The Dark Master

June 23, 2021
past event image
U.S. Premiere | Onsite VR Contemporary Theater

Wednesday, June 23, 6:30 PM, 8:30 PM EDT
Thursday, June 24, 5 PM, 7 PM, 9:30PM EDT
Friday, June 25, 2:30 PM, 4:30 PM, 7 PM, 9 PM EDT
Saturday, June 26, 2:30 PM, 4:30 PM, 7 PM, 9 PM EDT
Sunday, June 27, 12:30 PM, 2:30 PM, 5 PM EDT

http://www.localhost:10053/resources/legacy/event/uploaded/images/051221-pa-dark-master-3.jpgInspired by an indie manga, psychiatrist-turned-director/playwright  Kuro Tanino   creates an immersive and humorously dark experimental theater piece that engages the audience with sights, sounds and smells. Through Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, headphones and live on-stage cooking, the piece transforms you into the play’s protagonist, an unassuming patron of a hole-in-the-wall Japanese diner. Performed by Tanino’s experimental theater company Niwa Gekidan Penino, the story depicts the strange, symbiotic relationship that develops between you, the customer, and the restaurant’s owner-chef simply called the “Master.” Borrowing the dramaturgy of first-person video games, you experience first-hand how the Master’s all-consuming persona highjacks the identity of his victims in a novel production that collapses the border between reality and illusion.

This is an in-person theater event performed for only 10 audience members at a time. Plastic “one-way mirrors” separate audience members, seated 6-feet apart along an extended table, mimicking the counter in the diner where even the aromas of delectable dishes as they’re being prepared are part of the experience. Dubbed in English by the original Japanese cast.

Running time: 45 minutes.

Please note this program is for audiences 18 years and older due to mature content. Performance begins promptly, no late admittance.

Tickets: $25 / $20 Japan Society members.

Images: © Japan Society; © Keizo Maeda

The Dark Master is supported, in part, by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan through the Japan Arts Council, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), and Doug and Teresa Peterson.


The Virtual Reality (VR) production of The Dark Master premiered at Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre as part of Tokyo Festival 2020.

2020-2021 Performing Arts Season Support

Lead Sponsor:Corporate Partner:

The season is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


Major Support is generously provided by Doug and Teresa Peterson and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc, with endowment support from the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund and the Endowment for the Performing Arts, established with a leadership gift from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Additional support is provided by Dean Jeanette C. Takamura, Dr. and Mrs. Carl F. Taeusch II, Mr. Alan M. Suhonen†, The Royal Little Family Foundation, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, Dr. Stephen and Mrs. Michiko Levine, Marjorie Neuwirth, Hiroko Onoyama, Lyndley and Samuel Schwab, and Nancy and Joe Walker. Transportation assistance is provided by All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.


† In memoriam.

  • June 23, 2021 – June 23, 2021