Theatre for Development
- Selected summaries on PARTICIPATORY THEATRE for development.
- POLICY DIALOGUE sparked through theatre.
- Have a VACANT POST to advertise?
- Vote in a POLL on effective representation.
- Intersections: THEATRE and HEALTH.
- PREVIOUS DRUM BEATS on theatre for development.
- Theatre and LIFE SKILLS.
- PREVIOUS SOUL BEATS on theatre for development.
by Lena Slachmuijlder and Don Tshibanda
This book, published in 2009, documents what Search for Common Ground has learned using participatory theatre for conflict transformation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In their performance methodology, the audience participates to adapt, change, or correct a situation, an attitude, or a behaviour that is developed during the show.
by Fredrick Mugira
Published in the Glocal Times in October 2008, this article describes how South Africa's Drama AIDS Education, popularly known as DramAidE, uses participatory drama and other interactive educational methodologies within schools to equip young people in that country with increased knowledge about HIV/AIDS and the skills to inform and communicate with others about sexual health. The author suggests that young people like to not only watch, but also to take part in, live drama, and that this affinity can increase the chances that messages positively impact attitudes and behaviour.
by Cristina Sganga and Teun Visser
Published by Amnesty International in 2006, this guide is a basic introductory manual for using participatory theatre methods for exploring human rights issues with people in rural communities. It is divided into two sections. The first explains the approach and introduces the different components of participatory research and participatory theatre methodology. The second contains information on the range of participatory theatre methods and provides illustrative examples.
by Peter W. U. Appel
This paper documents a forum theatre project, conducted between June 2007 and early 2008, which focused on raising awareness about the toxicity of skin-bleaching soaps, particularly those containing mercury. The play presented the problem but left it unsolved, and the audience was invited on stage to complete the play through improvisation.
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Created and performed by people who have struggled with homelessness in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, this forum theatre production was designed as a vehicle to help develop policy and plans for the government and social service agencies to ensure that housing is safe, appropriate, and affordable. The aim was not to raise awareness; rather, this model attempted to creatively involve the public in dialogue that could lead to public input into policy and development planning.
As part of this 3-year project, launched in July 2009, the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) is using theatre to raise awareness and dialogue about agricultural policies so that women and their communities are better prepared to advocate for improved policies and services.
Published in 2008 as part of a monthly online dialogue series moderated by the New Tactics in Human Rights Project, this dialogue summary explores the topic of how theatre is being used to promote, educate, motivate, and move people to action regarding human rights, development, and issues of change.
by Arvind Singhal and Karen Greiner
Published in 2008, this article analyses performance activism as a form of engaging and mobilising citizens to action, posing the question: "How do playful, symbolic actions engage a citizenry?" Three cases are studied: Gandhi's symbolic mass mobilisation protests in India; Antanas Mockus' playful civic engagement strategies in Bogota, Colombia; and the playful actions of "Billionaires for Bush" in the United States.
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Which of the following is most important for effective representation of the interests of marginalised groups?
- media representation and coverage to create public awareness.
- group organisation for self-advocacy.
- representation and advocacy support through NGOs.
- government representation through assigned intermediaries.
VOTE and COMMENT click here.
A few selected comments received:
"There is nothing compared to communities who feel empowered to demand and bring about change - that is, change that they can own."
"It is difficult to select a single mecanism, because the impact of media is crucial in giving visibility to the social sectors and groups, especially those discriminated. However, the main factor is the organization of those affected by discrimination. They are the source of any political action that can succeed."
"voices of any groups that are marginalised need to reach wider audience, and the massmedia is the only platform which is very cost effective and dependable interface between those groups and all others- the govt., the people, and the members of the groups concerned across any geographical boundaries."
From February 2009 through April 2010, the industrial theatre group Quiet Storm worked with members of Namibia's Agricultural Employers Association (AEA) to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS through a play, "lig deur die Kraak", performed for farm workers, employers, and rural communities in Namibia. A DVD and a radio production of the play were also produced and are being distributed by AEA to its members.
Launched in June 2006, WSI is a biennial programme challenging participants to create issue-based, aesthetically provocative, entertaining theatre around HIV and AIDS. The ultimate goal is to empower both student and community participants with the tools and resources necessary to create similar theatre projects in their own communities and lives.
This report describes the second round of a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) sharing session on creative communication in Vietnam under the theme "performing arts for behavior and social change". Session participants shared experiences and discussion around the effectiveness and efficiency of theatre, acting, role play, and interactive games to tackle social and health issues including HIV/AIDS prevention, reproductive health, and stigma reduction.
Supported by UNICEF and implemented by the Non-governmental Organisation Coalition on the Rights of a Child (NGOC) in Lesotho, this is an interactive theatre project in which young people write scripts on topics of interest to them, such as breaking the silence and shame around gender, HIV and AIDS, violence, and abuse; audiences are invited to respond to what is happening on stage.
This play toured South Africa in 2008 and 2009 and focused on the issue of macho culture and the role African men play in the spread of HIV. Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) units accompanied the performances so that audience members could undergo an HIV/AIDS test.
This theatre project of the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) in collaboration with Theatrescience took place in Busia, Uganda, from October 2009 to April 2010. It was designed to share health messages about the prevention and treatment of the parasitic disease bilharzia. The project worked with primary schools, including children, teachers, and community workers, to create and perform drama productions which were showcased at a festival.
This project integrates professional medical clowning into the medical services provided at Israeli hospitals. Dream Doctors draw on laughter to address the suffering of those in pain, particularly children, at 16 hospitals throughout the country.
Implemented between February and October 2009, this project aimed to increase the HIV prevention knowledge and skills of more than 400 young fishermen and women in Tanzania in order to reduce risky behaviours. Initiated by the Youth Self-Employment Foundation (YOSEFO) in collaboration with different partners including the Zanzibar Theatre Group, TVZ, and Radio Zanzibar, the project used drama, peer education, and community outreach to promote awareness and counter HIV-related stigma.
by Arvind Singhal, Prucia Buscell, and Keith McCandless
This paper, published in 2009 as part of the Positive Deviance Initiative (PDI)'s "Positive Deviance Wisdom Series," explores a guerilla/improvisational theatre initiative that utilised the "positive deviance" model in an effort to reduce hospital-acquired infections.
by Susie Prest
This manual, revised in September 2008, describes the methodology used by the Chennai, South India-based organisation Nalamdana, which draws on community theatre as a health promotion tool for semi-literate and illiterate people.
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by Suzanne Jamison
This 2008 paper offers a case study of Performing Life (PL), a youth-led and -managed nonprofit organisation that works with youth who are labouring and/or living on the streets of Cochabamba, Bolivia. "Participants developed artistic abilities through juggling, theater, and other creative activities. With these skills and a new outlook on life, they began to improve their economic situations and to avoid drugs and delinquency..."
This puppet show is presented in South Africa in English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, and Tswana by arrep: Theatre for Life Trust. Designed for children ages 6-10, it incorporates a range of life skills issues - basic health, hygiene, illness, understanding HIV, medicines, and anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy. The puppet show is followed by facilitated discussions, which provide interactive, social life-skills education in an effort to enable informed choice and develop resilience in children.
This Jamaican project works to increase awareness and improve knowledge and attitudes through theatre productions that engage young people to examine issues in a non-threatening and entertaining, but educational, manner while cementing knowledge through subsequent discussions, workshops, and other one-on-one support interventions and activities that explore solutions to conflict resolution and anger management.
This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Deborah Heimann.
The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
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