Drawing on a range of interviews with past and present students and teachers, this book charts 50 years of annual student Shakespeare productions performed in English as a second language at Konan Women’s University in Kobe, Japan.
When I began conducting interviews for this commemorative book in late 2014, I had three goals in mind. First, to get an overview of the fifty-year history of the Shakespeare Festival at Konan Women’s University. Second, to gauge the social and cultural impact of the Festival on individual participants. Third, to understand the learning potential of Shakespeare as a form of “process drama.”
Each person I interviewed lit up when revisiting their memories of the Festival and what emerged was a well of experience, full of stories about overcoming self-imposed limitations, about forging lasting friendships through creative collaboration, and about encounters with Shakespeare’s characters, language and ideas. I have tried to capture glimpses of that experience here.