American musical “Hairspray” performed by Chuo’s ESS   中大名物、英語劇を目指して ―ESSが米ミュージカルを公演―  

 The English Speaking Society (ESS) of Chuo University gave a performance of an English play on April 22 at C Square of the Tama Campus. It has been giving two performances annually in summer and winter since it resumed the event in May 2013. The latest one, its fifth performance, featured “Hairspray,” the hit Broadway musical whose story was set in Baltimore, Maryland, in the 1960s. Hakumon Herald interviewed three ESS members after the performance. They are Ryuya Yamaguchi, a third grader of the Faculty of Commerce and the chief of the club’s Drama Section, Kako Fujita, a second grader of the Faculty of Economics, and Ikki Asai, a second grader of the Faculty of Policy Studies. Both Fujita and Asai played the leading roles in the play.




-You must have had a hard time. How was it?




Yamaguchi: Thank you. I’m filled with a feeling of liberation as we managed to make our performance successful.


山口 ありがとうございます。何とか成功させることができたので、解放感に満たされています。

Asai: I was so excited when we got a lot of applause from the audiences just after we finished singing our last song. The three months of hard practice with my mates has given me an invaluable memory


浅井 最後の曲を歌い終え、お客さんから大きな拍手が上がった時は最高の気分になりました。仲間たちと共に頑張ってきた3カ月間は、かけがえのない思い出です。


  -Did you practice for three months during the spring break?




  Fujita: Yes, we did. We commuted to the school almost every day for our practice. I had a tough time because I had so many lines to memorize and was required to put up quality performances as one of the protagonists. I had never got enthusiastic about one thing before I played my role this time. I’m feeling emptiness knowing that we don’t have to practice late into the night anymore.


 藤田 はい。ほとんど毎日大学に通い、チームで練習をしてきました。主役ということもあり、セリフの多さや演技の質を求められ大変でしたが、あんなに1つのことに熱中したのは人生で初めてでした。これからはもう毎日夜遅くまで練習することがないと思うと寂しいです。

 - (To Yamaguchi) It was your last performance, wasn’t it? How did you come into it?




Yamaguchi: Since this was my graduation performance, I put my back into it with all other members not to regret afterwards.  We had spent the last three months just thinking how we could enjoy ourselves in addition to moving our audiences. Our performance was also aimed to welcome newcomers to Chuo. That all our newcomers looked excited and moved was enough for me. I’d feel happier if they felt inclined to join the ESS’s drama section.


山口 本公演が卒業公演でもあったので、メンバー一丸となって悔いが残らないよう全力で取り組みました。お客さんを感動させることもさることながら、どれだけ自分たちが楽しめるかということを重視して3カ月を過ごしました。新入生歓迎公演でもあったので、1年生のみなさんが感動してくれただけでも十分ですが、ESSで劇をやりたいと思ってくれたらなお嬉しく思います。


  -By the way, what motivated you to become the chief of your Drama Section?




  Yamaguchi: To tell the truth, no one came forward as candidates in the election last year. I filed my candidacy feeling that it would be sad if such a wonderful club activity ceased to exist. My biggest motivation was to make the ESS’s English drama known to as many people as possible.


山口 実は、昨年の部内でのチーフ選挙時では、だれもドラマセクションのチーフに立候補しませんでした。こんなに魅力的なグループ活動がなくなってしまうのは悲しかったので、私が立候補しました。なりよりもESSの英語劇をより多くの人に知ってもらいたいというのが大きな理由でした。


Growing through drama performance




-(To Fujita) What drove you to play the leading actress role?




  Fujita: I sympathized to some extent with the way of life of Tracy, the protagonist of the play. That made me feel interested in playing the role. But honestly speaking, I was hesitant to step forward because of the enormous pressure and responsibility I’d have to face to perform the role of Tracy.


 藤田 主役のトレイシーの生き方に共感できる部分があったので、演じてみたいと思っていました。しかし、主役を演じることはプレッシャーも責任感も大きいので、なかなか踏み出せないでいたのも事実です。


 -What pushed your back eventually?




 Fujita: I’ve learned from my experience in our winter performance of 2014 that the result would take care of itself if I did my best no matter what role I’d play. More importantly, I didn’t want to have any bitterness not playing it. So, I eventually bid for the role of Tracy. Thanks to my decision, I could have a good experience which I think helped me grow more than before.


藤田 前回の2014年、冬公演で演じた経験も踏まえ、どんな役でも全力でやれば結果がついてくること。そして、やらないで後悔することだけはしたくなかったので、最終的にトレイシー役に立候補しました。お陰でとてもいい経験ができ、前よりも成長した実感があります。


Getting accustomed to English




-(To Asai) We hear you have also participated in an English speech contest. Do you think English skills learned through drama are practical?




  Asai: The main thing you do in a drama performance is to memorize your lines. I don’t think that will help dramatically improve your English skills. However, most of our members including me have come to be very much fond of English through drama performances. Now I’m not at all afraid of speaking English.


 浅井 セリフを覚える作業が主なので、英語力が飛躍的に向上することはありませんが、私を含め多くの部員が劇を通して英語がとても“好き”になりました。お陰で、今では私は英語を話すことに不安を全く感じていません。


  -Drama is certainly an effective trigger for people to come in contact with English and start learning it, isn’t it?




  Asai: That’s absolutely true. I think the environment where you are not alone in trying to pick up English will motivate you to continue learning English.


浅井 そのとおりだと思います。頑張っているのが自分1人だけではない、という環境も英語を学び続けるモチベーションになります。


Aiming for hallmark English drama in Chuo




  Fujita: I hope it will continue to be a place where all its members can enjoy themselves and grow further.


 藤田 たくさんの部員が笑顔で楽しみ、そして大きく成長できる場であり続けてほしいと思います。


Asai: I love the ESS’s Drama Section very much. I actually decided to join the ESS when I was fascinated by its drama performance last spring. I want our newcomers to enjoy the pleasure of not only performing a drama but also creating a drama. I will support junior members so that we can outperform the work done by our senior members. We will aim to create a hallmark English drama in Chuo University.


 浅井 実は私、1年前の春にESSの劇を見て入部を決めたぐらいESSの劇が好きです。新入生には劇を演じる楽しさだけでなく、作る楽しさも味わってもらいたいです。先輩方の作品を超えるレベルのものを作り出せるように、先輩として後輩をしっかりフォローし、中大を代表する英語劇を目指します。


  It’s two years since the ESS revived its Drama Section. How do you plan to continue and develop your activity?




-Yamaguchi: I’m sure that as a member of our Drama Section, you can stake all your four years of campus life and end up with no repentance. I wish junior members will taste the same precious feeling I experienced. As Asai said, I want to see our English drama grow to become “Chuo’s specialty” in the future.


山口 ESSドラマセクションでは、大学生活のすべてを賭けても悔いの残らない、素晴らしい体験ができると思っています。私が味わった感動をあとの世代の部員にも味わってほしいです。将来的には、浅井君が言ったように「中大名物・ESSの英語劇」となっていてほしいですね。


-Thank you very much.




(Interviewed by Hideki Kato, Megumi Miyamoto)