February 8, 2023

GKIDS Acquires North American Distribution Rights to Filmed Performances of Spirited Away: Live on Stage

Image of Chihiro (Mone Kamishiraish) and Oshirasama

The First-Ever Stage Production of Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award®-Winning Masterpiece 

Directed and Adapted by Tony Award®-Winner John Caird (Les Misérables)

GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, announced that it has acquired the North American audiovisual distribution rights for SPIRITED AWAY: Live On Stage, filmed during the hit production’s 2022 run at the historic Imperial Theatre in Tokyo, Japan. The stage play is based on Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award®-winning animated feature and is adapted and directed for the stage by Tony Award®-winner John Caird, Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, who gained international acclaim for adapting and directing the world premiere of the landmark production Les Misérables. 

GKIDS will release two separate filmed performances of the production, starring Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi, double-cast as the lead heroine Chihiro. Character actor Mari Natsuki, who voiced the sorceress Yubaba and her twin sister Zeniba in the original motion picture, returns to her original role, accompanied by voice actor Romi Park. They are accompanied by a star-studded cast of Japan’s finest actors. 

SPIRITED AWAY: Live On Stage was created in association with Studio Ghibli, and presented by Toho Co., Ltd. The deal was negotiated between GKIDS and Toho.

GKIDS will release the stage production theatrically in spring 2023.

“We are thrilled to offer this unique opportunity for Studio Ghibli fans in America to experience the stage production that wowed Japanese press and audiences last year,” said GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt. “This imaginative stage adaptation by the legendary John Caird, featuring two wonderful performances by lead actors Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi, helps bring to life one of the greatest films of all time in a dazzling new way.”


Image of Chihiro (Mone Kamishiraish) and Kaonashi (Tomohiro Tsujimoto)

Image of Haku (Hiroki Miura)

Image of Chihiro (Kanna Hashimoto)

 Original production of Spirited Away presented at Imperial Theatre in 2022

Based on Spirited Away directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Adapted and Directed by John Caird

Co-adapted by Maoko Imai

Original Score by Joe Hisaishi

Musical Supervision, Orchestrations and Arrangements by Brad Haak

Associate Music Supervision, Orchestrations and Ableton Programming by Conor Keelan

Set Designer Jon Bausor

Puppetry Design and Direction Toby Olié

Choreographer/Staging Shigehiro Ide

Lighting Designer Jiro Katsushiba

Sound Designer Koichi Yamamoto

Costume Designer Sachiko Nakahara

Hair and Make Up Designer Hiroaki Miyauchi

Projection Designer Satoshi Kuriyama

Music Director/Conductor Erika Fukasawa

Stage Manager Takashi Hojo

Assistant to the Director Maoko Imai

Assistant Directors Makoto Nagai/Ryusei Onuki

Producer Haruka Ogi

In association with Studio Ghibli

Presented by Toho Co., Ltd.



Chihiro: Kanna Hashimoto/Mone Kamishiraishi

Haku: Kotaro Daigo /Hiroki Miura

No Face: Koharu Sugawara/Tomohiko Tsujimoto

Lin/Chihiro’s Mother: Miyu Sakihi/Fu Hinami

Kamaji: Tomorowo Taguchi/Satoshi Hashimoto

Yubaba/Zeniba: Mari Natsuki/Romi Park

Aniyaku/Chihiro’s Father: Kenya Osumi

Chichiyaku: Sunao Yoshimura

Aogaeru: Obata no Oniisan


Introduction and Synopsis

Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award®-winning animated feature film comes to life in this first-ever stage adaptation, full of dazzling sets, captivating musical numbers, and wondrous puppets of beloved characters. Adapted and directed by Tony Award®-winner John Caird (Les Misérables), two unique casts and performances were filmed during the show’s acclaimed 2022 run at Tokyo’s historic Imperial Theatre, featuring Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi as Chihiro.

While traveling to their new home, Chihiro and her family stumble into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the sorceress Yubaba. When her parents are turned into pigs and she is put to work in a magical bathhouse, Chihiro must use her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents, and return to the normal world.

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