Comfort is the love story of two youths in the 1930s, who find love and friendship in their shared passion for opera, which become precious in their survival through World War II. The lovers become separated when Dan Feng is captured and imprisoned in a comfort house in Shanghai.
Over 200,000 girls and women from across Asia were forced into systemic military sexual slavery by the Japanese Army for the duration o f the war, and were referred to as comfort women. Comfort explores the meaning behind “comfort” in wartime and celebrates the resilience of women in the midst of unimaginable circumstances. The play explores the meaning of comfort in war and how one survives the horrors of violence and human degradation, shining light on the resilience of the human spirit. The theatre of the living honors the lives of the dead and those suffering and creates a space for us to heal through the power of art and to find ways to be the change.
The Rape of Nanjing and many atrocities of WWII history in Asia have not been allowed catharsis. There has been no official apology or compensation for the victims, and the Japanese government continues to deny their responsibility for this crime against humanity. Few comfort women have survived and even less have had the courage to share their story and begin the healing process. Comfort honours their voices and proves the power of art to heal and find change.
Note: The surname proceeds the given name in the Chinese language.
LI DAN FENG (name means Red Phoenix) (Japanese name: MITSUKO)
ZHOU PING YANG (name means Peaceful Ocean)
MOTHER – MR. LI
FATHER – MRS. LI
OLD WIDOW – MRS. WANG
SERVANT GIRL – AIHUA
CORMORANT & MOON (played by the same actor)
CHINESE OPERA SINGER
NABI KIM, (Japanese name: NOBUKO), a Korean comfort woman
ZHANG MEI LING (Japanese name: HITOMI), a Chinese comfort woman
Toronto, Aki Studio at Native Earth Performing Arts, 2016
Available through the Canadian Play Outlet.
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Staged violence, sexual abuse, infanticide, attempted suicide.