Yasu Ishida, who is completing a master of fine arts degree with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance (with a speciality in Theatre for Young Audiences), has been selected as the winner of the American Alliance for Theatre Education’s Doyle Fellowship.
This is one of the most prestigious awards given to graduate students in the field of theatre for young audiences. Ishida submitted an extensive portfolio of videos, photos, reviews and more in a vigorous selection process. He was chosen by an impartial panel of theatre for young audiences professionals from around the country as the top candidate.
Ishida will receive the award at the American Alliance for Theatre and Education Awards Event in Denver, Colorado on Thursday, July 31, 2014.
Inspired by the movie Patch Adams, Ishida moved to the U.S. from Ube, Japan to become a professional hospital clown. After graduating from the Chavez Studio of Magic—one of the most prestigious magic schools in the world—and working with a famed company of magicians in Hollywood, he moved to Hawaiʻi to gain training in traditional Asian theatre forms. His focus in graduate school has been adapting these forms for young American audiences. Ishida seeks to imbue the essence of traditional Japanese culture into his magic and storytelling.
Ishida has enthralled audiences all over the United States, including performances at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.—the world’s largest festival of Japanese culture outside of Japan. Ishida is the founding artistic director of Bento Rakugo, a story telling troupe which was featured throughout the Hawaiʻi during National Library Week 2013.