University of Cambridge actors bring Shakespeare to the ASIJ stage

Each year for the past seven years, the University of Cambridge sends a group of talented performers to Japan to host workshops on Shakespearean language and to perform one of the bard’s plays. This year, thanks to support provided by the PTA, we were able to enjoy their performance of The Two Gentlemen of Verona in ASIJ’s Ricketson Theater.

The Cambridge performers also hosted three workshops at ASIJ for high school AP English students where they introduced Shakespeare’s techniques such as iambic pentameter through a variety of activities and games that had us literally moved by his words! Though Shakespeare is enjoyable on the page, the workshop showed us that the rhythm and depth of the verse comes out best when it is performed.

The University of Cambridge’s Japan Tour is sponsored by Seikei University and includes seven performances. In addition to ASIJ, they also performed at Seikei University, Daito Bunka University, Meiji University, and the Nigiwaiza Theater in Yokohama. The Yokohama Theater Group, a non-profit organization, assisted in the set-up and adaptation to the Japan venues. The comedy of mistaken identity in Two Gentlemen was mixed up even further by the casting of girls for all the boys’ roles and vice versa. We enjoyed this fresh and energetic take on a Shakespearean classic.