People are not just living but must live their lives to the fullest was the maxim that established the Kio Company in 1971. Developing insightful and humane work on the themes of life and death, conceived under the notion of how to provide something better for the child victims of war, the Company has thus from first to last produced original works aimed at a younger audience. With its slogan as “exciting & worthwhile”, the Company has performed at countless schools across Japan, performances that through the perspective of children charm adults as well. Further, it has developed an actlive (live drama) form of performance, adopting music, visual images and many theater techniques. Fully embracing dance and live music, showing how a “performance” can cross genre, the company has garnered praise from every corner. Currently the Kio Company is under the directorship of Kohey Nakadachi and maintains dozens of actors, dancers and musicians, performing hundreds of times in Japan and overseas. In 2007 it received official recognition from the Agency for Cultural Affairs as “a professional performing arts experience enterprise”.
Since its foundation in 1971, with its base in Abeno, Osaka, the Company has continued to produce and perform children’s theater, striving to develop new forms of creativity. Besides its performances at elementary, junior high and high schools, it tours every area of Japan to call at the hospitals of children with severe disabilities, orphanages, schools visited by tragedy － performances in every corner of the land for over one hundred days in a year.
At the heart of the Company is Kohey Nakadachi, appointed Chairman in 1996 and Executive Artistic Director in 2005. Kio’s original public and theater performances, while keeping their perspective on the present, can be fluid with chronology and space. Performing Tamago oh toru nowa daare? (Who’s Going to Have the Egg?) at the ASSITEJ (International Association of Theater for Children and Young People) in Seoul in 2002, the Company has recently turned its attention firmly to the international scene. It was invited to take Green Monster to the Le Festival Neapolis Du Theatre Pour Enfants (International Neapolis Festival of Children’s Theater), Tunisia, 2007, and the Asian Children’s Theater Festival, Taipei, 2008, where it was well-received.
The headquarters’ building being completed in 1999, it has from 2000 been operating lending services of its hall facilities. From festivals supporting youth theater, to plays, dance, music, film and workshops: regardless of genre, the Company endeavors through the performing arts to contribute to the enriching of citizens’ lives and the growth of an area’s culture.
The Company was founded with the aim of, out of the harsh experiences of school student evacuations, providing something better for children. Focusing on the conditions of children and society, the Company offers opportunities to appreciate and create a superior living stage art that hopes for their healthy upbringing.
Under their banner of”exciting & worthwhile”, from children to adults, the Kio Company aims to create and spread theater enjoyable for all generations. As theater practitioners within this society, the Company’s goals are, naturally, supporting the ideas of exchange, culture and dialogue, and the proposal of a”creative lifestyle”. Its aim is for the world to move towards a better direction through daily imagination and creativity, a theater that contributes to the establishment of a richer humanity and the development of society, culture and the arts.
The Osaka Governor Commendation Culture Service Prize
The National Children and Young People Theater Conference Prize
The Tokyo Excellent Theater for Young People Selection Prize for an Excellent Work
“What Is This Box?”
The International Children and Young People Culture Art Festival, Shanghai 1994
“Who Steals the Egg?”
The 14th ASSITEJ Congress & Performing Arts Festival, Seoul in 2002
The 22nd International Festival for Kids’ Theatre Nabel, Tunisia in 2007
The Asian Children’s Theater Festival, Taipei in 2008
International Performing Arts Festival OSAKA for Children and Young Audience, Osaka in 2008
Mission,Vision & Values
“Exciting and worthwhile” play appears from the endless challenge and the passion. Important thing is a space, time, and human beings who exist there. As a member in the society, THE KIO COMPANY is not only making plays but also hangs out the ideal of the culture, the exchange, and the conversation. It is a proposal of “creative lifestyle.” By using creativity and imagination in everyday life, we wish the world is going toward better direction. The mission of THE KIO COMPANY will never end as long as people exist.
Kohey Nakadachi (Actor/Director/ Artistic Director)
Born in 1966 he majored in modern literature at Kyoto Bukkyo University. From the 1980s he worked in the music industry, and gained attention on national concert tours and at numerous festivals. In the 1990s he moved into the theater world, and became an actor and director for the Kio Company. He created work that appealed to both children and adults. At the same time he managed a fringe theater where he encouraged the development of young performers. Through participation in international festivals he studied under the Korean director Kim Woo Ok. Since 2007 he has been the organizer of Osaka Prefecture’s International Performing Arts Festival OSAKA for Children and Young Audience. As artistic director he selects the invited companies and produces the overall festival. From 2009 he is planning collaborative projects with Korea and Denmark.