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Activity Reports

Ishinomaki Musical “A COMMON BEAT”

October 12, 2012

Create a musical with 100 people in 100 days!
At the Peace Boat Centre Ishinomaki, people are now talking about rehearsals for a musical which is going to be performed in Miyagi in January next year.

This musical programme was set up by the NPO Common Beat. After the disaster struck last year, the group has been arranging ‘volunteer buses’ to take many of its members to volunteer in Ishinomaki.

The musical which they will perform, COMMON BEAT, was originally started by a non-profit group in the US. As young people from all over the world came together to perform the musical, they learned about each others cultures and lives. It has since come to be used in international-based education.

The young people were deeply struck by the message of understanding other cultures and respecting cultural differences that runs through the musical, which is why they translated it into Japanese and in 2004, set up the Japanese NPO Common Beat. Since then, cast members have been recruited in local areas where the musical was to be performed, and there have been many successful performances all across Japan.

The musical 'A Common Beat' as performed on Peace Boat's 76th Global Peace Voyage

Common Beat has been held onboard Peace Boat’s Global Peace Voyages, with both young and old participants from all across Japan and beyond rehearsing and performing the musical together while at sea.

The Onboard Common Beat Programme is also scheduled to take place on the 79th Global Peace Voyage, leaving Japan on April 1 next year.

The next aim of Common Beat, which has thus far carried out programmes onboard Peace Boat and sent volunteers to Ishinomaki, is to carry out the first Tohoku Project on January 19-20, 2013. Since it was difficult to find a suitable venue in Ishinomaki, it will be performed at Taga City’s Culture Centre, also in Miyagi Prefecture. The important thing in starting out with this project was to get local people in Ishinomaki to become interested in joining the cast. Working with the Peace Boat Centre in Ishinomaki, central members of Common Beat have gone to Ishinomaki many times to give trial performances at local events and festivals.

Performance at the 'Kawabiraki Festival' in Ishinomaki

A performance at the Aeon Mall in Hebita, Ishinomaki.

A trial performance aimed at those interested in joining the cast.

While the staff were a little worried at first, but we’ve finally been able to put together a cast of 100 people, most of them from Ishinomaki, that represents all age ranges. So, we’re going to officially start rehearsals from tomorrow, October 13. Watch this space!

●Details on the ‘A COMMON BEAT’ Tohoku Programme’s performance in Miyagi can be found here.

● Details can also be found on Facebook here.

Photos: Magasaki Naoto