Tag Archive: Kumin Centre

Nov 10

A Change of Plan and a Creepy School

I’m quickly rushing to type this off before heading to tonight’s  rehearsal.

 

Last night, we met at Nippa (新羽) station on the Yokohama Blue Line and proceeding to walk to our rehearsal space. This was another new one for us, and it was about a 7 minute walk through darkened streets.

 

When we arrived, we weren’t sure we had the right place. There was a sign, but it wasn’t lit. There was no lighting on the path leading up to what appeared to be the main lobby. There was only dim light coming out from inside the glass-enclosed lobby area.

 

Nonetheless, there appeared to be no other way in, so we approached. As we looked in from outside, we saw a man in a yellow vest vacuuming the floor. Were they closing at 18:45?! Mayu thought for a minute that maybe this was a hospital, and not a Kumin Centre.

 

We went in and it turns out everything was fine, although we had to complete about five minutes of paperwork to register YTG with the place. After that, the old man behind the desk led us through the darkened building, up a flight of stairs, through a library (!) and into the “playroom".

 

What a great space. The room was huge. Half of it was a waxed hardwood floor, and the other half was dojo-style tatami (sprung tatami, I guess you’d call it). On top of that, the rent was only 450 yen, making it the cheapest space we’ve worked in so far.

 

The drawbacks: like all Yokohama city Kumin centres, they close at 21:00. And they are very anal about getting you out of the building BEFORE that (they start playing incessant music and making loud PA announcements from 20:45 on). We were out of the building at 20:59 by their own clock, and we still got scolded! Also, you can only book this room twice in any given month.

 

Enough about the space… what did we do?

 

Due to sickness and inflexible job schedules, we won’t have the whole group together again, so rather than work on any of the group elements pieces, we instead worked on a improv that we’d started on Monday as a joke: a re-enactment of trying to get a room that we’d paid for without the receipt. We focused on objectives and tactics work, and are now in the process of stripping the Tatemae off the characters without turning them into caricatures. That is the work that we’ll continue tonight.

 

Okay… off to rehearsal!

Nov 08

Back to the Grind

Last night was the first YT Ensemble Rehearsal for me in just over two weeks. I’d taken a break from rehearsals while my parents were visiting from Canada. It was also nice to give the group a chance to find a dynamic without me, as so far I’d been the only constant.

 

During my two weeks “off”, I was hardly idle, though. I was working on a new YTG website, as well as looking into a possible rehearsal space that we could rent by the month.

 

The group was also not idle. The first week they worked on their presentation for the monthly Gekisalon meeting, and in the second week, they continued work on our elements series.

 

Unfortunately, we had barely any working time last night. We were in a kumin (community) centre, and it closed at 21:00. I mean REALLY closed. Like we had to be packed up and out the door at 21:00. Also, Mayu (who had booked the space) had misplaced the receipt, which really put the staff’s noses out of joint. After thinking we’d solved the problem, they actually came and interrupted our rehearsal to make Takahiko do almost 20 minutes of paperwork!

 

We didn’t make a mess in the room, so we were planning to work right up until 20:50, and then change and exit. That plan also proved unworkable, because from 20:45 on, the centre kept playing loud end-of-day music and announcements over the P.A. system.

 

We’re back in that space tomorrow (Wednesday), but we’ll have the receipt this time, and I’ll try to be primed to make the best use of our time.

 

Our experiences at some of these Kumin centres simply serve to drive home the point that we really need our own space, ASAP.