英語教育を担当している DRIUSSI Cordelia 助教から、10月28日(土)、29日(日)に三蔵祭のイベントの一つとして上演された多言語演劇についての報告が届きました。英語はもちろん、中国語や韓国語、ネパール語、ブルガリア語、ギリシャ語、ドイツ語の合計8ヶ国語による多言語演劇の上演までに至る道のりを、英語と日本語でお届けします。(投稿:学長室ブログメンバー 前田)


Last year, the Academy Award for Best International Film went to the Japanese film Drive My Car (2021), where a Japanese man directs a production of the Russian play Uncle Vanya in a theater company in Hiroshima. The play is a multi-language experience, because each actor performs their lines in their native language: Japanese, Korean, English, Mandarin, Tagalog, Indonesian, German, Malaysian, and even Korean Sign Language. The actors must learn a little bit of each language to understand each other and successfully perform the play. The audience follows the story with the help of subtitles which are projected above the stage, the same method often used for opera and kabuki performances.

Drive My Car (Japanese Trailer)
Drive My Car (English Trailer) The movie is in Japanese, so it is not actually an English Language trailer, just the words on the screen are in English. この映画は日本語によるものなので、実際のところ英語の予告編ではなく、スクリーンに映し出される文字が英語になっているだけです。


 This movie was so interesting to me, as an international person with an interest in theater and language learning. I thought it would be wonderful to try making a production like this at our university, with a collection of short plays that the audience has heard of before. We have a wide variety of students from many countries here on campus, and the University Education Center offers many foreign language classes, so we had the opportunity to try a multiple-language theater project for Sanzosai, our own university’s annual festival.

The first step was to choose the stories and write the scripts. We started with Momotaro, because the audience at Sanzosai would mostly be Japanese people, and the story can be familiar even with some actors speaking in foreign languages. Next, to celebrate the Chinese students and culture, the Disney version of the Legend of Fa Mulan was chosen. And finally, the theater classic Romeo and Juliet was summarized into a short script. Students worked together with the producer to write an English & Japanese script, and it was finished at the end of the first week of rehearsals.  

Next, we had to translate the script into different languages to help the actors learn it comfortably in their native language, and to rehearse across language barriers. The entire script was translated into Mandarin for the Chinese international students. Some actors translated their own lines into other languages, like Korean and Nepali. With the same script in many languages, everyone can feel comfortable practicing in any language they want. For example, maybe Romeo is speaking Japanese, but tomorrow, he reads his lines in English, and the day after that, he reads in Chinese.

We only had one month to rehearse and prepare for the Sanzosai Festival, so we rehearsed in the Global Lounge every day. However, university students are very busy, and we often needed people to read the lines for an actor who had to go to class. We had 10 “Rehearsal Actors” which included many of the students resting in the Global Lounge between classes, and the students and faculty of the GCC (global communication club). Thank you to the Rehearsal Actors because we could not do it without you!

We needed costumes and weapons for all three of the short plays, so we went to stores such as Daiso, 3Coins, and Second Street to buy cheap items. It is amazing how many toy weapons are available for such a low price! We also borrowed items from our friends and made other items by hand.

In the final week of rehearsal, we finished the subtitles and created a PowerPoint presentation out of stock photos and irasutoya images for the stage setting and backgrounds. An affordable way to make a theater production in a classroom! Faculty members from the University Education Center and the Faculty of Economics worked together to make a platform in the middle of the classroom for the extra projector we put the subtitles on.

There were 22 participating students, half foreign and half Japanese. 14 students performed and 8 students helped in the production side, including costumes, translations, organization, and slideshow operation. Eight languages were spoken in the production: Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Nepali, Bulgarian, Greek, and German.

In the end, we performed three times: a final dress rehearsal on Friday, October 27, and the two days of Sanzosai Festival, October 28 & 29. A total of 72 people attended the performances, including students and faculty members and visitors. We appreciate everyone who came to see the production, and we hope for your future support in our theater productions!


The cast and crew on Saturday, October 28.


 The cast and crew on Sunday, October 29.