Students at Center Stage in Weekend ‘Match’ Showcase

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By MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS, Rafu Arts & Entertainment Editor

Having come to Los Angeles to study and hone her acting craft, Yoko Kakegawa said the challenge of earning her way onto the stage is why she’s here.

Yoko Kakegawa and Kenzaki. (MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo)

Yoko Kakegawa and Ryo Kenzaki. (MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo)

“You need to have the drive to survive,” she said. “In Japan, it’s easy to get too complacent in the working environment.”

Kakegawa paid a visit to The Rafu’s offices on Tuesday with fellow actor Ryo Kenzaki, and the pair will perform one of the seven vignettes of “Match in the Gas Tank, Boom Boom,” an actors’ showcase taking the stage Friday through Sunday at the Ruby Theatre.

Kenzaki, a native of Kawasaki, said once he was able to keep up with the speed of the script readings in English, the preparations have gone smoothly.

“I’m just hoping the audience will take something away with them after they see our performance,” he said.

Kakegawa and Kenzaki have spent the last couple of months taking part in an actors’ workshop conducted by acclaimed writer/di­rector Ergo, who has led courses in Japan and will be at the helm for this weekend’s showcase.

The stories – in Japanese with English subtitles – also feature local talent, including Alpha Takahashi, Yuka Sano, Hitomi Morikawa and Hiro Matsunaga.

Showtimes are this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5. The Ruby The­atre is located at 6476 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood.

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