Before there was science, there were other ways for human beings to explain disasters and diseases, thunder storms and floods. In many cultures, demons and monsters were linked to the misfortune that could not be explained otherwise. In Japan, the concept of yokai, phenomenon spirits, is a great example for such folkloristic believes – and maybe the most detailed one. As in many animistic cultures, all natural or manmade objects possess a spirit and can become a demon.

SPOOKAI features the uncanny in today’s contemporary world. Post Theater reflects on spirits and monsters with a trans-cultural approach.
The audiences of SPOOKAI experiences yokai on a guided tour to several installations. Post Theater has researched yokai and bridge the discourse around them to technology. One type yokai is especially prominent in SPOOKAI: tsukumogami – thing-yokai who emerge after 100 years out of any manmade object, and take revenge for being mistreated by their former owners…

SPOOKAI is an accessible multi-media performance experience, playing with the popular genre of haunted houses, a fair ground attraction or side-show in which the audience hopes to become scared by monsters and ghosts. Post Theater is less interested in shocking the audience. They rather want the audience to reflect their anxieties and their relationship to objects, including digital devices. The project is multi-layered and simultaneously addresses adult and younger audiences. The performance combines animation, animated objects, audio-drama, sound installation and video-art in order to weave a net of different narratives and pieces of information.

Premiere and Touring

March 25th 2021
Societaetstheater Dresden
June 2021
December 2021
Theaterdiscounter Berlin

Stuttgart: 2021 Details TBA

Funding and Co-Production

A production by Post Theater in coproduction with:
LOFFT – DAS THEATER, Societaetstheater, TD Berlin.

Funded by: The Ministry of Culture Baden-Württemberg, The cultural office of the city of Leipzig, The cultural office of the city of Dresden, The Senate for Culture and Europe, Berlin


Artistic direction, text: Hiroko Tanahashi, Max Schumacher
Vocal performers: Mareile Metzner, Patrick Khatami, Ilka Teichmüller,
Matthias Horn
Video performers: Yuko Sato, Erbil Ayalp, Max Schumacher
Music, sound design: Sibin Vassilev
Animation: Johannes Krohn, Hiroko Tanahashi
Video programming: Yoann Trellu
Robotics: Sebastian Schlemminger, Jasper Diekamp
Shamisen: Su Bunjamin, Cello: Linda Mancheva, Flute: Diana Erdem
Illustration: Hiroko Tanahashi
Costume design: Marion Reddmann
Costume painting: Martina Arnold
Set building: Terence Sonntag
Technical operation: Fabian Bleisch ,Elliot Bursch, Yoann Trellu
Press agent: k3 berlin / Heike Diem
Production manager: Mario Stumpfe

Press Quotes

“… suddenly we have travelled in an enchanting way and no carbon footprint to Japan…. It is stunning, how much empathy can be evoked by a vacuuming robot and how much contemplation can be caused by a monologue of a wind machine. … I will visit again!”
(Neustadt Geflüster, 27.3.20219)

“What a fortunate experience… hats off for the effort, congratulations for the love and care for detail! An unconditional recommendation for adults and children! What an artfull form of entertainment! An absolute highlight!”
(Beate Baum in Dresdner Neuste Nachrichten , 27.3.2021)
(full article as PDF download)

„The liveliness of objects emerges from a fun script and videoworks, that are an eye catcher, not just once. The videos, by, among others, co-director Hiroko Tanahashi are aesthetically excellent, as are the installations and costumes. Truly, this is not an exhibition, this really is a spectacle, it is magic!”
(Marcel Pochanke in Sächsische Zeitung, 27.3.2021)
(full article as PDF download)

The Japanese spiritis which are within things, inspire the audience to lighter thoughts in these dire times… The audience leaves the theater with happy faces behind their masks.”
(Heike Schwarzer, MDR, 28.3.2021) – full radio coverage as MP3 download