The Yokohama Theatre group generally hosts several international interns during a given year, with terms as short as two weeks, to as long as 12 months. At the moment, we need the most people from May through to September. If you want to join us as a performer, our big annual show tends to be in mid-to-late September every year, so keep that in mind.
As an international intern, you will be involved with working and training with the Yokohama Theatre Ensemble, and depending on the timing, be involved in a show or showcase with us. If your training includes teaching, then you will be invited to guest-teach some workshops for the Ytheatre School during your stay. You will also probably be asked to perform other tasks (limited office work, organizing costumes/props etc.). Obviously, if your skills lie outside of performance, your work with us may be different.
Train in Japan
Aside from participating in any classes as a student (which you are welcome to do, if we have any ongoing ones while you’re here), there are many great theatre training opportunities in Japan: Butoh training with the son of Butoh founder Kazuo Ohno, Kabuki classes, and more… We will make sure you have time to participate in those as well.
There is always lots of stuff going on in Yokohama and Tokyo. At the very least you should catch some Kabuki, Noh, and Kyogen performances. The live music scene is also very active, as is the visual art and modern dance scene. The Theatre scene is less active, but there is always something innovative to go see if you look hard enough.
The Yokohama Theatre Group is also in the process of building bridges with other small, local, innovative Theatre companies, so there might be some opportunity to make long term connections there as well.
Costs and Expenses
Because you’re coming as a volunteer, the Yokohama Theatre Group charges you nothing for any of our classes or workshops you might attend. On the other hand, we also can’t pay you anything. Traditionally the intern is expected to pay his or her own airfare, housing, food, and transportation within Japan.
Housing is very expensive in Japanese cities compared much of the rest of the world. YTG interns frequently stay at a guest house in Kawasaki run by the owners of our performance venue. Private rooms there are around 58,000 yen per month (inclusive, no deposits), and less for shared. This guest house is typically within a 10 minute walk of the nearest station, and bicycling distance from our venue. It is surrounded by restaurants and stores. We encourage people to stay there because it reduces transportation costs and we have a direct line to the landlords if there are any problems. It also means you’ll be living with people who you have something in common with.
You can expect your food costs to run about 5000 – 6000 Yen a week, possibly lower, depending on how you shop.
You will be expected to pay your own domestic transportation costs but will be reimbursed for any Yokohama Theatre Group-related travel costs outside of going to and from rehearsal or similar distances. It may be possible to borrow a bicycle to get around more cheaply, but be warned: riding a bike in Japan is very different from riding a bike in Europe or even North America… it can take a bit of getting used to. Also, Yokohama, Kawasaki, and Tokyo are huge cities and some areas are not practically accessible by bicycle. Expect to spend 5000 yen a week or more on train fare (less, if you’re staying at the Kawasaki guest house), especially if you are planning activities in Tokyo. If you plan to take a week or two off during your stay to visit other parts of the country (Hokkaido, Kyoto, etc.), we suggest you buy a Japan Rail pass that you can redeem for the week that you travel to save you some money.
If you wish to apply for an international intern position, or ask some questions about it, please use our contact form.