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Spirited Away: Live on Stage | Gkids Acquires North American Distribution Rights To Filmed Performances




 The First-Ever Stage Production of Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award®-Winning Masterpiece

 Directed and Adapted by Tony Award®-Winner John Caird (Les Misérables)

NEW YORK (February 8, 2023) – GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, announced that it has acquired the North American audiovisual distribution rights for SPIRITED AWAY: Live On Stage, filmed during the hit production’s 2022 run at the historic Imperial Theatre in Tokyo, Japan. The stage play is based on Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award®-winning animated feature and is adapted and directed for the stage by Tony Award®-winner John Caird, Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, who gained international acclaim for adapting and directing the world premiere of the landmark production Les Misérables.

GKIDS will release two separate filmed performances of the production, starring Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi, double-cast as the lead heroine Chihiro. Character actor Mari Natsuki, who voiced the sorceress Yubaba and her twin sister Zeniba in the original motion picture, returns to her original role, accompanied by voice actor Romi Park. They are accompanied by a star-studded cast of Japan’s finest actors.

SPIRITED AWAY: Live On Stage was created in association with Studio Ghibli, and presented by Toho Co., Ltd. The deal was negotiated between GKIDS and Toho.

GKIDS will release the stage production theatrically in spring 2023.

“We are thrilled to offer this unique opportunity for Studio Ghibli fans in America to experience the stage production that wowed Japanese press and audiences last year,” said GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt. “This imaginative stage adaptation by the legendary John Caird, featuring two wonderful performances by lead actors Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi, helps bring to life one of the greatest films of all time in a dazzling new way.”

Original production of Spirited Away presented at Imperial Theatre in 2022
Based on Spirited Away directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Adapted and Directed by John Caird
Co-adapted by Maoko Imai
Original Score by Joe Hisaishi
Musical Supervision, Orchestrations and Arrangements by Brad Haak
Associate Music Supervision, Orchestrations and Ableton Programming by Conor Keelan
Set Designer Jon Bausor
Puppetry Design and Direction Toby Olié
Choreographer/Staging Shigehiro Ide
Lighting Designer Jiro Katsushiba
Sound Designer Koichi Yamamoto
Costume Designer Sachiko Nakahara
Hair and Make Up Designer Hiroaki Miyauchi
Projection Designer Satoshi Kuriyama
Music Director/Conductor Erika Fukasawa
Stage Manager Takashi Hojo
Supporting Director Maoko Imai
Assistant Directors Makoto Nagai/Ryusei Onuki
Producer Haruka Ogi
In association with Studio Ghibli
Presented by Toho Co., Ltd.


Chihiro: Kanna Hashimoto/Mone Kamishiraishi

Haku: Kotaro Daigo /Hiroki Miura

No Face: Koharu Sugawara/Tomohiko Tsujimoto

Lin/Chihiro’s Mother: Miyu Sakihi/Fu Hinami

Kamaji: Tomorowo Taguchi/Satoshi Hashimoto

Yubaba/Zeniba: Mari Natsuki/Romi Park

Aniyaku/Chihiro’s Father: Kenya Osumi

Chichiyaku: Sunao Yoshimura

Aogaeru: Obata no Oniisan

 Introduction and Synopsis

Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award®-winning animated feature film comes to life in this first-ever stage adaptation, full of dazzling sets, captivating musical numbers, and wondrous puppets of beloved characters. Adapted and directed by Tony Award®-winner John Caird (Les Misérables), two unique casts and performances were filmed during the show’s acclaimed 2022 run at Tokyo’s historic Imperial Theatre, featuring Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi as Chihiro.

While traveling to their new home, Chihiro and her family stumble into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the sorceress Yubaba. When her parents are turned into pigs and she is put to work in a magical bathhouse, Chihiro must use her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents, and return to the normal world.

About Toho Co., Ltd.

Toho Co., Ltd. is a leading production company of theatre and film in Japan, internationally recognized for the Godzilla series and for Akira Kurosawa’s masterpieces. Its theatrical department has presented numerous original and licensed musicals and plays in Japan, including Broadway and West End imports such as Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, Man of La Mancha, Fiddler on the Roof, La Cage Aux Folles, RENT, Jekyll & Hyde, Fun Home, Next to Normal, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Jersey Boys, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Ghost The Musical, Bullets Over Broadway, Waitress, The Producers, NEWSIES, Guys and Dolls among many others. In 2017, Toho presented a new production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It directed by Michael Mayer, music by Tom Kitt, choreography by Lorin Latarro. Recently, Toho has co-produced the Broadway musical Tootsie. Toho has also produced the Japanese versions of musicals from Central Europe, including Elisabeth, Mozart!, and Rebecca the Musical. Many original musicals and plays have been produced by Toho, including Marie Antoinette and Lady Bess with the creators of Elisabeth, book and lyrics by Michael Kunze and lyrics by Sylvester Levay, the musical adaptation of Roman Holiday, Crest of the Royal Family, music by Sylvester Levay, Your Lie in April, music by Frank Wildhorn, the original manga-based stage production of KINGDOM, and Knight’ Tale, music and lyrics by Paul Gordon, book and directed by John Caird. Other previous productions with John Caird include Les Misérables, Beggar’s Opera, Candide, Private Lives, Daddy Long Legs, and Twelfth Night. Toho’s musical productions have been licensed internationally: Marie Antoinette was presented in Germany, Korea and Hungary, and Lady Bess was presented in Switzerland. Coming productions include Moulin Rouge! The Musical, the original manga-based stage production of SPY x FAMILY, and more. For more information, please visit: (Japanese only)

Nobuhiro Hosoki
Nobuhiro Hosoki
Nobuhiro Hosoki grew up watching American films since he was a kid; he decided to go to the United States thanks to seeing the artistry of Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange.” After graduating from film school, he worked as an assistant director on TV Tokyo’s program called "Morning Satellite" at the New York branch office but he didn’t give up on his interest in cinema. He became a film reporter for via Yahoo Japan News. In that role, he writes news articles, picks out headliners for Yahoo News, as well as interviewing Hollywood film directors, actors, and producers working in the domestic circuit in the USA. He also does production interviews for Japanese distributors of American films and for in-theater on-sale programs. He is now the editor-in-chief of while continuing his work for Japan.


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