Aya Ogawa is a Brooklyn-based writer, director, translator and performer.
As a playwright and director, her play Serendipity was the winner of the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival and finalist at Humana Festival. Eating Dirt was produced at SoHo Rep, and she directed it for Theaters Against War at HERE. She directed her play A Girl of 16 in its world premiere, hailed by The New York Times for Aya’s “stunning visual sense.” She wrote and directed oph3lia (nominated for Outstanding Ensemble, New York Innovative Theater Awards) which the New York Times called “Compelling… Harrowing… Great theatre” and Backstage described as “riveting.” Her Artifact was presented as a work-in-progress at the PRELUDE ’07 Festival as well as in the PERFORMANCE MIX Festival. She is currently developing a new piece with the Foundry Theatre and Adhikaar, a human rights organization dedicated to serving the Nepali community in the U.S. She has been commissioned to translate numerous Japanese plays into English, including works by Pappa TARAHUMARA’s Hiroshi Koike; Chong Wishin, Kunio Shimizu,Yoji Sakate, Kobo Abe, Takeshi Kawamura, Keralino Sandorovich and works by the Tokyo-based performance company YUBIWA Hotel. She has translated Five Days in March, Air Conditioner, Enjoy, Free Time and We Are the Undamaged Others by Toshiki Okada. Time Out New York called her translation of Enjoy “effortless, idiomatic translation (surely the process of rabbinical focus)” in its English language premiere production by The Play Company; and her translation of Five Days in March was hailed as “a miracle of transposed idiom” by the Village Voice in the production by Witness Relocation. Aya has performed nationally and internationally. She originated and performed numerous roles with the International WOW Company including JR Oppenheimer in The Bomb and the title role in Alice’s Evidence; and Time Out NY hailed her performance as Chomsky in The Loneliness of Noam Chomsky by the Butane Group. International credits include her role in the world premiere of the award-winning Emperor and Kiss with Rinko-Gun Company, Tokyo; she was selected as part of the artist team representing the U.S. at the International Theater Institute’s 2006 Congress in Manila, for which she co-created and performed in The Borges Project; and the European premiere of Young Jean Lee’s Songs of the Dragon Flying to Heaven at the Vienna Festival. She also worked as a generative artist and performer in Ifdentity, a collaborative project produced by the International Theater Institute for its 2008 Congress in Madrid. In 2005, with her collaborators, she has formed a performance company called knife, inc. whose mission is to create works that explore the multiplicity of experience of living in an international context. The work is designed to investigate the moments of crisis, the collision of the past and the future. The company seeks a modern, international language of art. The company’s work is a home for this search. (www.knifeinc.org) She was the recipient of an Artistic Fellowship at New York Theater Workshop (where she is now a Usual Suspect), Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists, and HERE Artist Residency. She is also a recipient of the Space Grant at Brooklyn Arts Exchange and two Swing Space grants at the LMCC (Lower Manhattan Cultural Council). She is a 2006 recipient of the Urban Artist Initiative Grant for Individual Artists administered by the Asian American Artist Alliance, a 2008 grantee of the NYSCA Individual Artist Theater Commissioning Grant and Axe-Houghton Foundation.