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Japanese Title: Kegawa no Marii
English Title: La Marie Vison
Author: TERAYAMA, Shuji
Author's Profile: 1935-83. Born and raised in Aomori prefecture. Poet, playwright, scenarist, and cult figure, he attended Waseda University, where he wrote radio drama and verse drama. In 1959 he formed a verse drama group, The Birds, and wrote "Blood Sleeps Standing Up" on commission for the Four Seasons musical company.
He received the Kubota Mantaro Prize for the radio epic "The Dog God's Woman." He launched the Tenjo Sajiki Theatre Laboratory (1967-83) with YOKOO Tadanori, HIGASHI Yutaka, KUJO Hideko and others; and produced in quick succession "The Hunchback of Aomori" (1967), "The Crime of Debuko Oyama" (1967), and "La Marie Vison" (1968). He also opened an underground Tenjo Sajiki Theatre. Active internationally, he took his troupe to perform at numerous overseas art festivals, including the Frankfurt Experimenta 3 Festival. "The Dog God" was performed there in 1969.
Testing the boundaries of theatre, Terayama produced a thirty-hour street theatre piece called "Knock." His major plays during the 1970s and 1980s include "Directions to Servants" (1978), "Lemmings" (1979), and "A Hundred Years of Solitude" (1981). His major films include "Get Rid of Books and Hit the Town" (1971) and "A Pastoral Death" (1974). Besides stage plays, he wrote novels, poetry, and criticism as well as scripts for radio and TV. He received numerous awards both in and outside Japan.
First Performance:   1967
Performance time:  
Acts / Scenes: 5 scenes
Cast: 15 (7 men, 8 women)


A tale of excessive parental love and hate for a child.



A transvestite, La Marie Vison, lives with his 18 year old son, Kin'ya, and a male servant. Kin'ya stays at home everyday, chasing butterflies released by Marie in the living room. Believing that, allowed to live long, the butterflies would become soiled, the boy catches, kills, and mounts them in his specimen box. However, Kin'ya himself is like a specimen kept in a cage by Marie. Being made to wear shorts at the age of 18 is tantamount to being ordered to stay a child due to the excessive parental love. Furthermore, Kin'ya can only call Marie, Marie, but Marie demands that he call her "Mother." One day, a woman appears before Kin'ya and invites him to be an "adult" and go out into the world. Just as he is about to go outside, Marie returns with a customer. Kin'ya overhears the secret of his birth. Long ago when Marie was not yet a male prostitute, he was troubled by the fact that he was not a "woman." At that time, there was a woman who acknowledged his femininity and offered her help. However, even she became jealous of his increasing beauty and betrayed him. Marie was made to face the fact of his maleness. Wanting to make her feel as much humiliation as he had, Marie hired a fellow to rape her and the child born from that act was Kin'ya. As Kin'ya's mother died in labor, Marie takes care of the boy and brings him up in his own way. Learning the truth, Kin'ya is hurt and comes home. He becomes spellbound to Marie and transforms into the kind of woman Marie dreams of.
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