Spring 1995: The Mikado


The Mikado was born, it is said, when a Japanese ceremonial sword fell off the wall of Gilbert's study while he was pacing around trying to come up with an idea for the next operetta. The sword made him think of a Japanese exhibition that he had recently opened in London and was all the rage, and by the next morning, he had formed a concept and outlined a plot for what was to become one of the most popular operettas of all time.

Our production was inspired by an exhibition as well. Last summer we viewed the Japanese prints at the Memorial Art Gallery. We liked their colorfulness, their flatness, the way the printer's stamps are built right into the picture, and we wanted to incorporate these elements into our set to create a picture-book fairy-tale Japan, the backdrop to a cartoon. Getting practical, we found a book of postcards of Japanese prints, tore out one we liked, and reproduced it on our stage.

Of course, The Mikado is not really about Japan at all, but about Victorian England. Gilbert places his satire in an exotic locale to make it easier to exaggerate. He made no attempt to recreate authentic Japanese culture, and neither do we.

Here then, is our show: a Japanese print come to life, a postcard from a Japan that never was.

Jean Ryon and Joe Washington

Directors: Jean Gordon Ryon, Joseph T. Washington
Music Director: Leanne DeVane
Producers: Amanda Lobaugh, Mary Carol Maloney, Bob Weeks


The Mikado of Japan
Jimmie B Lobaugh
Scot Zaffora-Reeder
Go-To (a Noble)
Bill Hammond
Jim Caffrey
Brian Smith
Sandy Foster
Kathy Perconti
Amelia Winger-Bearskin
Amanda Lobaugh
Pamela Good


Terry Benedict, Lynette Blake, Tracy Burdick, Fran Carlisi-Paxson, Barbara A. Dick, Nancy Galletto, Stephen Gullo, Mary Ann Hanlon, Sally Harmon, Isabele Henry, Jordu Kelly-Sutliff, Christopher Lehman, Jamie Loehr, Angela Maloney, Mary Carol Maloney, Michelle Meminger, Alexander Miltsch, Linda Minier, Patti Anne Montrois, Sam Nelson, David Schafer, Laurel Schneiderman, Jerry Scrivens, Pamela Walker, Bob Weeks, Dale Williams


House Managers
Ron Herman, Anne Virgil, Byron Wilmot
Bodie McCaffrey
Set Designers
Jim Caffrey, Joseph T. Washington
Costume Managers
Jerry Scrivens, Joseph T. Washington
Lighting Designer
Michele Denber
Molly Moore
Program Design
Joseph T. Washington

View The Mikado Photos on Flickr

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