“Who right here has a father who has died?”
As show-of-hands questions for an viewers go, that one is fairly private. However when an actor requested it from the stage the opposite night throughout “The Nosebleed,” Aya Ogawa’s mild, forthright reckoning of a play, many fingers went up.
Different questions for the gang come later: “Who right here loves their father?”
And, not less than as related on this emotionally advanced, autobiographical present: “Who right here hates their father?”
At that, all 4 actors sharing the function of Aya — the playwright — increase their fingers, in character.
Directed by Ogawa at Japan Society, which presents it with the Chocolate Manufacturing unit Theater, “The Nosebleed” is a grown-up play about grief and regret, loathing and legacy. A belated processing of the lack of a guardian by a daughter who now has kids of her personal, it’s a touched-with-grace ritual of probing and purgation: concerning the components of inheritance that have to be handed down, the poison bits that have to be expelled and the lacking items it’s too late to say.
If that each one sounds grim and — what with the 4 Ayas — laborious to comply with, it isn’t. Impeccably structured and lucidly staged, this play has a disarming sense of welcome, and a down-to-earth ease acquainted from Ogawa’s many English translations of the Japanese playwright Toshiki Okada (“Zero Value Home”), who is understood for his colloquial immediacy.
“The Nosebleed” additionally has some wackily humorous, psychologically insightful scenes reenacted from the fact TV present “The Bachelorette.”
“Why haven’t you talked to your dad in two years?” the bachelorette asks her date.
“Is it my duty to succeed in out to him and guarantee that there’s a relationship there?” her date says. “I don’t know.”
In a information launch concerning the play, Ogawa says that it “chronicles what I imagine is among the greatest failures of my life, which is that when my father died virtually 15 years in the past, I didn’t do something to honor him or his life due to the character of our relationship.”
“The Nosebleed,” during which she performs each her father and her bloody-nosed 5-year-old son, goes a long way towards atoning for that with out sentimentalizing the previous. The daddy she exhibits us is a stolid, taciturn govt who immigrated from Japan to Northern California with younger Aya and her mom, and considers his monetary help of them proof sufficient of his love.
The hole between Aya and her father, then, is partly cultural. Having spent an excellent chunk of her childhood in the US, she matches into it extra comfortably than he did — even when entrenched idiots just like the character referred to as White Man (Peter Lettre) can hardly imagine that she doesn’t converse English with an accent.
With set and costumes by Jian Jung, and lighting by Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, “The Nosebleed” is a visually uncomplicated present: a vessel for holding ghosts and regrets, and for deciding what to do with what a guardian leaves behind.
With the 4 Ayas — Drae Campbell, Haruna Lee, Saori Tsukada and Kaili Y. Turner, terrific all — and a few viewers participation from volunteers, the efficiency turns into a transferring communal ceremony that accommodates each love and hate and locates the filial kindness for a loopily beneficiant send-off.
However what it mourns most deeply are the questions for a useless father that went unasked, and the understanding which may have been.
By means of Oct. 10 at Japan Society, Manhattan; 212-715-1258, japansociety.org. Working time: 1 hour quarter-hour.