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Theater / dance

Three-way discussion Tomofumi Nakayama × Mariko Ono × Kensuke Yokouchi | ENGEKI KANAGAWA

鼎談 中山朋文×オノマリコ×横内謙介|ENGEKI KANAGAWA

Under the catchphrase "Magcal", theater-related businesses are currently showing great excitement in Kanagawa. First, the “Magcal Performing Arts Academy”, a stage human resource development course, was held, and in January, the “Kanagawa Kamome Short Theater Festival” started as a short drama contest unique to Kanagawa. With the participation in "Magcal Friday", new developments such as holding a solo performance at KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theater by "Shiko" are underway. Therefore, at Magcal Dot Net, Mr. Kensuke Yokouchi, a director who participates in the "Magcal Performing Arts Academy" as a president, is the executive committee of the "Kamome Theater Festival", and is also the first and second generation Kanagawa theater king Nakayama. Mr. Tomofumi and Ms. Mariko Ono, the leader of "Shikoku", who is about to hold a solo performance at KAAT, gathered together to talk about their passion for transmitting from Kanagawa and the possibilities of the Kanagawa theater scene. I was told about

interview & text: Eriko Arai Photo: Masamasa Nishino
Recorded on December 22, 2015: Kanagawa Prefectural Youth Center|Released on January 13, 2016

When asked if there was anything special about Tokyo, there was nothing in particular.

――First of all, please tell us about your relationship with Kanagawa and how you decided to base yourself in Kanagawa.

Onoma : I'm from Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture, and when I first thought about doing a theater performance, I chose ST Spot in Yokohama because people around me would come. After that, I worked as an assistant director in Tokyo. When we were preparing for the 2nd performance, KAAT was just completed. I wrote a work that requires a large space, and I wanted to perform in a large theater, so I called and applied for a rental hall. That's why KAAT's first rental hall for theatrical performances was "taste." A good theater was built in Kanagawa, and we even performed there, so there was no point in doing it in Tokyo. I thought that if I could do it here, I wouldn't have to go far, so I continued in Kanagawa. If there are more people to see theater in Kanagawa, I would like to do theater performances in Fujisawa and Kamakura.

Three talks Tomofumi Nakayama × Mariko Ono × Kensuke Yokouchi

Nakayama : Originally, I was an actor in small theaters, movies, and television in Tokyo, but I was born and raised in Yokohama, so I always wanted to work in Yokohama. What got me started about 10 years ago was when my mentor did a project to create a play with local people in Mikuni-cho, Fukui, and I took part in it as an actor. From there, my desire to perform in my hometown became stronger, and I went to see plays by various groups again in Yokohama. When I went to see a play at the Sotetsu Honda Theater, which had closed in 2014, the Yokohama Mirai Theater Theater was performing Norihiko Tsukuda's play Nukegara, which was very interesting. , I said, "Please let me in," and joined the group there, which was the reason I moved to Yokohama.

"Yokohama Mirai Theater Theater" was one of the commemorative projects for the 150th anniversary of the opening of Yokohama Port, and was a workshop-like project to train stage performers and disseminate works for a limited period of three years from 2007. I think it was great that I met Ichiro Onishi and Satoru Tera there.

As for why Yokohama, actually I simply don't want to ride the train. After crossing the Tama River, it gets a little suffocating (laughs). Even though the roads are a little narrow and the buildings are tall, I feel a sense of oppression. I lived in Yokohama for 40 years, and when I was active in Tokyo, I went to Tokyo and came back to Yokohama. I'm thinking On the other hand, if you ask me if there is anything in Yokohama, I don't think there is anything in particular (laughs). However, if I do it locally, I think that I have to work even harder because "If it doesn't work out, I won't have anywhere else to go."

Yokouchi : When we started theater, we all had a relatively simple scheme: to increase the audience, go to Tokyo, and perform at Kinokuniya Hall. We were just riding it and never had a full-scale performance in Kanagawa. It was at this youth center that I first encountered theater. Kanagawa, no, "I wouldn't be who I am today without the Youth Center."

At that time, the Youth Center had a legendary director named Tadao Tamura. While doing his best in the school drama, he said that he would show a good play to the children, and he showed a play to a high school drama club member in Kanagawa Prefecture for 500 yen. So, right after I joined the drama club in high school, my seniors brought me here, and after watching Kouhei Tsuka's "Atami Murder Case", I fell in love with theater. What's more, at a time when it was mainstream to show children plays for children, I brought in the most popular plays. That's why I saw the Shiki Theater Company here, and I was also able to meet the stage performances of Kunio Shimizu and Mitsumasa Shinozaki, as they are doing at Jiang Jiang. In addition, I was the first to open a workshop in Japan. Of course, I didn't even have the word "workshop", I just called it "theater seminar". A front-line theater person taught high school students how to play.

There was no other place like it. For me, this was my first encounter with a public hall, and I think later that it was a model.

When I started Tobiraza, I said to Mr. Tamura, "I've created a theater company." When he passed away, he told me, ``I'll ask you to do a theater performance in Yokohama,'' and I think that he listened to his will. I can't do such a big thing, but I thought that it would be nice if I could revive the things that existed at that time. That's why I'm here in Kanagawa right now. I am deeply moved by the fact that I have started a performing arts academy and have come back to the Youth Center through various connections. I do what I think I should do.

A Place for People Who Want to Learn: Performing Arts Academy

――Magcal Performing Arts Academy, where Mr. Yokouchi serves as the principal, is a theater and musical school that opened in October 2014 with the goal of developing human resources in Kanagawa. How do you feel after continuing for a year?

Kensuke Yokouchi

Yokouchi : At the academy, the first thing we do is train actors, but I think it would be better to prepare a training system for writers and directors as well. You can't learn these things no matter where you learn them. I don't think that a seminar will necessarily lead to the birth of a writer, but it can be an opportunity for those who are starting to write works on their own, or who are wondering what to do with directing. Should be. When thinking about creating masterpieces from Kanagawa, I think it's important to broaden the base and provide some kind of budget or space.

I also participated in a high school drama competition, but I didn't have a teacher, so there were times when I wanted to be taught, especially when it came to directing. Since we created our own group, making it fun was the best place to train. But 20 or 30 years later, there were many times when I was shocked that I didn't know such a simple thing. In our time, everyone was just trying to figure it out, so it was okay if they had different senses of value, but now that I think about it, everyone had a certain amount of standardization in terms of phrasing, demeanor, and things like, "Let's just do this." It's easier to make things if you share them.

Onoma : Do you mean the standard for actors?

Yokouchi : And the production too. Anyway, being an actor is tough now. If there are three directors, three of them will say different things, and only the one who can do it skillfully will survive as a professional actor. I think it's very inefficient. Even if the academy can't prepare a place to learn the standard, I want it to be a place that attracts people who want to learn. Did the two of you have a teacher?

Magcal Academy rehearsal scene

Magcal Academy rehearsal scene

Nakayama : My teacher as an actor is Yosuke Nakajima. When I first started teaching at an acting school, I was the first student.

Onoma : I originally liked reading plays like novels. I don't do theater myself. I loved seeing it, though. One day, someone told me that I could write something, so I decided to try it. I performed at a coffee shop, and a person who was watching told me about a "drama writing party" that was held at a public facility (Yokohama Civic Activity Support Center) near Landmark. It was like a terakoya (temple school) gathering held by Mr. Hirofumi Okano, who was the editor-in-chief of Shingeki. We all wrote scripts and showed them to each other, doing something like that to study.

Yokouchi : Huh. Okano-san also grew up in a youth center. Mr. Tamura personally used this public facility to train actors. I picked up excellent children in high school theater and opened a private school for about 20 people. Michiko Goda and Haruna Takase are actresses who grew up there. I was training as a writer, and sometimes Mr. Tamura would tell me to show him what I wrote, and he would correct me. The reason I vaguely thought we had to build a school here was because of that private school.

Interesting, we connected at the Youth Center (laughs).

Magcal Theater in KAAT Theater Company "Taste" Performance

The Game of Polyamory Life

――The Youth Center seems to have a strange connection. Mr. Onoma presided over "Taste" was selected as "Magcal Theater in KAAT" after participating in the Youth Center's "Magcal Theater".

Onoma : One organization is selected throughout the year and you can borrow KAAT for one week. After we were selected as a performing group, we submitted proposals to KAAT several times and proceeded while consulting with them. I'm a playwright, and "Shiko" is not a theater company, but a one-person unit. We start with the planning, and then meet the director and actors each time. This time, first of all, I have an encounter with Kikue Fukami, who is researching polyamory. We both belonged to the Tokyo Artpoint project's "Kaku Nagashima's Research Institute", where we held workshops to learn about polyamory in 2014 and made board games. After that, since polyamory is about relationships involving multiple love affairs, I thought it would be good to express it in a play, so I submitted a project. After that, I started looking for a director who would be on board with the project, and KAAT introduced me to Tomoya Kiriyama. I was.

* POLYAMORY A sexual style and lifestyle that builds a love relationship with multiple people based on agreement. It is deployed worldwide, mainly in the United States.

Onomariko

――You said that you didn't do theater yourself, but how did you first encounter theater?

Onoma : When I had just graduated from university, I heard that an acquaintance was going to start his own theater company. Until then, I thought I needed an application or permission. You can do it yourself. It's free and interesting, and that's when I became interested in it. After that, I started writing plays at Mr. Okano's terakoya, which I talked about. Gradually, I began to see small theaters in Tokyo and Kanagawa, and when I was writing my impressions in a questionnaire, I was asked if I wanted to become an assistant director. . My first performance was in 2010 when I decided to start a unit and rented ST Spot. It feels like there was a development if it was interesting.

Kanagawa Kamome Short Film Festival Starts in January

――Now, let's talk about the 1st Kanagawa Kamome Short Theater Festival, which will be held at KAAT from January 29th to 31st. Mr. Nakayama is a member of the executive committee, and this is a contest where short plays of 20 minutes or less compete in a tournament format, and the winner is determined by votes from the judges and the audience. Please tell us how you decided to start as an original Kanagawa brand.

Nakayama : To put it bluntly, the biggest request is from the prefecture's Magcal business. There was a short drama contest called "Drama King" sponsored by Nagakute City, Aichi Prefecture and the Tokai Branch of the Japan Playwrights Association, and Mr. Norihiko Tsukuda, the founder, asked me to participate in the Kanagawa preliminaries. Developed into "Drama King Kanagawa" and held a national competition at KAAT in February of this year (2015). The Kamome Theater Festival was newly launched in Kanagawa based on that network.

Tomofumi Nakayama

Yokouchi : I was also involved from the beginning when I started to say let's do it in the first place. After all, I had come across a governor who loved theater. It may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet a “theater-loving chief,” including mayors and village mayors. In order not to miss this one-of-a-kind opportunity, we started the "Magcal Performing Arts Academy" and the "Kamome Theater Festival" because we had to do something immediately.

Managing a theater festival is a difficult task, with many people involved and meetings that take many months. I think that the encounter between people will move something, and it will also be an opportunity for the governor to understand that there are so many theater people in Kanagawa. I would like to expect changes in the town and encounters with people by holding events, and I think that "Kamome" will be quite an excellent device for that purpose. What's more, Mr. Nakayama's generation has managed it well, so I think it might be possible to connect it in the future, but what do you think?

Nakayama : That's right. Kanagawa has a history of amateur theater, and there are many theater people, but I didn't have many opportunities to meet them because I didn't have any horizontal connections. I started interacting with theater people of the same generation when I started playing in the Kanagawa preliminaries for Gekioh, and that's where I met Onoma-san. After all, I think that it was the best thing that I got the chance to meet you. Also, I was very happy that I did "Drama King Kanagawa" four times, and in 2015, several theater companies born in Heisei participated. Of course, there are a lot of opposing opinions about what to do with the ranking. Besides, this rule makes it easy to set trends and countermeasures, such as how to make it popular with the audience and how to be evaluated by the judges. But working out that strategy will definitely lead to the power of the theater company, and I think it will definitely come to life when creating the play for the main performance.

Kanagawa Kamome Short Film Festival

Onoma : Well, I don't think it's dangerous to become good at short stories. I myself published a fairly serious short story and the votes did not increase. But I got to know a lot of theater people, and until then I didn't know there was a theater company in Odawara, so it was fun.

Nakayama : Onoma-san was in the same block as us, but the judges' votes were high. At the Kamome Theater Festival, we invite people with various tendencies as judges, and we leave it up to each of them to decide how to distribute their points. For example, if you have 40 points, "20, 10, 10, 0" is fine, or you can give 1 point. We were given zero points by the governor (laughs). It is also interesting to have the judges comment on each work after the results are announced. This time, we asked Mr. Yokouchi to be a judge.

Yokouchi : I've only seen "Gekioh", and this is my first time judging "Kamome". Why do you think it's boring? After all, if you listen carefully to the judges' comments, you will find that they are talking about your own play. Each of us is a writer or a director, so the only standard we have is ``I am''. That's why it's fun to hear those comments as an event.

I think there is such a possibility to do it in the region

――You are the artistic director of the Atsugi Bunka Kaikan, and the new productions of the Tobiraza theater company, which you direct, are always performed in Atsugi on the first day and the final performance. How do you perceive the difference between Atsugi and other places?

Yokouchi : That's not a regional difference, but a "relationship difference." In the case of Atsugi, there are local people who call themselves the cheerleaders and have been cheering for us for over ten years. When I told them that I couldn't sell tickets, they moved to invite more people, bought ramen for young actors, and stayed overnight when the actors couldn't go home... they continue to support me. That's right. If someone who used to play a supporting role gets a slightly better role, they'll be happy to support me, and if I go to Tokyo, they'll follow me and come see me. A place where there are audiences who continue to watch the growth of the actors and the state of the theater company from a fixed point. I think there is such a possibility to do it in the area. It's comfortable for us too, so we'll always do the first and last in Atsugi, and the people over there are looking forward to it.

When Peter Gessner, a German, was the artistic director of the Chofu Sengawa Theater for two years, he talked about how people should behave about the fact that the theater is in their own town. That left an impression on me. KAAT was established in Yokohama. To tell the truth, we should be more excited that we have such an interesting place in our town, and I think we have to make it even more exciting. If it's fun, I'll go, isn't it? I think the original way of having a theater in our town is to "see anything, support it together."

Onoma : The relationship between the theater and the town, and between the theater and the people.

Yokouchi : And the theater will also do its best to show something even a little more interesting. I want to create that kind of relationship and environment.

That's why I think KAAT and youth centers need to show their presence as something more public. Of course, a commercial aspect is also necessary, but it cannot function the same as a commercial theater. And local theater people give performances at the theater, and the people support them. I want to create such customers. I don't think it's necessary to work hard in Kanagawa for celebrities to come and do flashy things to attract customers. I want to create customers who support the theater.

Deeper and broader - future prospects

――Hearing the story, I felt that Kanagawa has its own peculiarity that is different from Tokyo. Lastly, please tell us about your aspirations and prospects for future activities.

Nakayama : First of all, you want as many people as possible to see the Kamome Theater Festival. This time, there will be two groups from Kanagawa, and two groups from South Korea. Also, on a personal note, our rehearsal room is right next to Keikyu Kanagawa-Shinmachi station, and we have a monthly exchange meeting there. The monthly "Yokohama Theater Salon" that was held by the now-defunct Sotetsu Honda Theater has been held in our rehearsal room and continues to be held. I would like to be able to fulfill that function, such as providing a place for young theater companies. Listening to Mr. Yokouchi's story about the cheerleading team, I thought it would be an ideal way to connect with the community, and I thought it would be nice to make it a place like that.

Onoma : I also want to make January's "THE GAME OF POLYAMORY LIFE" a good work. Also, I often work with high school students in Tokyo and Osaka. I am a judge for competitions, and I write scripts for the Komaba Agora Theater's "High School Theater Summit," which presents high school theater to adults. I even wrote a script at the request of a high school theater club in Osaka who I became friends with. As I listened to the stories of high school students, I became very interested in them, so this year I plan to work on creating works with high school students. Also, "THE GAME OF POLYAMORY LIFE" is 1000 yen for those under 18 years old. It is a work that depicts a variety of love and life, and I think it will resonate with people of all ages, so I hope many people will come and see it.

Yokouchi : I would like to increase the number of participants in the academy a little more, make the denominator bigger, and then start making works next year, and I would like to make something that I can show by the end of next year (2016). If you don't have such a goal, it's hard to just take lessons.

<Performer profile>
Tomofumi Nakayama
Born in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture in 1974. Actor, director, playwright. Director of theater 045 syndicate.
In 2001, he made his debut as an actor in Sunshine Theater "Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Although he was active in small theaters, movies, T㈸, etc. in Tokyo, he returned to his hometown of Yokohama in 2007 and participated in the Yokohama Mirai Theater Theater. After disbanding, in 2010, he launched theater 045 syndicate. In addition to theaters, we also handle theatrical, live and dance events at bars in the city and restaurants in Chinatown. In 2012, he produced "Drama King X Kanagawa Preliminaries - Chinatown Royale!" He won the championship and participated in the world unification tournament held in Nagakute as a representative of Kanagawa. After that, Gekioh will be held four times at the Youth Center. The first and second Kanagawa drama kings. The main works performed in the city are "Train Udon", "Mary's Coffin", "Tiger Harimao" (Yokohama Future Theater Theater), "La Marea Yokohama" (starring), one-person play "Yokohama Tansu" Circumstances”, “12 Dogs” (performance at theater 045 syndicate), etc. His hobby is visiting bars. They often appear in Noge, Yoshida-cho, Chinatown, and Sorimachi.

Onomariko
Born in 1983. Born in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Graduated from the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities and Science, Tokyo Women's University. He presides over the theater unit "Shikou".
In 2015, he performed "Story of the dismantled Antonin Raymond Architectural Old Gymnasium" at Theater Tram Next Generation vol.7. In January 2016, he was selected for the Magcal Theater in KAAT, and plans to stage a new work "THE GAME OF POLYAMORY LIFE" with the help of ethnography. He also actively works on creating works with high school students. In recent years, I have been thinking about what playwrights can do in the world.

Kensuke Yokouchi
Born September 22, 1961 in Tokyo. Playwright and director. Head of the theater company Tobiraza.
When he was enrolled in Kanagawa Prefectural Atsugi High School, he joined the drama club on behalf of his name. After being spoiled by a senior, he wakes up to acting after watching the "Atami Murder Case" by Tsuka Kohei Office. Participated in the National Theater Contest with his maiden work "Sanshoyo Dazo!". In 1982, when he was a student at Waseda University's First Literature Department, he founded the theater company "Good Man Conference" with Satoshi Okamori and Seiji Rokkaku, who were members of the drama club at Atsugi High School, and Ryoichi Sugiyama, who was a member of Hosei Second High School. In 1993, the name was changed to "Tobiraza" and continues to this day. In addition to theatrical company activities, he has provided many works to external parties such as Super Kabuki and musicals. In 1992, he won the 36th Kishida Kunio Drama Award for "The Fool Doesn't Look Like the King of La Mancha". In 1999, he became the youngest person ever to win the Otani Prize for Shin Sangokushi. In 2015, he won the Otani Award again for Super Kabuki II "One Piece".

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