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Theatre for Development

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  • George Lessard
    PARTICIPATORY THEATRE FOR DEVELOPMENT 1. Participatory Theatre for Conflict Transformation: Training Manual by Lena Slachmuijlder and Don Tshibanda This
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5 10:09 PM

      1. Participatory Theatre for Conflict Transformation: Training Manual
      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.

      2. DramAidE and Live Drama: Raising Young People's Awareness About
      HIV/AIDS in a Creative, Interactive and Engaging Way
      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.

      3. Ben ni walen (Let's agree and take action): Mobilising for Human
      Rights Using Participatory Theatre
      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.

      4. Use of Soaps Containing Mercury in Africa - How to Fight It
      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.

      * Also see:

      Action Theatre

      Action Theatre: Initiating Changes

      Story Workshop Educational Trust - Malawi

      Sanaa Art Promotions (SAP) - Kenya



      5. after homelessness... - Canada
      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.

      6. Women Accessing Realigned Markets (WARM) - Malawi and Mozambique
      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

      7. Using Theatre for Human Rights Education and Action
      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.

      8. Performance Activism and Civic Engagement Through Symbolic and
      Playful Actions
      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.

      * Also see:

      Theatre and Democracy

      Art as Resistance


      9. Agricultural Employers Association (AEA) HIV/AIDS Awareness Theatre
      - Namibia
      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.

      10. Winter/Summer Institute in Theatre for Development (WSI) - Lesotho,
      South Africa, United Kingdom (UK), United States
      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.

      11. Performing Arts for Behavior and Social Change: Summary of Sharing
      Session of Creative Communication on 8 April 2010
      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

      12. Theatre in Preventing HIV (TIPH) among Young People and Adolescents
      - Lesotho
      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.

      13. Umhlaba Wethu - A Man's World - South Africa
      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.

      14. Acting Against Worms - Uganda
      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

      15. Dream Doctors Project - Israel
      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.

      16. Empower Youth and Communities to Respond to HIV/AIDS - Tanzania
      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.

      17. Saving Lives by Changing Relationships: Positive Deviance for MRSA
      Prevention and Control in a U.S. Hospital
      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.

      18. Promoting Health with Live Performance: The Methodology of a South
      India Community Theatre Organisation
      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.

      * Also see:

      Theatre for Life: Health Information, Community Mobilisation and Child
      Rights - A Qualitative Evaluation

      Theatre for Development (TfD)


      Previous Drum Beat Editions Related to Theatre for Development:

      The Drum Beat 393 - Let's Use Folk Arts and Traditional Media for

      The Drum Beat 361 - Puppetry for Development

      The Drum Beat 232 - Wan Smolbag Theatre - Vanuatu

      The Drum Beat 215 - Arts-Based Community Development



      19. The Effects of Performing Life on Street Working Youth in
      Cochabamba, Bolivia: A Special Project in Community Development, Iowa State
      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..."

      20. No Monkey Business: Inside Out Puppet Show - South Africa
      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.

      21. Ashe Performing Arts Company: Edutainment Initiative - Jamaica
      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.


      Previous Soul Beat Newsletters Related to Theatre for Development:

      The Soul Beat 158 - Theatre for Social Change

      The Soul Beat 80 - Theatre for Development

      The Soul Beat 42 - Using Puppetry for Communication


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