Toyoshi (Yoshi) Yoshihara (Japanese Translation) was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. After graduating from Waseda University (B.A.), he emigrated to Canada in 1970. Besides running a successful heavy equipment marketing business, he promoted theatre exchanges between Canada and Japan, has translated 30 Canadian plays into Japanese and four Japanese plays into English. He was conferred an honorable doctorate (D.Litt.) from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, in recognition of his successful efforts to introduce Canadian theatre to Japan. He also was honored with Yuasa Yoshiko Award, a highly-coveted theatre prize in Japan given annually to the best foreign play translator. In 2000 he established his own theatre company, Maple Leaf Theatre, in Tokyo that exclusively produces Canadian plays he has translated.
Danièle Lorain (French Translation) is both an actress and a translator. Among her translations are Comédie dans le noir (Black Comedy) by Peter Schaeffer, Deux pianos, quatre mains (2 Pianos 4 Hands), Les Nonnes II...la suite (Nunsense II) by Dan Goggin, Les Anges dans nos campagnes (Absurd Person Singular) by Alan Ayckbourn, Ténor demandé (Lend Me A Tenor) by Ken Ludwig, and Un week-end bien rempli (Don't Just Lie There, Say Something) by Michael Pertwee.
Mikko Koivusalo (Finnish Translation) Mikko Koivusalo (b. 1956) is a Finnish professional playwright and songwriter specialising in cabaret, musical and comedy.
He made his professional debut in 1994 with a detective mystery for children. Nojatuolisalapoliisi (The Armchair Detective) was an interactive adventure which allowed the young audience to give some invaluable advice to a not-so-bright private investigator. This led to a series of children’s plays and a couple of murder mysteries for adult audience.
After co-writing the TV comedy sketch series Puukoi (including the title tune and 27 songs), Mikko Koivusalo entered the world of revue and cabaret in 1997 with Kyl määki Turus for the Turku City Theatre. Since then he has written 13 hit cabarets performed in Turku, Helsinki, Tampere, Mikkeli and Seinäjoki. For each of these, he is the main writer lately sole as well as the composer and lyricist of all the songs. Together with first class musicians, these shows have featured leading Finnish stage performers such as Eija Ahvo, Sinikka Sokka, Susanna Haavisto and Puntti Valtonen.
Mikko Koivusalo’s first Finnish translation of a Broadway hit musical, Five Guys Named Moe, premiered in February 2001 at the Savoy Theatre in Helsinki, again with a very fine casting - Veeti Kallio, Jussi Lampi, Puntti Valtonen, Dick Holmström, Kari Ketonen, Toni Mäenpää under the direction of Tiina Brännare and musical direction by Timo Kärkkäinen. Since then Mikko Koivusalo has translated several musicals, e.g. Grease, The Full Monty and even Stephen Sondheim’s verbally acrobatic Into the Woods.
Before his artistic career, Mikko Koivusalo studied at Turku School of Economics. Although he soon realised this was not the world he belonged to, he did eventually graduate with a Master’s degree in marketing. Rather than business studies, however, he preferred the language classes in English, Swedish, French, German and Spanish.
During the 1980s Mikko Koivusalo worked as advertising copywriter, finally specialising in radio commercials in the 1990s. This work allowed him to polish up his skills in many different verbal and musical styles. In 1999 he quit the advertising scene to concentrate fully on his theatrical writing career.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Mikko Koivusalo also worked as a part-time musician in several local bands. And in 1989 Mikko Koivusalo’s lifelong interest in board games culminated in creating one of the all time best selling board games in Finland. After eleven years, his “Alias” still keeps selling consistently and is now considered a classic.