Okinawa Field Trip

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, playwright-director Natsu Onoda Power was conducting research for a new play on the islands of Okinawa. Her extended time there inspired Okinawa Field Trip, an interactive exploration of the prefecture and its role in imperial and postcolonial history. Located 400 miles from mainland Japan, the island chain was the site of an enormous Allied invasion during World War II that led to over 150,000 military casualties and up to 150,000 civilian deaths. Today, Okinawa is still the site of around 30 American military bases and 26,000 military personnel, a controversial issue that is a central theme of Onoda Power’s virtual theater experience. Hosted by Doug the Dugong, an endangered species related to a manatee living off the coast of the islands, Okinawa Field Trip explores the historical, environmental, and political issues of Okinawa Prefecture. Online participants will board a virtual “bus” that takes them from Georgetown through folk tales, beaches, food stands, and protests against a new U.S. military base. Okinawa Field Trip gives new context to the U.S.-Japan relationship and the effects of U.S. foreign policy on everyday life and the environment. Onoda Power’s work is featured as part of the Georgetown University Theater & Performance Studies Program’s “Seeds of Change: Reimagining the World” season. Onoda Power has also created an episodic video project called “Okinawa Demo Reel,” which also can be viewed online. Free. The performance begins at 7 p.m. on April 20–22, and at 7 p.m. on April 26–29. Registration is available at eventbrite.com. Free.

More from WCP