This is How I Got to Perform in the Feminist Play in College. — 大学でフェミニズム演劇に出た話し

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(日本語版は英語版の下にあります。)

I wonder how many of you have heard of the play, “The Vagina Monologues” before. I know hearing or reading the word vagina makes some of you uncomfortable–I totally get it. (Trust me, I grew up in Japan, where the people tend to be more conservative than the US and some other countries.) But, let me talk about this play, which I performed with my fellow students last weekend.

Quick history about this play: during 1990s, a Tony award-winning American play writer, Eve Ensler interviewed more than 200 women about their views on their body images, relationships, and their experiences of living as females in the society. And, she wrote this play based on those interviews. Ensler and her companies later established a non-profit organization called V-Day, which allocates funds to the world-wide organizations and programs that try to stop violence against girls and women.

This play was translated into 48 different languages and have been performed in over 140 countries including Japan, Belgium, and some Muslim countries.

In the US, many high school and college students perform this play to fundraise the organizations like V-Day. That is also what we do in my college every February.

The first time I saw this play was three years ago. I was a freshman, and I saw my upperclassmen friends performing the monologues on the stage. Some monologues were happy, funny, moving, sad…, and all of them were so powerful. My most memorable monologue was called “My Vagina was My Village,” which I got to perform this year.

My monologue was one of the saddest ones among all 17 monologues in the play. It was based on the interviews with Bosnian women refugees during the war in Yugoslavia. Whenever and wherever a war conflict occurs, everyone there suffers. Violence against females also happens, and victims could never get a chance to claim for the justice. (Just in a case if you are interested in watching the monologue, I attached the video clip of it performed by Ensler at the end of this page.)

Luckily, I never had an experience of being sexually abused. Thus, I can never fully understand the suffering which those refugee women went through. However, I hope everyone who sees this play becomes more supportive toward females and willing to understand some struggles they go through in the society–just like I first became aware of those issues by watching this play three years ago.

トニーアワードを受賞したことのあるアメリカ人の脚本家、イヴ=エスラーという女性がいます。彼女は1990年代に、世界の200人以上の女性や女の子に、自分のボディイメージについて、恋愛関係について、女性として社会で生きてきた中で体験したことなどをインタビューをしました。そのインタビューをもとに書かれたのが「ヴァギナ=モノローグ」という劇です。この脚本は48か国語以上に翻訳され、日本、ベルギー、イスラム圏を含む世界140か国以上で上演されました。

アメリカの高校生や大学生が、女性への暴力をなくす活動をしているV-DayなどをはじめとするNGO団体にファンドライジングする目的も兼ねて、学校でこの劇を演じることがあります。私の大学、ハノーバー大学でも毎年2月にこの劇をやってファンドライジングをします。私は三年前、一年生だった時に友達が出ていたのがきっかけで初めて観に行ったのですが、すごいパワフルだなあ…と感じました。日本で生まれ育った中で、女性の抱える問題や体のスティグマについて、考える機会はそれまでなかったから。だからこそ強く心に残ったんだと思います。それもあって、在学最後の今年、私も思い切ってオーディションに出てみたら、幸いにも役をいただきまして。先週末(2/10,11日)に無事今年の公演を終えました。

劇は17の独白(モノローグ)で構成されています。独白のいくつかは幸福な内容だったり、面白おかしかったり、衝撃的なものだったり。私が担当することになったのは悲しい独白の一つで、ユーゴスラビア内戦で暴行を受けたボスニア難民女性のインタビューをもとにして書かれたもの。(英語のみですが、下の動画では、エスラー氏がその独白を書くきっかけになった出来事を語り、ご自身でそのモノローグを演じているのが観られます。)私が一年生の時に先輩が演じているのを見て、一番強く印象に残った独白もこれだったので、演じていて思い入れは深かったです。

私には、悲しい体験をしなければならなかった難民女性たちの気持ち全てをわかってあげられることはできないけれど、ただ劇を見に来てくれた人たちが、社会の中で女性が直面する問題や体験に、関心、理解を深めてくれたら嬉しいなあ、と思います。

An interview on Ensler followed by her performance of “My Vagina was My Village:”

Sources: About Eve Enslter / About V-DayAbout The Vagina Monologues and Non-exclusive list of the countries where this play was performed.

If you wanna read more about: Interview with Ensler (from ELLE, online published on Feb. 8, 2018,).

Thank you for reading! And hope to see you soon. ❤️

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