“Kanagawa Performing Arts Award 2024 Final” held


"Kanagawa Performing Arts Award 2024 Final", which brings together not only theater but also performing arts works with physicality, will be held on March 16th (Saturday) and 17th (Sunday), 2020 at the KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theater Large Studio. The grand prize will be decided from among the works performed. Also participating in the award are the top two groups that won performance rights at the ``22nd Century Flying Frame Selection Competition'' held in January of this year among high school students in the prefecture. This time, we asked the "Kanagawa Prefectural Atsugi High School Drama Club" and the "Hibiki Gakuen High School Yokohama School Drama Club" about their enthusiasm.

Kanagawa Prefectural Atsugi High School Drama Club (22nd Century Flight Frame/Performed on March 16th)
We spoke to five members: Haruka Matsumura, Kiyomi Sato, Ena Jinguji, Keio Tosa, and advisor Koji Sugihara.

-Please tell us your motivation for applying to the competition.

Matsumura : Last year, I had the experience of participating in the predecessor competition, the Kanagawa Short Drama Awards, and I remember being overwhelmed by the expressions of new plays that brought out the physical expressions of other groups. As I was thinking of participating again this year, I learned that the name of the competition would be changed to the "Kanagawa Performing Arts Awards." When I heard that the competition would place more emphasis on physical expression, I felt strongly that I wanted to take on the challenge again, which led me to apply.

Members of the Kanagawa Prefectural Atsugi High School Drama Club (Image provided by: Kanagawa Prefectural Atsugi High School Drama Club)

-You have participated in previous tournaments as well. Please tell us how you feel about being selected as one of the top two groups this time.

Matsumura : When I heard the results, I thought that the audience and judges could see that we really enjoyed performing. Shortly after the performance, I could feel the excitement in the audience, and I felt that people were enjoying our play, so I was able to perform lively.

I took on the challenge right after Aki Sato finished another tournament. Although we didn't get the results we were aiming for in that competition, we took advantage of our frustration and said, ``If we're going to do it, we won't do it half-heartedly, we'll give it our all to a high degree of perfection.'' Despite the short preparation period and tight schedule, all members of the club worked together. I practiced a lot. As a result, I was really happy to be selected as one of the top two groups.

JinguujiI participated in this project with a script that Tosa- san and I wrote together. I had not yet experienced having my own screenplay adapted for the stage, so I was a little nervous. I watched the performances of other groups during the actual performance and thought that they were so wonderful that it could have been anyone chosen, but when my name was called, I was both happy and surprised.

Tosa: The script was written by myself and Jinguji, but I was worried about whether it would be okay. During the performance, I was in charge of the lighting, and from backstage I could clearly see the audience's reaction, and I felt a sense of relief from the cheers and laughter, and felt relieved that they had accepted our play. When the top two groups were announced, I was more surprised than happy. At first, I didn't really feel that I had been selected, but after that, something slowly started to come to me.

22nd Century Flight Frame Selection Competition Award Ceremony (Image provided by: Kanagawa Prefectural Atsugi High School Drama Club)

-Each person's thoughts are conveyed. Please tell us about the content and highlights of your work.

It is a work called ``On a plate with you again'' by Jinguji Temple, Tosa . The stage is inside the refrigerator. The main character is Croquette. The story begins when croquettes are thrown into the refrigerator. Various ingredients are divided into croquette fans and minced meat cutlet fans, and they argue over which is better. Meanwhile, this is a romantic comedy in which Croquette meets Menchikatsu and falls in love.

This is my first time playing the role of Matsumura Shinghin. As I deepened my preparation for the role, I asked myself, ``Is there a feeling hidden in the background?'' I tried to become the material and decipher the person's feelings. It was interesting because it made me realize things. I think you'll enjoy it even more if you watch it while imagining each member's role. Also, since this work was created by everyone sharing ideas for everything from the script to the sound and lighting to the entire stage, I would be happy if you could enjoy the world view as well.

SatoThis is a novel play in which the characters that appear are ingredients. Other than the croquettes and minced meat cutlets, the characters also have their own distinct personalities, so I hope everyone will pay attention to them.

Jinguuji : I would also be happy if each character received attention. When I was creating the story, I started thinking from scratch in my head, wondering how these ingredients were thinking and acting. There are many unique characters, so I hope you enjoy watching them.

The story unfolds in a refrigerator with Tosa croquettes, and I think this work has a very warm atmosphere at its core. I would be happy if the audience could feel that part. I hope we can create a sense of unity that excites the entire venue.

-I'm really interested in the unique characters. Lastly, please express your enthusiasm for the final and give a message to the audience.

Matsumura : I have participated in various competitions, but this is my first experience performing on such a big stage. All the members are very excited. I believe that theater cannot exist without an audience, so I want to perform while being grateful for being seen. I don't think there are many works where ingredients are the main character. After watching our work, we will do our best to perform in a way that comes to mind when we see the ingredients in our daily lives.

Since I will be participating in the Hito Sato slot, I would like to deliver the passion and freshness that only a high school student can have to everyone! This will be the opening performance of the Kanagawa Performing Arts Awards 2024 Final, so I will give it my all. Please come and see it.

I would like to work behind the scenes to support the club members so that the audience will feel a warm feeling as the work of the top batter of the Tosa Tournament.

Jinguji : We don't have much stage experience yet, so we're a little nervous, but the script we wrote is a treasure. We will deliver this original work with our own thoughts. I would be happy if the audience could see that we were really enjoying the performance.

Mr. Sugihara : This work is an original work by the club members. I think it's easier to empathize with people when they play people of the same generation, but this character is a food ingredient. While we can anthropomorphize and express ourselves freely, we have to think of things ourselves from scratch. I think they really tried their best even though their time was limited. I have been an advisor to Atsugi High School's drama club for many years, and while each generation has its merits, I feel that now is a turning point for the drama club. It feels like a breath of fresh air to be able to perform on a big stage at this timing. When I saw their work, I found it more interesting than I expected. I can feel the strong feelings of everyone, saying, ``We have come this far as a team.'' Please come and visit us.

Hibiki Gakuen High School Yokohama School Drama Club (22nd Century Flight Frame/Performed on March 17th)
We spoke to club members Asahi Obata and Ami Iijima.

-Please tell us your motivation for applying to the competition.

Obata: In the fall, I participated in the Yokohama City High School Drama Recital District Competition, and I wanted to put to use what I had learned from that competition, including the practice I had practiced and the experience of performing in front of an audience. I decided to apply for the 22nd Century Flight Competition, thinking it would be a good opportunity to participate without having to take any time off.

Iijima : It all started when I participated in the 22nd Century Flying Competition last year. Last year, we did not reach our goal of being selected to the top two schools. This year, I took on the challenge with the desire to try again.

Members of Hibiki Gakuen High School Yokohama School Drama Club (Image provided by: Hibiki Gakuen High School Yokohama School Drama Club)

-I could feel the thoughts of each person. How do you feel about being in the top two groups, which was your long-awaited goal?

Obata : I felt like my desire to make a good play was realized, and everyone in the drama club was happy. I was also happy that by being selected, the number of times I had to perform plays actually increased.
IijimaI couldn't believe it at first because I was so happy that I can't express it in words. It felt like the work I had done in club activities was being recognized for the first time, and I was really glad that I had worked hard with the club members until now.

-I can't wait to perform on the big stage. Please tell us about the content and highlights of this work.

Obata: The work is called ``Kotori no Ouchi,'' and it depicts the process in which the main character, who is locked in a basement by his biological parents for some reason, uses his powers to move forward. In the main character's family, there are people who try to treat the hardships they face as if they don't exist, and people who cover up their frustrations by taking them out on people other than themselves. In this situation, I tried to express the protagonist's feelings from the perspective of facing hardships and moving forward.

22nd Century Flying Frame Selection Tournament (Image provided by Hibiki Gakuen High School Yokohama School Drama Club)

-I'm curious about how the main character will progress. Lastly, please express your enthusiasm for the final and give a message to the audience.

Obata: It's the same performance as the selection competition in January, so I hope it's an even better performance than that time. We will do our best to ensure that all visitors can truly enjoy themselves.

Iijima: When I perform on stage on March 17th, I want to have fun and perform an interesting play without any regrets. We would like to work together as a team to create a space that leaves a lasting impression in everyone's hearts even after the performance, and where they can take home the feelings they felt from our play!

I practiced every day and finally reached the sunny stage. Please come to the venue to see the fresh performances of high school students who fully enjoy their roles in front of a large audience.

≪Kanagawa Performing Arts Award 2024 Final≫
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