Naoko Maeshiba


Naoko Maeshiba

Contact Information

Center for the Arts
Room 3027
By Appointment


MFA Drama and Theatre,
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Areas of Expertise

Acting, Directing


Naoko Maeshiba is a performer/director/choreographer. Her works range from directing scripted plays in theatre to creating original dance theatre pieces in collaboration with artists from wide range of disciplines. Maeshiba received her M.F.A. in drama and theatre with Directing/Asian Performance focus from the University of Hawai’I at Manoa. From 2000 to 2001, she continued her training at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, as a directing/artistic directing fellow under Molly Smith. While in DC, she served as the co-artistic director/resident director/choreographer for Tsunami Theatre Company for four years. During these early years of theatrical endeavor, she has become increasingly curious about the interrelation of body, sensation, language, and place.

In 2002, she founded a performance lab ‘KIBISM’ as a platform to explore the depth of the body and experiment with various forms of perception. Through KiIBISM, she has presented over thirty solo and ensemble pieces in collaboration with the artists from a diverse cultural and disciplinary background. Rooted in the minimalism of traditional Japanese Noh theatre and post-modern dance improvisation, her work strives to unveil the unconscious and the invisible realm of human experience through the interplay of kinetic, auditory, and sculptural elements. With the body as her central medium, she aspires to awaken the fuller potential of human perception and imagination by breaking boundaries on various levels and creating a visceral experience for her audience.

Maeshiba has been commissioned by Quest International Visutal Theatre (DC), Local Dance Commissioning Project (DC), and Dance Place (DC). Awards include: Individual Artist Fellowship Grant in directing from DC Commissions on Arts and Humanities, Baker Award (2016),  Ruby grant (2015),  and “B” grant (2011) from Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance as well as Individual artist grant in Solo dance/theatre performance and Choreography from Maryland State Arts Council. Her solo and ensemble works have been presented in the North America, Europe, and Japan:  Varna International Theatre Festival (Bulgaria), Dialog of Four Cultures Festival (Lodz, Poland), Theatre Jo (Tabor, Czech Republic), Dance Hakushu (Hakushu, Japan), John. F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts (DC), Tank (NY), Noh Space (SF), Dance Place (DC), and  Joyce Soho (NY).

In 2015, she launched a solo project ‘Subject/Object’ in order to rediscover her ‘subject’ self, the pre-imprinted state of being. As a part of this project, she recently conducted an artist residency at Kud Mreza, Slovenia in March 2016, unlocking the connection between voice, body, and emotions. Currently, she is redefining her relationship with body, mind, and spirit and cultivating a holistic approach towards performance creation rooted in art/life continuum. She a member of Theatre Nohgaku and Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and a guild-certified Feldenkrais practitioner.