Akiko and The Unknown Preview
Jan 27, 2023
Niles West’s theatre department’s next production is Akiko and The Unknown by Japanese-American playwright, Devon Hayakawa, which will open on Thursday, Feb. 23, and will continue running until Sunday, Feb. 26. The story follows young Akiko and a thunderstorm that sends her and her siblings into an unknown realm in the sky. Akiko must face the fear of the Unknown to get them home safe and sound.
Show director, Carl Alexander, is excited to be a part of such a different and unique show. Hayakawa wrote the play specifically for Niles West, whereas other shows have been interpretations of existing productions.
“In theatre, we are often preparing shows that have been done before, and we have something to reference for inspiration and guidance. This time around we are the blueprint. Akiko & The Unknown has never been performed before. We are making choices and creating a brand new story to share that we hope audiences will love and cherish and can see themselves in the characters,” Alexander said.
There’s much to learn and gain from Akiko and The Unknown.
“I hope that both the cast and audience become more emboldened to the play. Even more so for our seniors, when watching this piece, I hope they are reminded that there is little to fear in the face of the unknown. There is only hope, persistence, and the blossoming of intrigue,” Alexander said.
The actors are thrilled to be in the show. Junior Vy Nguyen is playing Eighty-three, the captain of a division serving the Kingdom of Soran, who is trying to defeat the darkness in the play. Nguyen has gone ahead and started preparing for her role outside the stage.
“Carl Alexander told me to try watching Samurai Jack, Major Payne and Code Geass as a reference for my character. Although as Eighty-three, someone who is serious with an overwhelming atmosphere, we want her to also have some comedic qualities,” Nguyen said.
The crew is also thrilled to be a part of Akiko and The Unknown. The department was gifted with many more freedoms with this show in comparison to previous works.
“This show was written specifically for Niles West, and it’s the first time that has ever happened. So unlike all the shows we have done that had a solid story and characters, with this show, it was more fluid and we were able to modify some parts and switch up some characters and I’m really happy to be a part of that process because I think it’s super cool,” senior Meghan Eslick said.
Don’t forget to purchase your tickets!