Aya has written numerous plays that have been presented in New York. She works collaboratively with actors and designers in generating material, exploring themes and ideas, and imagining the world of the play. She strives to portray the complexity of living in a modern, global society through intellectually and emotionally engaging plays, often weaving multiple narratives in various languages together.
The stories are often about isolation or displacement, with characters who must negotiate fractured identities and environments, break-downs of systems, and what emerges from the fallout.
A committed storyteller, Aya utilizes all the dimensions of the stage – an integration of text/narrative, physical movement, music/sound, lights/video, and spatial configuration. She is attracted to beautiful bold spectacle and complex layering of stage elements. But the visual and aural spectacle is always in service to story.
Often the director of her own plays, Aya has also directed projects for other companies and playwrights, including: Kristine Haruna Lee, Second Generation (2G), the Segal Center and Japan Society.
Known as one of the most prominent Japanese-to-English translators of contemporary Japanese drama, Aya has a long relationship with such artists as Toshiki Okada of chelfitsch, Hiroshi Koike of Pappa Tarahumara, Yoji Sakate of Rinkogun, among others. Her acclaimed translations have been produced in the US and London, and published by Samuel French and various university publications and journals.
Aya also creates subtitles for films and provides live interpretation for public events such as talkback sessions, artist interviews, classes, and workshops.