Woman Killer (2001)

By Chiori Miyagawa
Lyrics by Mark Campbell/Music by Daniel Sonenberg
Directed by Sonoko Kawahara

HERE Arts Center

The play and its staging are strikingly effective. And there’s a stunning, startling coup de theatre at the climax…. Woman Killer is riveting, compelling theater, and it raises questions that don’t-won’t-go away.-nytheatre.com, Martin Denton

Woman Killer is the kind of play thought-provoking, original play that cannot easily be dismissed… it does strike a note close to our hearts and our homes.” – The Brooklyn Papers, Paulanne Simmons


Photography by Corkey Lee

About the production

A new play inspired by a classic play by Chikamatsu written in 1721 for the Japanese Bunraku puppet theater. The original play was based on a real crime of that time: a young man from privilege strays so far from life he was meant to live that in a moment of despair, he kills a neighbor for money. This desperate act erupts at the end of a long personal descent riddled with debt, rage, and jealousy.

Taking the theme of Chikamatsu’s story, Miyagawa’s play jumps time forward to 2001, and places the event in Brooklyn, New York. It is about two ordinary American families of relative privilege and a monumental tragedy that destroys their lives. Departing from Chikamatsu’s style, Miyagawa’s play deeply examines the relationships between the characters for the motives of their actions. The question of responsibility is asked of each character, yet as in Chikamatsu’s play, the answer remains. The cast is multicultural, representing the timeless, borderless quest for the answer to human violence. (*The text is published in “Plays and playwrights 2002”)

Production Credits

Written by Chiori Miyagawa
Directed by Sonoko Kawahara
Music: Daniel Sonenberg
Lyricist: Mark Campbell
Performed by
Kei Arita, Michael Braun, Ronald Cohen, Kristin Dispaltro, Corinne Edgerly, Crispin Freeman, Paul H.Juhn, Shawn Randall, and Hope Salas
Sets: David Korins
Costumes: Theresa Squire
Lights: Ben Stanton
Sound: Crispin Freeman
Assistant Director: Maryam Mehrjui
Associate Producer: Hillary Spector

September 6-30

Wonan Killer was made possible in part with public/proivate funds from Lower Manahttan Cultural Concil and Bossak/Heilboron Charitable Foundation.