Forum on Educational Theatre Preview #7

Preparations for the Forum on Educational Theatre April 21-24, 2016 are well underway. To register, click here.

As we gear up for the event, we will post descriptions of some of the presentations–one of which appears below:

Workshop: Challenging a Japanese Model of Friendship through Drama: Would You Be Able to Sacrifice Yourself for Your Friend?

The Japan Foundation London has developed the ‘JFL Japanese Scheme of Work for Primary Schools’ since Modern Foreign Language in the National Curriculum in England became compulsory at Key Stage 2 in September 2014. It is based on the ‘Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages’ (Department for Education and Skills, 2005) and the ‘JF Standard for Japanese-Language Education 2010’ (Japan Foundation, 2010), both of which originates in Council of Europe’s language education policies.

I developed one of units for Year 4 students in the scheme with a Japanese language advisor in the Japan Foundation London. In the unit, we introduced Hirosuke Hamada’s children’s story, ‘Naita Akaoni’ (Red Demon Cried), and taught some of Japanese words, manners and cultures through the dramatization of parts of the story. Above all, we focused on exploring one of the important themes in the story: we unpacked a Japanese model of friendship associated with self-sacrifice and in doing so attempted to develop the ability to decenter and critical cultural awareness, which, according to Council of Europe’s language education policies, essential to intercultural understanding.

In my workshop, I am going to introduce a shorter version of this unit. We will dramatize parts of the story and discuss about this Japanese model of friendship associated with self-sacrifice through this process. At the same time, we look at how we can adopt conventions of Japanese traditional theatre within the framework of the English model of drama education.

Norifumi Hida, MFA (East 15, Essex), PhD (Warwick). teaches class struggle, gender, ethnicity and multiculturalism in theatre at Toho Gakuen College of Drama and Music and English language and stories through theatre and drama at Seisen University in Tokyo. As a teaching artist and director of theatre for young audiences, he developed in his most recent production, Hospital Theatre Project 2015, a site-specific multi-sensory theatrical performance for children with disabilities. He was formerly a Research Associate to the MA in Theatre for Young Audiences at Rose Bruford College in London. He is a founding and board member of the Next Generation, ASSITEJ.