Tambasasayama Citizen Musicals

Tambasasayama Citizen Musicals.




The musicals are unique events that happen roughly every 2 years. There are usually either two or four performances of the chosen musical that are performed for the public in February. The first performance of the musicals took place in 2002. Before that time from 1990-2000 there were annual performances from the Tamba Opera Festival.

The musicals are a mostly amateur production produced by local residents. The performers ages range from elementary school children to retirees in their 70’s. All of the performers are volunteers with a passion for performing. The producers and some of the crews are professional theatre production experts who make the musical possible.

The musicals are performed in the Denen Symphany Hall, which is located adjacent to the Tambasasayama City Office.




Producing the Musicals

The production process starts in the summer before the event. That is when people sign up to join in. Usually there are upward of 60 people who volunteer. The name of the chosen performance is first announced, then those who would like to join the production go for an audition. The audition is about discovering people’s talents and abilities, not to eliminate volunteers, potential performers are seldom if ever rejected. Once all the auditions have been completed a basic structure for the performance is decided. Two teams of performers are selected, to give more people an opportunity to play certain roles and also to have a backup replacement in the event that one of the performers would not be available for the actual performances.

The production is a full-on musical theatre event of 2 hours or more of dance, song, and acting entertainment. This is not a casual, easy to pull off event, there is a lot of commitment required on the part of everyone involved. As we go through the preparation process, you’ll see what I mean!

For those who signed up and went through their audition, rehearsals begin on a weekly basis. Different teams get together to go over the scripts of spoken parts, songs and stage movements, and then to begin practices for songs, choruses and dance routines etc.

Apart from the performers who will appear on stage there is a group of behind-the-scenes volunteers and professionals who also make the performance possible.

In the months that lead up to the performances, while performers are rehearsing, other volunteers and professionals are creating sets and scenery. There are also sound and visual effects that need to be either located from other sources or created. Stage lighting needs to be arranged. Costumes, makeup, microphones, etc. all need to be prepared. Scheduling to arrange practice sessions to fit in with other scheduled events happening at the performance hall or alternative rehearsal locations need to be organized. There are a myriad of details that need to be discussed, decided and enacted.

That is all apart from ongoing decisions on the script, songs and dance routines that need to be coordinated to bring together the overall story of the musical, in line with the abilities of the performers.

As the summer progresses rehearsals become more frequent, twice a week, three times a week until in January, the final month before the performance, when rehearsals happen four times per week, or as often as possible, depending on the performers’ other commitments.

As the performance date approaches advertising begins to promote the event. To cover all the costs involved there is an entry fee. Performers help to sell tickets, encouraging relatives and friends to come. The actual performances are a very family and friends plus event, with people coming to cheer on and support the performers.




Philosophy of the Musicals

The story or theme chosen for the musical has always been an uplifting one to inspire and encourage the audiences to better things in their daily lives and to encourage hope for the future. Each performance usually ends with a crescendo of joy and praise in song and dance for the victory won in the musical story that leaves most if not all of the audience in a state of wonderment. For many people, whether family, friends, acquaintances or strangers, the performances are very emotional affairs that leave them in a state of elation. And after all is said and done, that is the goal of a great musical performance!




The Next Performance  (Already performed in Feb)

This coming year, 2024, will see yet another production come to fruition. The title of the musical this time is, “Our Lady of Paris” or “Notre Dame de Paris”, taken from the original French title of the 1831 novel by French author, Victor Hugo.

It will be exciting to see how this story will be interpreted and related to us by the performers and producers of the musical. My confidence is that it will be an epic performance just as previous productions have been.




History of the Musicals

Listed below is a time-by-time breakdown of the titles and stories performed so far.

2002, Feb 11th The Wizard of Oz. Based on L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s fantasy novel.
2004, Feb 8th The Twelve Months. Loosely based on the European-Russian Fairy Story Morozko, or Father Frost.
2007, Dec 23rd & 24th  A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream. Based on William Shakespeare’s play of the same name.
2010 Feb 13th & 14th Sasayama Castle – A Big Trip. An original time travel Sc-Fi story celebrating the 400th year anniversary from the construction of Sasayama Castle.
2012 Feb 12th A Holy Night with Angels. An original story conveying the importance of living life to the full at all times. A heartwarming and fantastical production in which angels are moved by the hard work of humans to intercede with various miracles.
2014 Feb 9th & 11th The Happy Prince. Based on the children’s story of the same name by Irish author Oscar Wilde.
2016 Feb 13th & 14th Crossing of Destiny. Based on ‘The Prince and the Pauper’ story by American author Mark Twain.
2018 Feb 11th & 12th Pinocchio. Based on the children’s story by Italian author Carlo Collodi.
2020 Feb 9th & 11th Sunlight Heart. Based on the true story of the American, Helen Keller, who at an early age became deaf, dumb and blind. But through the help of her tutor, Anne Sullivan became a famous author, lecturer and Human Rights advocate.
2021 Dec. 25th & 26th A Christmas Carol. Based on the story by English author, Charles Dickens.
2024 Feb. 11th& 12th Notre Dame de Paris. Based on the story by French author, Victor Hugo.



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