【ポールのSPAC探検】 川根でのリーディング・カフェ

Hello, my name is Paul Baudoin. I’m a French student currently finishing my studies at INALCO (National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilisations) in Paris, where I majored in Japanese language, politics and culture. I’m 25 and in order to graduate, I am now taking the opportunity to work for 3 months as in intern among the SPAC. I would also like to specify that this English version is not the perfect image of what I wrote in Japanese, as I do not think and express myself the same way in these two languages.

お店のオーナーさんは 16年前からこのお店をやっているそうです。
Recently, I had the chance to participate into one of the SPAC’s activity: the Reading Café, which has been regularly held since 2008. The name might speak for itself, but it is basically an event where we reunite in a shop, a café or a public place to read parts of the play the SPAC is working on. The current play is named “Takaki Kanomono”, and takes place right in Shizuoka prefecture, a small town named Kawane, surrounded by mountains, which is actually where the Reading Café is happening. Kawane is also famous for its tea and the hot springs established around the place.
Kawane is located at around one hour and a half from Shizuoka, where the SPAC is holding its main stages, offices and …. For this session, I accompanied a staff office member, Miss Hayashi, and an actor who often works with the SPAC, Mister Okuno. We arrived in a small shop filled with hot spring smell, where a few people were waiting for us while having some warm tea or coffee.

As I imagined how it would turn out, I must say that I had hopes as well as apprehensions concerning this activity. At first I thought about a small comparison. As my field of study is International Relations, I studied geopolitical analysis, where we have a concept called “emergence”. It is the idea that the accumulation of sub-elements produces more than just the sum of these elements, emergences are what spontaneously come out of this addition. The concept is being applied in many research fields, and I believe that it holds a resemblance with what we can sometimes witness during a play, when the unexpected performance suddenly surpasses all the hopes of the director, the staff and the actors themselves. It happens, for a second or longer, but it is always a pleasure to witness such thing, and I was wondering if maybe it would during the Reading Café.
I was also worried about my potential ability to read the text while working, as I would participate as part of the readers but also as a note and picture taker at the same time.

奥野さんは始め、司会者としてSPAC、『高き彼物』の芝居と演劇について紹介しました。奥野さんによると、、俳優の仕事を20年している中で『高き彼物』のように静岡県の話で静岡弁で描かれた芝居は初めてみたそうです。雄弁家の才能と武士の貫禄で、奥野さんは日本演劇の歴史、歌舞伎の生まれから現代、初代芸術総監督鈴木 忠志についてとSPAC設立までの要約を語って、皆さんが居心地よくなるように何かが生まれそうな雰囲気を作ろうとしていました。
Including SPAC members, 9 people participated in this activity. That relatively small number allowed us to build a sit in a perfect configuration, as a triangle constituted of 3 tables where 3 persons sat, looking at each other.
Mister Okuno, who would be the chairman during the whole session, started with an introduction about Japanese theater, from the traditional Kabuki to nowadays modern plays and the SPAC, and the play we were about to read, “Takaki Kanomono” itself. In 20 years working as an artist, even he had never seen a work written in Shizuoka’s dialect. As a good orator, he did his best to install an atmosphere where people would feel comfortable enough to speak and express some kind of theater. We then moved on to everybody’s presentations, learning how people heard and decided to join in the Reading Café. For example one person had heard about this sessions for a long time before deciding to join in as he thought that he wouldn’t be able to perform properly. Another one came all the way from Shizuoka city to participate (which is approximately 1 hour and a half long). People had heard about it and were interested but often hesitated to participate. When my turn came I tried to reassure them, their reading couldn’t possibly be worse than mine. I also couldn’t help but notice that there was no one under 30 among the participants.

このようなシーンになりました。川根の、シンプルな喫茶店で家族がだんらんしているようでした。九人の人は、あたたかい飲み物を飲んだりロールケーキを食べたり笑ったりして『高き彼物』を読みながらいい感じの雰囲気になりました。 自分も読み、静岡弁の「だに」などの言い回しと漢字にチャレンジして、演劇をする感覚を思い出せました。
I was really wondering if something could come out of this small performance composed almost exclusively of amateurs. And I got an answer during the session.
Okuno distributed the roles among the participants, reading the annotations, putting everyone together to establish a group spirit and a rhythm. It became a peculiar scene. A small shop in Kawane, with people reading and laughing while enjoying some warm beverages and cake. That could have looked like a family reunion. Reading myself I felt like I haven’t for a long time, challenging this Shizuoka dialect and the ideograms filling the text.


As we were playing “Takaki Kanomono”, an atmosphere filled with energy emerged, as the rhythm, managed with skill by Okuno, juggled between quick role changes and moving to the next part or small breaks allowing group talks, as if it was breathing.
It was a pleasant sensation to feel that energy flowing in the air, like a warm ball going from hands to hands through different point of views, words and bodies. And then, out of sudden, a little miracle happened. As if the play was speaking for itself, one reader spoke her part with such accuracy and strength that she ignored and cut through the annotations, bringing everyone in a pleasured surprise.

In the end we thanked everyone for coming and participating, and closed the sessions.

SPAC制作部 インターン生