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Campus Now

Early Spring Issue (Mar.)

NEWS REPORT

“Forum Theater 2009” was convened

Think about the harassment through play

A male student from the audience played a role of a female freshmen.

On January 14, a participatory play, “Forum Theater 2009” was convened in the multi-purpose hall in the basement of the Student Union Building by Waseda University’s Harassment Prevention Committee and Office for Promotion of Gender Equity. “Is this harassment?” was the theme of the play. The “Forum Theater” is an educational method aiming to equip the students with problem solving skills through plays. This was the fifth “Forum Theater” held at Waseda University, under the guidance and cooperation from the “Engeki Design Guild,” a group of artists and facilitators.

The student performers played a party scene of an activity group. In the play, a drunk senior male student tried to sexually harass a female freshman. She could not stand and cried to stop it. Later, this student was accused by a female student who is senior to her that the party was turned off by her behavior. After the first performance, the same play was performed again. In the middle of the play, the audience was encouraged to stop the play at any time and express their opinions such as “she should have responded this way” or “as a senior, she/he should have behaved this way.” The person who expressed his/her opinion was also asked to play in replacement of the actor/actress. It turned out to be a very active forum. In addition to this activity, there was another Forum Theater dealing with power harassment by professors and a discussion forum about academic harassment.