The Sonic Life Of A Giant Tortoise

May 24–July 3, 2014
JapanU.S. Premiere
“What I’m relating now, what’s going through my head, I have never told anyone before. It’s a secret, no one knows it. I will say what the secret is…”
Meet the Artists

Toshiki Okada (Playwright / Director / Novelist) chelfitsch, his company, made its debut abroad in 2007 in “Five Days in March” at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, Belgium. chelfitsch has since performed works in a total of more than 90 cities in the world. Toshiki Okada works not only with chelfitsch but also with other Japanese and European theatres, for example direction of the repertory programm in Münchner Kammerspiele (Germany), Thalia Theatre (Hamburg, Germany) and so on.

Aya Ogawa (Writer, Performer, Director, Translator) is Tokyo-born, Brooklyn-based. Thier work centers women/non-binary perspectives and utilizes the stage as a space for exploring cultural identity and the immigrant experience. They wrote, directed, and performed in The Nosebleed that was at Japan Society (with The Chocolate Factory Theater) in 2021, Lincoln Center Theater in 2022, and upcoming at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in 2023. Resident playwright, New Dramatists; President’s Award in Performing Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Dan Rothenberg (Director) is a Philadelphia-based director and creator of experimental performance. A founding member and co-artistic director of the Pig Iron Theatre Company, Dan has directed many of Pig Iron’s original performance works, including Zero Cost House (a collaboration with Toshiki Okada), Gentlemen Volunteers, Love Unpunished, 12th Night, and the OBIE Award-winning productions Chekhov Lizardbrain and Hell Meets Henry Halfway. In 2001, Dan co-directed Shut Eye with legendary director Joseph Chaikin. In 2010, Dan directed the English-language premiere of Toshiki Okada’s ENJOY for Play Company. Pew Fellowship (2002); USA Artists Knight Fellowship (2010).

Rachel Christopher (Actor) NY: Zero Cost House, Pig Iron; The Faire, Fault Line Theatre; Frogs, Fault Line Theatre; Bad Date Project, Planet Connections. Regional: Alma, Yellowman; Sonia, Crime and Punishment, Trinity Repertory Company, House of Home, Western Country, Williamstown Theatre Festival. Trinity Rep Brown/Trinity Rep: The Lady from DubuqueWe Are Proud to Present a PresentationMuch Ado About NothingLook Homeward, Angel. Rachel is a graduate of the Brown/Trinity Rep’s MFA Acting Program and holds a BA in Drama and Classics from Vassar College.

Susannah Flood (Actor) Favorite New York projects include Love and Information (New York Theater Workshop), Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Playwrights Horizons), Tribes (Barrow Street Theater); As You Like It (The Public/NYSF); Bird in Hand (Fulcrum Theater); Baby Screams Miracle (Clubbed Thumb); Okay (Ensemble Studio Theatre).  Regionally, she’s worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The McCarter, The Longwharf, Hartford Stage, The Denver Center, and Trinity Rep (IRNE nomination for Best Actress), among others. Susannah loves the national parks - though she's only been to three: Yosemite, Zion, and Arches; she's climbed Half Dome twice, and is the proud owner of at least six books on wildflowers.

Daniel Kublick (Actor) has collaborated on new works with many wonderful artists. A few highlights include: Toshiki Okada’s The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise (The Play Company); Robert Lyons and Kristin Marting’s IDIOT (HERE); Sister Sylvester’s Dead Behind These Eyes (Sing Sing Karaoke); Kris Kling’s Health Insurance (United Solo Festival—Best Avant-Garde Show); and Tracy Weller’s HART ISLAND (Mason Holdings). Daniel is a graduate of The Studio/New York and Princeton University.

Jason Quarles (Actor) Recent credits include Republic (Hoi Polloi), Trainer (Toneelhuis), The Tempest (Porpentine), and Shannon Plumb’s Towheads.

Moses Villarama (Actor) New York: Cambodian Rock Band (Signature Theatre), Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise (The Play Company), Chairs and a Long Table (Ma-Yi Theatre), Fast Company (Ensemble Studio Theatre). Select Regional: Henry V (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Snow In Midsummer (OSF), Vietgone (OSF/Seattle Repertory), Our Town (South Coast Repertory), It’s a Wonderful Life (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley), Warrior Class (Alliance Theatre), Swamp Is On (Pig Iron Theatre Company), King Lear (Denver Center). Training: MFA, National Theatre Conservatory.

Mimi Lien (Set Designer) is a designer of sets/environments for theater, dance and opera. Arriving at set design from a background in architecture, her work often focuses on the interaction between audience/environment and object/performer. She is an artistic associate with Pig Iron Theatre Company, and co-founder of JACK, a performance/art space in Brooklyn. Recent work includes Appropriate (Mark Taper Forum), John (Signature Theatre), Preludes, The Oldest Boy (Lincoln Center), An Octoroon (Soho Rep/TFANA) and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. Lien's designs for dance have been presented in the Netherlands, Russia and Taiwan, and her stage designs have been exhibited in the Prague Quadrennial. Lien is a recipient of the Joan and Joseph F. Cullman Award for Extraordinary Creativity at Lincoln Center, Lucille Lortel Award, American Theatre Wing Hewes Design Award and Barrymore Award. She is a recipient of an OBIE Award and a 2015 MacArthur fellowship.

Jon Carter (Costume Designer) On Broadway he designed Hair and or Makeup for Act One, Golden Boy, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, In the Next Room, A Tale of Two Cities, Xanadu. Off-Broadway designs: The City of Conversation (LCT), 3C (Rattlestick), Blood & Gifts (LCT), Orange, Hat & Grace (Soho Rep), When The Rain Stops Falling (LCT), The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (NYTW), So Help Me God (Mint), The Good Negro (Public Theater), Chair (TFNA), Endgame (BAM). Regional companies include: Arena Stage, Kennedy Center, Centerstage, DTC, KC Rep, Wilma, Pig Iron. Opera designs: Bard SummerScape, Gotham Chamber Opera, Opera Boston, Curtis Institute, Juilliard.

Jiyoun Chang (lighting design) first collaborated with Ripe Time on The World is Round (BAM Fisher, OBIE Award Special Citation in Lighting Design). Credits include Aubergine by Julia Cho (Berkeley Rep), Sojourners by Mfoniso Udofia (The Playwrights Realm), Ugly Lies The Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino (Roundabout Underground), Brownsville song (b-side for tray) by Kimber Lee (Lincoln Center Theatre LCT3) and Goldberg's Variation (BAM Next Wave 2013). Other credits include The Unfortunates, Troilus and Cressida (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), The Dance and the Railroad (Signature Theatre), T. 1912, Peter and the Wolf (Guggenheim Museum), Light Within (Carnegie Hall) and Our Planet (Japan Society). Chang holds an MFA in Design from the Yale School of Drama.

Mikhail Fiksel (Sound Designer) is delighted for his debut with PlayCo. Imported from Siberia by the way of a long residency in Chicago, his credits include projects with The Second Stage Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, The Old Globe, American Conservatory Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Geffen Playhouse, The Goodman Theatre, Albany Park Theatre Project, The Hypocrites, Lucky Plush, Victory Gardens and Redmoon Theatre. Recent film work includes scores for feature films “Glitch”, “The Wise Kids” and “In Memoriam”. He has been awarded with a Lucille Lortel Award, several Joseph Jefferson Awards and the Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award. He is an Artistic Associate with Timeline Theatre, Teatro Vista and Redmoon and on the faculty at Loyola University and University of Chicago. When he is not busy fighting crime, he performs as a dj, often under the moniker The White Russian or Red Menace.

From the writer and director of the 2010 PlayCo hit Enjoy, Sonic Life… probes the everyday lives of urban adults. Everything seems comfortable – jobs, relationships. But beneath the surface runs a powerful undercurrent of longing. Sonic Life… is a quirky, dreamlike and poignant theatrical experience from some of the foremost theatre artists of the US and Japan.

Written by

Toshiki Okada

Translated by

Aya Ogawa

Directed by

Dan Rothenberg


Rachel Christopher Susannah Flood Dan Kublick Jason Quarles Moses Villarama

Set Design

Mimi Lien

Costume Design

Jon Carter

Lighting Design

Jiyoun Chang

Sound Design

Mikhail Fiksel


David Brick

Production Stage Manager

E Sara Barnes

Production Manager

Ian Paul Guzzone

Company/House Manager

Margot Fitzsimmons


Noah Scalin Another Limited Rebellion


JACK 505 1/2 Waverly Avenue Brooklyn, NY