By Coleman A Jennings.
Cast: a minimum of 11. This dramatic staging of the haunting Japanese classic has been hailed by distinguished theatre educators. A young fisherman rescues a venerable turtle from its tormentors. As a reward, he is taken to an undersea wonderland where he wins the favor of the princess and saves her kingdom from destruction by the wicked scorpion. The fisherman becomes a prince; years pass unnoticed; his village wife and children are driven from his mind. But still the homesick prince longs for the changing seasons of his village and begs the princess to let him go back. The fisherman/prince thinks that he's only been gone for a few days, but on his return to land, he makes the shattering discovery that many, many years have passed. The turtle calls to him that he can still return to the underwater world and to eternal youth but now he must make his choice, a choice brilliantly summed up by Lowell Swortzell, professor of educational theatre, New York University...
"The question of the play—to stay young forever or to grow old as nature dictates—gives the child a great deal to think about, but unlike Peter Pan and Rip Van Winkle which also address this problem, Urashima Taro gives an answer that is devoid of regret and neurosis, an answer that is an affirmation of human life." Bare stage w/props. Approximate Running Time: 55 minutes.