

“Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award®-winning animated feature film comes to life in this first-ever stage adaptation, full of dazzling sets, captivating musical numbers, and wondrous puppets of beloved characters. Adapted and directed by Tony Award®-winner John Caird (Les Misérables), two unique casts and performances were filmed during the show’s acclaimed 2022 run at Tokyo’s historic Imperial Theatre, featuring Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi as Chihiro.”

Source: Press Release


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.