舞台

舞台 – butaistage play. While this normally refers to the literal “stage” artists perform on, it also refers to stage plays and musicals (ミュジカル; myujikaru) as a whole. This is a field that has produced seiyuu and has functioned as a secondary source of work for seiyuu, especially those who are struggling to find voice work or are less inclined to it. Some actually flourish in this space regardless of situation because much of their training also applies to theater, only with an added physical element to it, which is more conducive for some.

Because seiyuu work revolves around anime, games, and manga, they are sometimes cast in 2.5D (2.5次元; 2.5 jigen) stage productions which are adaptations of those materials — Case in point, Kenshō Ono as Kuroko in Kuroko no Basuke stage plays. He also provided the voice for the same character in the anime. Ai Nonaka does the same in the Premium 3D Musical Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel reprising her role as Towa Herschel. Those shows tend to be extravagant by nature of the source material, so you will often find some sort of gimmick associated with it aside from the costumes and props, such as projection mapping, moving stage pieces and platforms, song and dance numbers, etc.

One may classify theater by the size or capacity of the venue: small (小劇場; shōgekijō), medium (中劇場; chūgekijō), large (大劇場; daigekijō).

Small venues may accommodate about 100 people and are equally small productions with a limited budget. Shows that take place here rarely get a DVD/BD release, if it even gets recorded in the first place. They are, however, more intimate experiences because seats are closer to the stage (making it easier for actors to communicate and react with the audience and vice versa) and the actors don’t have to use mics as their raw voice can reach the back without difficulty (or there may be a floor mic at the front to amplify). The small scale also allows them to experiment with more subtle techniques, unorthodox concepts, and unusual seating and stage configurations.

Examples: Sun Mall Studio (110); 花まる学習会王子小劇場 (100).

Medium-size venues cover the ones in between, with common capacities of 200-800. These venues hold productions that frequently feature seiyuu (ie. reading dramas or fan events), though you may also see more established seiyuu-actors in large venues. Productions also tend to be entertainment-focused (song and dance numbers, flashy displays, etc.) than acting-focused, which are found more in small venues. Mics are used, which could be stage mics or lapels, and DVD/BD releases may happen and are usually in DVD format.

Examples: Akasaka Red theater (173). CBGK シブゲキ!! (242). Shinjukumura Live (300 standing). AiiA Theater Tokyo (830). OWLSPOT Theater (301), Kinokuniya Southern Theater TAKASHIMAYA (468). Zenrosai Hall / Space zero (446-575). Sunshine Theatre Ikebukuro (808).

Large venues refer to concert halls that have capacities of ~1500 and more. Popular productions take place here and they have the highest budgets with the most ambitious ideas in terms of lighting, costuming, and stage design. Their venue setup almost guarantees a DVD/BD release but most likely all shows are recorded.

Examples: Tokyo Dome City Hall (2,000-3,190). Akasaka ACT Theater (1,324). IHI STAGE AROUND TOKYO (1,300), Maihama Amphitheater (2170).

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