ICHIKAWA DANJ█Rď I

Stage names:

Ichikawa Danjűr˘ I In Japanese
Ichikawa Danjűr˘ In Japanese
Ichikawa Ebiz˘ I In Japanese

Pen name:

Mimasuya Hy˘go In Japanese

Guild: Naritaya

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Poetry name: Saigyű

Existence: 1660 ~ 19th day of the 2nd lunar month of 1704 [1]

Connection:

Sons: Ichikawa Ebiz˘ II (Danjűr˘ II), Ichikawa Sen'ya

Grandson: Ichikawa Ebiz˘ III (Danjűr˘ IV)

Great-grandson: Ichikawa Hakuen I (Danjűr˘ V)

Great-great-grandson: Ichikawa Momotar˘

Great-great-great-grandson: Ichikawa Ebiz˘ V (Danjűr˘ VII)

Great-great-great-great-grandson: Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VIII, Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX, Ichikawa Ebiz˘ VII, Ichikawa Ebiz˘ VIII, Ichikawa Komaz˘ VI, Ichikawa Saruz˘ I, Ichikawa K˘z˘

Disciples: Ichikawa Danz˘ I, Ichikawa S˘zabur˘ I, Mimasuya Sukejűr˘ I, Ichikawa Danshir˘ I, Ichikawa Kaoru I, Ichikawa Hikogor˘, Ichikawa Shikibu, Ichikawa Taijir˘, Ichikawa Jűgor˘, Ichikawa Kodanji I, Ichikawa Wakamatsu, Ichikawa Takenosuke, Ichikawa Ch˘jűr˘, Ichikawa Danjir˘ I, Ichikawa Dannoj˘ I

Career:

1660: born in Edo in the district of Izumi-ch˘. His father, named Horikoshi Jűz˘, was an otokodate. "His father was a samurai in the province of Kii, named Horikoshi. When the daimy˘ he served was defeated in battle, Danjűr˘'s father became a r˘nin and lived in retirement in the district. Afterwards he moved to a village in the province of Shim˘sa, where he became a farmer. He went to Edo in 1644, and called himself after the village he had left. He was a man of strong character, skilled in writing, an adept at figures. It was very natural, possessed of such accomplishments, that he should become popular among his neighbours in Edo, and he was chosen to represent the landlords of his locality. He was good at business and made a fortune for himself. There were in Edo in those rough-and-ready times men called otokodate, or chivalrous men of the people, who did not fear the blustering two-sworded samurai, who too often attempted to intimidate the peaceful citizens. Danjűr˘'s father associated himself with these brave spirits, who were always ready to defend the helpless and to protect the interests of the middle and lower classes." (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

1673: he appeared of stage for the first time, playing under the name of Ichikawa Ebiz˘ the role of Sakata Kintoki in the drama "Shitenn˘ Ochigodachi", which was staged at the Nakamuraza. This was the first time in Kabuki that an actor uses a kumadori make-up, made up of black and red lines. The aragoto style originated from this performance, which was a triumphant success.

5th lunar month of 1675: Ichikawa Ebiz˘ took the name of Ichikawa Danjűr˘, playing for the first time the role of Soga Gor˘ Tokimune in the drama "Kachidoki Homare no Soga", which was staged at the Yamamuraza; his stage partners in the roles of Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune and Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari were Nagashima Isoemon and Miyazaki Denkichi. This play was the first sogamono in Kabuki history. The ideogram for "Dan" was not yet the one that will be the official ideogram used by the Ichikawa Danjűr˘ line of actors:

First writing for Danjűr˘ Classic writing
段十郎 團十郎

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1st lunar month of 1676: Danjűr˘ played the role of Soga Gor˘ Tokimune in the drama "Soga Ry˘sha no Tamamono", which was staged at the Nakamuraza; his stage partners in the roles of Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune and Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari were Wakayama Jűjir˘ and Nakamura Shichisabur˘ I.

3rd lunar month of 1680: the very first sayaate scene in Kabuki history was staged at the Ichimuraza in the drama "Yűjoron" [2]; Danjűr˘ played the role of Fuwa Banzaemon [more details].

8th lunar month of 1682: Danjűr˘ achieved a great success at the Ichimuraza by playing the role of Got˘ Saemon in the drama "Oguri Chűk˘ Guruma", whose plot and characters belonged to the "Oguri Hangan" world; his stage partner in the role of Ike no Sh˘ji was Noda Kuranosuke.

3rd lunar month of 1683: Danjűr˘ wrote the script and played the role of Fuwa Banzaemon in the drama "Nyojaku Nigabyakud˘", which was staged at the Moritaza; his stage partners were Ichikawa Shinkur˘ (Nagoya Sanza), Takenaka Sh˘dayű (the courtesan Katsuragi) and Miyazaki Denkichi (Umezu Kamon).

3rd lunar month of 1684: Danjűr˘ played for the first time the role of the wicked priest Narukami in the drama "Kadomatsu Shitenn˘" ("Narukami"), which was staged at the Nakamuraza. He was the author of the play and his stage partner in the role of Princess Taema was the onnagata actor It˘ Kodayű II.

5th lunar month of 1684: Danjűr˘ wrote the script and played in the same theater the role of Fuwa Banzaemon in the drama "Fuwa Sokushin no Ikazuchi"; his stage partners were Katsuyama Hikoshir˘ (Nagoya Sanza) and Nakayama Kiyonosuke (the courtesan Katsuragi).

3rd lunar month of 1685: Danjűr˘ played the role of Konpei in the drama "Gyoran Kaich˘ Kompei D˘shin", which was staged at the Ichimuraza. He achieved a great success in duo with It˘ Kodayű II in the role of the daughter of the dragon king; his others stage partners were Murayama Heijűr˘, Saruwaka Sanzaemon, ďkuma Utaemon and Ichimura Wakadayű.

1686: Danjűr˘ played one more time the role of Fuwa Banzaemon at the Nakamuraza in the drama "Fuwa Sokushin no Ikazuchi". This was a huge success.

3rd lunar month of 1688: Danjűr˘ played the role of Soga Gor˘ Tokimune in the drama "Jidai Ky˘dai Soga", which was staged at the Yamamuraza; his stage partner in the role of Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari was Miyazaki Denkichi. The two actors moved the 21st day at the Nakamuraza to perform the same roles in the drama "Yakko Asahina ďiso Gayoi"; their stage partners in the roles of the courtesan ďiso no Tora (Jűr˘'s lover) and Asahina were Takenaka Sh˘dayű and Nakamura Denkur˘ I. This was the first Kabuki play with both the character of Asahina and a kamisuki scene between Jűr˘ and Tora.

3rd lunar month of 1689: Danjűr˘ played in the same theater the role of Fuwa Banzaemon in the drama "Nagoya Taizen".

2nd lunar month of 1690: Danjűr˘ played in the same theater the role of Araoka Genta Saemon in the drama "Daikichi Bushi Kagami". The tachimawari of this play was a great success.

7th lunar month of 1690: Danjűr˘ played in the same theater the role of Kinpira in the drama "Kinpira K˘ron".

11th lunar month of 1691: Danjűr˘ played at the Moritaza the leading eponymous role of the drama "Shuten D˘ji".

1st lunar month of 1692: Danjűr˘ performed in the same theater in the drama "Asahina Hyaku Monogatari".

11th lunar month of 1692: Danjűr˘ performed at the Moritaza in the drama "Nihon Daikyű Shinzei Hachir˘" but it was not a success. The play was replaced by one whose plot and characters belonged to the "Nagoya Sanza-Fuwa Banzaemon" world (fuwa-nagoyamono).

1st lunar month of 1693: Danjűr˘ performed in the same theater in the drama "Fuwa Banzaemon Shimabara Kitsune".

3rd lunar month of 1693: Danjűr˘ performed in the same theater in the drama "Chűj˘ Hime".

5th lunar month of 1693: Danjűr˘ moved to the Nakamuraza, changed the ideogram for "Dan" in his first name (==> check 1675) and played the role of Kazusanosuke in the drama "Shinsen Sessh˘seki"; his stage partners were Sodeoka Masanosuke II (Tamamo-no-Mae), Nakamura Denkur˘ I (a fox looking like Miuranosuke) and Tanishima Mondo (Miuranosuke).

Fall 1693: Danjűr˘ moved to Ky˘to.

11th lunar month of 1693: Danjűr˘ played the role of ďhara Jirozaemon in the drama "Hako Denju", which was produced by Murayama Heiemon III; his stage partners were Mizuki Tatsunosuke I, Yamatoya Jinbŕ II, Tomizawa Samanosuke, Otowa Katsunoj˘ and Uemura Takenoj˘.

1st lunar month of 1694: Danjűr˘ performed in the same theater in the drama "Genji Musha Homare no Seiriki", exhibiting the aragoto style for the Ky˘to audience. He also achieved a great success in duo with the onnagata It˘ Sh˘dayű in the dance drama "Meguriai Koi no Tanabata", playing the roles of Prince Hikoboshi and Princess Orihime, who could meet only once a year during the night of Tanabata.

3rd lunar month of 1694: Danjűr˘ played in the same theater the role of the wicked priest Narukami in the drama "Narukami Yűjoron"; the role of Princess Taema was played by Mizuki Tatsunosuke I.

9th lunar month of 1694: Danjűr˘ played in the same theater the role of the warrior Kumagai Jir˘ Naozane in the drama "Kumagai Nagori no Sakazuki"; his stage partners were Mizuki Tatsunosuke I (Tomoe-no-Mae), Yamatoya Jinbŕ II (Taira no Tadanori), Murayama Heiemon III (Iga Heinai Saemon), Sakata T˘kur˘ (Taira no Michimori), Iwai Hananoj˘ (Michimori's wife), Onoe Taganoj˘ I (Taira no Atsumori), Tomizawa Samanosuke (Kumagai's wife) and Uemura Takenoj˘ (Kumagai's son).

Fall 1694: Danjűr˘ went back to Edo.

11th lunar month of 1694: Danjűr˘ performed at the Yamamuraza in the drama "Kinpira Kaidan Yaburi"; his yearly salary was 500 ry˘.

1st lunar month of 1695: his rank in the Edo hy˘banki, katakiyaku section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent) [visual]. He performed in the same theater in the drama "Katsuragi K˘kiden", which was a big success.

3rd lunar month of 1695: Danjűr˘ performed in the same theater in the drama "Usuyuki Emon Zakura".

4th lunar month of 1695: Danjűr˘ performed in the same theater in the drama "Tsuwamono Kongen Soga".

7th lunar month of 1695: Danjűr˘ performed in the same theater in the drama "Isshin Niga Byakud˘".

10th lunar month of 1695: Danjűr˘ performed in the same theater in the drama "Izumo no ďyashiro".

11th lunar month of 1695: Danjűr˘ performed at the Yamamuraza in the drama "Kaomise Jűnidan"; his stage partner was the great Kamigata onnagata Ogino Sawanoj˘, who has left the Ichimuraza to join the Yamamuraza. This was the beginning of a great duo, the first goruden kombi in Kabuki history.

4th lunar month of 1696: Danjűr˘ and Ogino Sawanoj˘ achieved a great success in the same theater by playing the roles of the wicked priest Narukami and Princess Taema in the drama "Narukami Sh˘nin Sanses˘ Taema no Chűj˘ Hime" ("Narukami").

11th lunar month of 1696: Danjűr˘ played at the Nakamuraza in the drama "Neko no Koneko", commonly called "Onna Narukami"; his stage partners were Ogino Sawanoj˘ (who played the leading role of the nun Narukami), Nakamura Shichisabur˘ I, Nakajima Kanzaemon I, Nakamura Denkur˘ I, Sodeoka Masanosuke II and ďtani Hiroemon I.

1st lunar month of 1697: premiere of the bombastic "Shibaraku" scene (Kabuki Jűhachiban), at the Nakamuraza, performed within the new year drama "Daifukuch˘ Sankai Nagoya". Danjűr˘ played the superhero role and his stage partners were Ogino Sawanoj˘ and Yamanaka Heikur˘ I. This drama opened with the bombastic "Shibaraku" scene, had a sayaate scene ("Fuwa") in the middle and ended with a spectacular scene with the Chinese Deity Sh˘ki Daijin.

3rd lunar month of 1697: Sawanoj˘ and Danjűr˘ played in the same theater the roles of Tamakura and Yagor˘ in the drama "Kant˘ Koroku".

5th lunar month of 1697: Sawanoj˘ and Danjűr˘ played in the same theater the roles of Ninomiya and Soga Gor˘ Tokimune in the drama "Tsuwamono Kongen Soga". Danjűr˘'s son made his first appearance on stage, receiving the name of Ichikawa Kuz˘ I and portraying for the first time in Kabuki history the Deity Fud˘ [3]. Members of the audience responded to the presence of the God on stage with prayers and offerings!

6th lunar month of 1698: Sawanoj˘ and Danjűr˘ play in the same theater the roles of Asaka and Kamata Hy˘e in the drama "Ryűjo Sanjűnis˘"; the role of the villain Taira no Kiyomori was played by Yamanaka Heikur˘ I.

9th lunar month of 1698: Sawanoj˘ and Danjűr˘ play in the same theater the roles of Princess Taema and the wicked priest Narukami in the drama "Genpei Narukami Denki" (also called "Kumo no Taema Nagori no Tsuki"). This was Ogino Sawanoj˘'s last performance, who retired from the stages and opened an incent and perfume shop in Edo.

11th lunar month of 1698: Danjűr˘ played at the Nakamuraza the role of Sat˘ Tadanobu in the drama "Yoshino Shizuka Goban Tadanobu"; the role of the monk warrior Yokawa no Zenji Kakuhan was played by ďtani Hiroemon I.

1st lunar month of 1699: Danjűr˘'s rank in the Edo hy˘banki, tachiyaku section, was j˘-j˘ (superior - superior) [visual]. He played in the same theater the role of Hachimune Ikaranosuke in the drama "Onna Hida no Takumi".

3rd lunar month of 1699: Danjűr˘ played in the same theater the role of Ukishima Danj˘ in the drama "Kongen Shinoda Wag˘ no Tama".

5th lunar month of 1699: Danjűr˘ played in the same theater the roles of Fuwa Banzemon (wearing a shiraga wig) and the nyűd˘ Banrei in the drama "Katsuragi Sayo Arashi"; the roles of Nagoya Sanza and the courtesan Katsuragi were played by Murayama Shir˘ji and Kishida Kogenji. This performance was a huge success.

7th lunar month of 1699: Danjűr˘ wrote the script and played in the same theater the role of K˘ga no Sabur˘ in the drama "Isshin Gokai no Tama" [4].

9th lunar month of 1699: last performance at the Nakamuraza for Danjűr˘, who performed in a farewell sogamono.

11th lunar month of 1699: Danjűr˘ moved to the Moritaza and performed in the drama "T˘sei Okuni Kabuki", which celebrated the arrival of the Kamigata actor Uemura Kichisabur˘ and the end of the retirement of Ogino Sawanoj˘. The script was written by Danjűr˘ under his pen name of Mimasuya Hy˘go. The performance was a tremendous success.

1st lunar month of 1700: Danjűr˘'s rank in the Edo hy˘banki, tachiyaku section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent) [visual]. He wrote the script and played in the same theater the role of Kamakura Gongor˘ Kagemasa in the drama "Kagemasa Ikazuchi Mond˘".

3rd lunar month of 1700: Danjűr˘ wrote the script and played in the same theater the role of Kumedera Danj˘ Saemon in the drama "Wakoku Gosuiden".

5th lunar month of 1700: Danjűr˘ played in the same theater the role of Soga Gor˘ Tokimune in the drama "Dainihon Tekkai Sennin"; the roles of Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari and the courtesan ďiso no Tora (Jűr˘'s lover) were played by Miyazaki Denkichi and Ogino Sawanoj˘.

11th lunar month of 1700: Danjűr˘ moved to the Nakamuraza and played the role of Kinpira in the kaomise drama "Kinpira Rokuj˘ Gayoi". His son Ichikawa Kuz˘ I, playing the role of Kaid˘maru, delivered his first lines during this performance.

1st lunar month of 1701: Danjűr˘ played in the same theater the role of Yamagami Gennai Saemon [print] in the drama "Keisei ďsh˘kun" [5].

3rd lunar month of 1701: Danjűr˘ wrote the script and played in the same theater the role of Umezu Rokur˘ in the drama "Shusse Sumidagawa".

5th lunar month of 1701: Danjűr˘ wrote the script and performed in the same theater in the drama "Nihon Gion Sh˘ja".

7th lunar month of 1701: Danjűr˘ wrote the script and performed in the same theater in the drama "Imay˘ Shuten D˘ji".

11th lunar month of 1701: Danjűr˘ played at the Nakamuraza the role of Fuwa Banzaemon in the kaomise drama "Keisei Ikazuchi Mond˘".

1st lunar month of 1702: Danjűr˘ performed in the same theater in the new year drama "Kamadagaie no Daikoku Bashira".

2nd lunar month of 1702: Danjűr˘ wrote the script and played in the same theater the role of the monk warrior Musashib˘ Benkei in the drama "Hoshiawase Jűnidan", which was the first adaptation to Kabuki of the play "Ataka". This work will inspire Ichikawa Ebiz˘ V and the playwright Namiki Gohei III for the creation of the masterpiece dance-drama "Kanjinch˘" in 1840. The performance was a huge success and a long run (from the 2nd day of the 2nd lunar month to the 25th day of the 6th lunar month).

7th lunar month of 1702: Danjűr˘ and his son Ichikawa Kuz˘ I achieved a great success by playing in the same theater the roles of the 2 Benkei ("Ninin Benkei") in the drama "Shinpan Takadachi Benkeij˘".

10th lunar month of 1702: Danjűr˘ played in the same theater the role of Kumedera Danj˘ in the drama "Yűgao no Kannon H˘ben". There was another Kumedera Danj˘ in this play, which was played by Ichikawa Danshir˘ I.

11th lunar month of 1702: Danjűr˘ moved to the Moritaza (for a yearly salary of 700 ry˘) and played the role of Araoka Genta in the kaomise drama "Tenchijin Tsutsumamori". His son played for the first time the superhero role in a "Shibaraku" scene.

4th lunar month of 1703: Danjűr˘ wrote the script and played in the same theater the roles of ďtomo no Kuronushi and the Deity Fud˘ in the drama "Naritasan Bunshin Fud˘".

7th lunar month of 1703: Danjűr˘ wrote the script and played in the same theater the role of ďhara Got˘ Saemon in the drama "Oguri Jűnidan".

11th lunar month of 1703: Danjűr˘ moved to the Ichimuraza and played the role of Ishiyama Genta Saemon in the kaomise drama "Genji Rokujűj˘" (he wrote the script). The same play was staged in the 1st lunar month of 1704.

2nd lunar month of 1704: Danjűr˘ wrote the script and performed in the same theater in the drama "Watamashi Jűnidan".

19th day of the 2nd lunar month of 1704 [1]: Danjűr˘ was stabbed by the actor Ikushima Hanroku in his dressing room and died a violent death.

Comments:

Ichikawa Danjűr˘ I was the founder of the most famous line of Edo actors and the official creator of the aragoto acting style.

"The people had begun to grow tired of plays dealing with the effeminate and luxurious life of the gay quarters; they wearied of sentimentality, and welcomed performances that were more manly and possessed a militaristic appeal. Danjűr˘, the first, seized the opportunity to please the citizens of Edo, originated the exaggerated artificial style now inseparably linked with the Danjűr˘ line." (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

He was also a talented playwright who wrote around 50 scripts under the name of Mimasuya Hy˘go (sometimes cosigned with Nakamura Seizabur˘ or Nakamura Seigor˘). "He felt that playwriting and acting were like the two wheels of the same cart, but that actors who write are actors before they are dramatists. He was consistent in his belief that play were merely the means whereby a performance could be extracted from an actor. The ultimate aim of any play, he argued, is to please the audience" (Samuel Leiter, "New Kabuki Encyclopedia").

"Ichikawa Danjűr˘, of Edo, established the school of aragoto, or rough acting--made out of the cloth of exaggeration, the grotesque, picturesque, unnatural, unreal. He was followed by eight members of his family, who carried on his traditions. Many of the Ichikawa actors were men of genius, who not only handed on their theatre inheritance but added new features. No other actor line has had such a powerful influence upon Kabuki as the nine members of this family." (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

He created the first version of 2 of the most famous plays belonging to the Kabuki Jűhachiban collection: "Narukami" (1st lunar month of 1684) and "Shibaraku" (1st lunar month of 1697). He performed the first sayaate and kusazuribiki scenes in Kabuki history. He was the first actor to portray the deity Fud˘ My˘˘ (5th lunar month of 1697), whom he worshipped with deep devotion during all his career and who granted several of his wishes: birth of his son, a salary of 400 ry˘ (in fact it is said that his salary went up to 800 ry˘, an enormous amount of money at that time) or fame in Kamigata. His yag˘ Naritaya came from the Narita Fud˘son temple dedicated to the cult of the deity Fud˘ My˘˘.

"In an old book there is a description of his stage methods. He was asked to attend a social function in the mansion of a certain nobleman, and requested to give some aragoto piece. He took down the upper part of his kimono and performed as Kagekiyo--the hero of several dramas-and his actions were so spirited that he broke all the sh˘ji, or white paper screens. The guests were anxious to know what the host would think of the entertainer's destructive methods, but, contrary to their expectations, the daimy˘ was pleased and presented him with a costly gift. Danjűr˘ is said to have made the comment after his strenuous acting that if an actor was afraid in the presence of a daimy˘ he could not play aragoto." (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

Ichikawa Danjűr˘ I was the first Kabuki actor to write haiku and hold a haimy˘.

Ichikawa Danjűr˘ I, Nakamura Shichisabur˘ I and Nakamura Denkur˘ I were in Edo the leading triumvirat of Genroku stars.

Ichikawa Danjűr˘ I performed in Kamigata in 1693~1694 but he could not perform with the Ky˘to star Sakata T˘jűr˘ I. "An account is given in "Kabuki Koto Hajime", or Beginnings of Kabuki, of Danjűr˘'s meeting with T˘jűr˘. Danjűr˘ went to the theatre to see T˘jűr˘ act, but found that he was absent on account of illness. Danjűr˘ greatly regretted that he was unable to see T˘jűr˘ on the stage. But on the following day a messenger came from T˘jűr˘ inviting him to dinner at a restaurant. When Danjűr˘ reached the place, T˘jűr˘ failed to make an appearance, and after he had waited for a long time and was beginning to grow impatient he saw his host in ordinary dress arranging flowers in another room without as much as casting a glance in the direction of his guest, as unconcerned as though quite unaware of his presence. This made Danjűr˘ angry, and he was just on the point of retiring when a messenger from T˘jűr˘ apologised for the delay and said he would join him immediately. He had changed his clothing, wearing his very best, and received his guest in the most dignified manner. Danjűr˘ was so much impressed by his appearance that he said there was no necessity to see him act, and left for Edo the next day. The gossip of the time said that T˘jűr˘ planned to overawe his Edo rival, and had determined that no Edo actor should carry away laurels from Ky˘to during his lifetime, so that if this report be true the long-established rivalry between the theatres of Edo and those of ďsaka and Ky˘to had already begun at this time." (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

[1] The 19th day of the 2nd lunar month of the 17th year of the Genroku era was the 24th of March 1704 in the western calendar.

[2] It was considered as the first performance of "Fuwa", a drama belonging to the Kabuki Jűhachiban.

[3] It was considered as the first performance of "Fud˘", a drama belonging to the Kabuki Jűhachiban.

[4] It was considered as the first performance of "Uwanari", a drama belonging to the Kabuki Jűhachiban.

[5] The scene with the elephant in this drama was considered as the first performance of "Z˘hiki", a drama belonging to the Kabuki Jűhachiban.

Ichikawa Danjűr˘ playing the role of Soga "Takenuki" Gor˘ in the drama "Tsuwamono Gongen Soga", which was staged at the Nakamuraza in the 5th lunar month of 1697 (print made by Torii Kiyomasu I)

Prints & Illustrations

The Ichikawa Ebiz˘ line of actors

The Ichikawa Danjűr˘ line of actors

 
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