In this acclaimed play, Naomi Iizuka has created a carefully textured exploration of the meaning of truth-not just in the art world but in the human heart as well. Taking its title from the series of woodblock prints by nineteenth-century Japanese artist Hokusai (which, contrary to their label, consists of 46 images of Mount Fuji), 36 Views unfolds in a series of 36 scenes and moments. The story has several threads, but at its heart is fairly simple. An art dealer and an art historian discover what they think is an ancient manuscript-a priceless Japanese pillow book and try to learn whether it's authentic. Their search becomes an erotic game of greed, love, and mental hide-and-seek as the play explores the relationships between feelings and words, objects and photographs of objects, antiques and perfect copies, and a woman's heritage and her physical features.
When first performed-at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California the play was hailed by The San Francisco Chronicle as "thoughtful, humane, poetically phrased and staged with intricate, shimmering beauty it spun a multi-textured web that became completely engrossing As Iizuka weaves her magical blend of old-fashioned orientalism and modern realism, art-speak and academic jargon, pillow-book poetry and punk rhetoric, she probes the nature of truth and authenticity. Each facet of her 36 Views offers another perspective on the art and artifice of our lives."
"A sound, probing intelligence and a niftily conceived and well-paced plot make the narrative irresistible." –Bruce Weber, The New York Times
"Chock full of charm, intelligence, and compassion." –Village Voice
Naomi Iizuka is the author of Polaroid Stories (recipient of the 1998 PEN Center USA West Award for Drama). Her other plays include Language of Angels, War of the Worlds (in collaboration with Anne Bogart and The SITI Company), Skin, and Tattoo Girl. Her work has been produced at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Campo Santo + Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, Dallas Theatre Center, Soho Repo, the Edinburgh Festival, and BAM. Iizuka is the recipient of a Whiting Award, a Gerbode Foundation Fellowship, and NEA/TCG Artist-in-Residence grant, a McKnight Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation grant, Princeton University's Hodder Fellowship, and a Jerome Playwriting Fellowship. She is a member of New Dramatists.