The Power of Documentary Theatre to Promote Cross-National Understanding: Personal Impact of Performing With Their Voices Raised by Japanese and American Youth Actors

Patricia Liehr, Yui Matsuda, Mio Ito, Kathryn Morris, Chie Nishimura, Ryutaro Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to share descriptions of the personal impact for cross-national youth actors (Japanese, American) who performed With Their Voices Raised (Voices), a documentary theater script that shares the stories of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima survivors who lived through the bombings of December 7, 1941, and August 6, 1945, respectively. Design/Methods: This was a descriptive exploratory focus group study conducted immediately after student-actors from Funairi High School in Hiroshima (n = 15) and Farrington High School in Oahu, Hawaii (n = 8), performed Voices. Data were content analyzed by a cross-national research team to address the question “What was the personal impact of performing Voices for Japanese and American youth actors?” Findings: There were three themes that crossed national boundaries: sense of power of the message from real-life people, new cross-national awareness, and moving beyond familiar history to engage and learn. The fourth theme distinguished the youth groups: for Japanese youth, performing Voices inspired an awareness of their local focus; for American youth, it enlivened youth-to-youth engagement as a learning approach. Conclusions: Documentary theater script is a creative, holistic approach with the potential to bridge divisiveness and promote cross-national understanding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-163
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Holistic Nursing
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • common themes
  • documentary theater
  • group/population
  • qualitative research
  • transcultural/diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing (miscellaneous)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Power of Documentary Theatre to Promote Cross-National Understanding: Personal Impact of Performing With Their Voices Raised by Japanese and American Youth Actors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this