The other day we got a sneak peek of the upcoming Spirited Away stage play, in the form of two posters showing actresses Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi in costume. The two actresses will switch on and off for the play. A lot of fanfare came with these reveals, including a press event.
Hayao Miyazaki, the writer and director of Spirited Away, was not at the event, as he generally doesn’t go for that sort of thing. In his place was Studio Ghibli co-founder and producer, Toshio Suzuki. And Suzuki shared an endearing story of what Miyazaki said about the stage play.
“[When the proposal to make a Spirited Away play was brought up], Miyazaki simply said ‘Sure,’” Suzuki said. Then, according to Suzuki, Miyazaki went on, “I’ve already let go of [Spirited Away]. It was created with the support of so many people, so it doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to everyone.”
Suzuki additionally talked a bit about John Caird, the Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, who is writing and directing the play. “He [Caird] and Miyazaki really hit it off,” Suzuki informed the press. And they’re happy with the other people working on the play. “I believe the cast and crew, without question, will be creating a wonderful play for us.”
GKIDS gave this description of the Spirited Away movie:
“Winner of the Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature, Hayao Miyazaki’s wondrous fantasy adventure is a dazzling masterpiece from one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of animation.
Chihiro’s family is moving to a new house, but when they stop on the way to explore an abandoned village, her parents undergo a mysterious transformation and Chihiro is whisked into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the sorceress Yubaba. Put to work in a magical bathhouse for spirits and demons, Chihiro must use all her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents and return to the normal world. Overflowing with imaginative creatures and thrilling storytelling, Spirited Away became a worldwide smash hit, and is one of the most critically-acclaimed films of all time.”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.