Theatre education at the university level in Japan can be classified into three categories: practical training, studies of theatre theory and history, and the course which combines the first two. The second category of teaching theatre is also included in the general education category at the undergraduate level. Moreover, there are classes and seminars of drama analysis in the curriculums of foreign language departments. But since we have no state university of theatre arts in Japan there are many problems to be solved.
The present paper will examine the current situation of theatre education in Japan, and suggest that theatre education should belong to Humanities, even if it includes technical training. In other words, theatre education should be qualified as a learning which is useful for being good citizens. Today's prevailing tendency of theatre education is that it is divided into two categories: teaching drama and teaching by means of drama. The former is for training specialists of theatre, and the latter for general education. But I am against this idea, and would argue that teaching drama is essential also for general education of humanities.
Earnest Boyer's newly defined concept of “scholarship” had a great impact on higher education in the US. His idea of “scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)”, further developed by his followers mainly at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, is highly suggestive and very useful for research in theatre education as well. In fact, employing Boyer's ideas, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) started developing SoTL for the discipline of theatre studies and succeeded in lifting up the academic level of the discipline itself.
The present paper is a result of the theatre education project in the Japanese Society for Theatre Research. The project was completed last year. In the paper possibilities and necessities of researching theatre education in Japanese colleges and universities are discussed with reference to the cases in the US. The paper also pays attention to Boyer/SoTL concepts and Lave and Wenger's idea of “community of practice” as well.
Not many teachers in Japan are actively involved in ‘Drama in Education.’ In order to disseminate this educational method, it is necessary to introduce what I call ‘drama work’ to the curriculum of teacher-training courses for university students as well as of in-service training program for professional teachers. I have been experimenting ‘drama work’ in my classes at Nihon University, and also as a project called Akari-za, which is carried out by a group of professional teachers. These experimental programs have been quite successful.
Teachers must learn about Drama Work, but while learning about it, they must simultaneously apply it to their teaching methods in the class. For teachers who are not yet fully trained in Drama Work, some selected dramatic conventions could be useful.
The Drama Department at Nihon University has been teaching both theatre theory and practical training since the early stage of its establishment. However, the curriculum is now divided into too many sections of theatrical arts, so that the purpose of our teaching has become rather vague.
Every drama department at the university level should be based on a fundamental education. For we are training not only those students who will pursue professional careers in the theatre world, but also those who will live as good citizens in many different fields, other than the theatre world. Therefore our department has been trying to enrich the general education in the first year curriculum. The present paper will examine how the acting course and drama study course should be incorporated into the curriculum of the general education.
Japanese folkloric dance course has lately become popular at universities as a means to inform students about Japanese culture. However, it is no easy work to teach this course at the university level. The dance training system in a traditional community is in most cases handed down from generation to generation. It is quite different from the usual school teaching method. In a traditional community, the novice learns how to dance, watching the expert dancer dancing. It is seldom explained in words. But the school teacher almost always talk to explain.
Many folk dances which are taught at schools are no genuine folk dance. They are reconstructed, that is, choreographed. They are created, for example, by theatrical companies such as Warabi-za. The present paper examines, after tracing the history of what is referred to as Minbu-Kyoiku (The teaching of Japanese folk dances at schools), why teachers do not readily select genuine folk dances as appropriate teaching material for their students, and also points out what is lost by adopting theatricaly reconstructed dances.
The present paper investigates how the course of theatre-making with ethnomethodology and conversation analysis could be incorporated into the undergraduate curriculum of educational studies, in order to make students acquire the clinical point of view. The clinical point of view is to see things not from one's own point of view but from, rather, “the actor's point of view.”
It seems that the improvised theatre-making with what I cal ethnomethodology and conversation analysis helps students to direct their attention to their own “seen but unnoticed” behaviors. Thus, they will come to understand how to gain the clinical point of view to see other people as well.
The paper will describe my experiences of teaching this method as a part of the educational studies curriculum.
In order to read a drama as performance matrix, not just as a work of literature, we need to consider the interrelation between performance and drama. To make students really understand a drama, teachers should refer to the background history and situation of a drama as well as theatrical characteristics of it. In this respect theatre studies should necessarily be a sort of interdisciplinary studies.
The present paper examines the production of Prunella as Harley Granville Barker's first step toward his later period of stylization.
At the end of the 19th century, the experimental theatre movement of anti-realism emerged in Europe, but it was right before the First World War that the similar movement, that is, Granville Barker's Shakespeare productions at Savoy Theatre, was seen in England. Granville Barker's productions not only made a turning point of the production history of Shakespeare, but also showed an alternative way of theatre production to the thriving realism of English theatre. The production of Prunella, therefore, could be seen as Graville Barker's unnoticed attempt toward the later stylized productions of Shakespeare.
Rensageki was one of the most popular and unique styles of performance in the Taisho period (1912-1926). Literally, it means “chained drama” because the story was told by two different media: the live performance and the film. One of the pioneers of this short-lived synergetic entertainment was YAMAZAKI Chonosuke (1877-1924), a Shimpa actor who won high popularity especially in the Kansai area. Although the details of his performances have been lost in time, we can trace his theatre posters and illustrated programs (banzuke), which have been preserved in Ikeda Bunko, to the order of contents and images of his stage. This paper tries to recognize how and where the projected scenes of film were inserted in the course of stories. Chonosuke's repertories were mainly based on melodramatic novels. Detailed survey of his banzuke and original stories proves that each of the scenes presented on screen not only served as an added visual explanation of the plot but also gave the audience a sensational attraction.
SHIMIZU Kunio's plays, which were staged in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, have been discussed always with special reference to their political contexts. The present paper, however, takes a thematic approach to the plays, leaving off the political background of them. Imageries of town, river and sea will be taken up and examined as dominant themes of those plays, which, we argue, represent, and at the same time protest against, the contemporary controlled society.