It is with great sadness that we announce that Keita Asari, director and one of the founding members of Shiki Theatre Company, passed away at 17:33 on Friday, July 13th 2018. He died at the age of 85.
Born on March 16th 1933 in Tokyo, Japan
Director, Representative of Asari Office
Founding Member and Former Representative of Shiki Theatre Company
In 1953 Keita Asari founded the Shiki Theatre Company and went on to direct and produce most of their productions from straight plays to musicals. It is through Shiki Theatre Company that Keita Asari established the musical theatre culture in Japan producing works such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber; working on translated productions of foreign works, such as West Side Story, A Chorus Line, and The Lion King; and on original musicals, such as Rikoran and A Dream within a Dream. Moreover, he achieved success in Japan’s first long-running production with Cats, which premiered in 1983, and innovated the form of entertainment business in Japanese theatre. Cats continues to run in Tokyo celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.
Keita Asari also directed operas outside of the theatre company. He gained international recognition through presenting pieces, such as Madama Butterfly and Turandot, at theatre venues abroad including the Teatro alla Scala. In 1998, he produced and directed the opening and closing ceremonies of the Nagano Winter Olympics.
Keita Asari was committed to helping others during his lifetime and recently conducted a nationwide project for all children inviting them to see theatrical shows.
He was the recipient of numerous awards from all over the world.