Akira Takayama (born 1969) founded Port B in 2002. He develops projects together with this collective that break the existing theatrical framework and interact collaboratively with other media. His work aspires to a contemporary form of the so-called “architecture of the theatre” in which he extends the practice of the theatre and the audience into society and the urban space. Takayama’s audience-focussed works are an attempt to experience a theatre that transcends the physical theatre space to establish itself as a new platform with an altered function in society. In recent years he has developed works in diverse genres including tourism, urban planning, art, literature, fashion and mass media. In these, he uses theatrical ideas to open up new potential across a broad spectrum of media and disciplines.
Akira Takayama created his first theatrical works as a stage director – these included the Japanese premieres of several pieces by Elfriede Jelinek. The projects that he develops in collaboration with the collective PortB are usually devised in close collaboration with prestigious cultural institutions around the world, such as the recent large-scale participatory project ‘Our Songs’ for the Biennale of Sydney in 2018 and the ongoing research project ‘Heterotopia’ for the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens and the Sharjah Biennial in Beirut.
In 2014 Akira Takayama / Port B developed the project ‘EVACUATE FRANKFURT’ together with the Mousonturm, in which 30 S- and U-Bahn stations across the entire Rhine-Main region became starting points for individual evacuation tours of a range of social communities and theatrical ready-mades. www.evakuieren.de
In 2017 Takayama, once again working in close co-operation with the Mousonturm to develop and produce a work over a long period, was able to realise his vision of a ‘McDonald’s Radio University’: people who had come to Germany as refugees shortly beforehand acted as “professors”, presenting a comprehensive programme of lectures lasting several weeks based on their highly diverse educational backgrounds, working and life experiences. www.mru.global
Then in 2019 in the ‘WAGNER PROJECT – Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’ Takayama brought one of Richard Wagner’s most famous operas to the Mousonturm stage: ‘Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’. Based on the fictional narrative of Wagner’s opera and its historical references – a competition between singers during the time of the Reformation – Takayama founded a School of Hip-Hop.
Akira Takayama has been Associate Artist at the Mousonturm since 2014.