Nowadays theatre is being used in numerous projects of social-educational projects, using it for different purposes both social, as educational. In Spain and in Europe, in general, are being developed interventions based on this instrument, identifying, at this moment, a deficit of training, to allow social workers to make quality interventions in this area.
Through this project the participants learned to use theatre, in general, and forum theatre in specific, with the purpose to familiarize them with new techniques of working with youngsters, to obtain their active participation in community, to promote concepts like anti-discrimination, tolerance and social inclusion.
- To understand the role of theatre in working with youngsters, especially those belonging to disadvantaged categories
- Knowing specific theatre techniques and their advantages
- Familiarizing with forum theatre – elements, structure and applicability
- Developing competences in using theatre – public speaking, expresivness, improvisation, non-verbal communication
- Exchange of good practice and ideas for using theatre in working with groups of young people with fewer opportunities
- Developing cultural competences and working in multicultural environments
- Increasing tolerance and accepting diversity
- Improving the level of English, both in the theatre area, as informal
Period: 15.09.2014 – 01.03.2015
Location: Tenerife, Spain
Beneficiaries: 24 people that work with young people, belonging to fewer opportunities categories, from 8 European countries: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, and Macedonia
Training course, 25.10.2014 – 02.11.2014, where the participants learned to use instruments and techniques of theatre and forum theatre, worked in developing their own capacity of creating theatre plays and managing the part of public interaction after the play. Additional to the training sessions, the course included free time activities, like city rally, intercultural night activities and others that offered the participants, of different cultures, the opportunity to interact and know each other.
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1. A group activity with the children from “Growing up together”, a programme of Save the Children Iasi Branch, which aims at providing a Friday afternoon activity club for children that have one or both their parents working abroad. The children’s ages range from 8-17. The Romanian involved in the training course participated in one of their meetings when there were around 25 children present and did some theatre exercises. The aim of the exercises was to stimulate their expressiveness through art and to use them as a pretext for discussing more sensitive topics such as discrimination or gender equality. It was found that these topics are better handled through these methods because children are getting into someone else’s shoes and become more aware of the stereotypes that society, including them, is perpetuating.
2. The second dissemination activity was done through a half a day workshop with 12 teenagers from Interact, a local youth association. As this group was more homogenous in terms of age (16-18 years) it as easier to do a more complex activity starting with the presentation of the concept of Forum Theatre, introductory exercises and culminating with 2 Image Theatre representations. The purpose was of offering a complete picture of how art in general and theatre in particular can be used to trigger social change. As theoretical information is usually not enough, it were put into practice and they created two representations that constituted the pretext for debating on discrimination based on sexual orientation.
In Bulgaria, the participants chose to disseminate the project on as many levels as possible – within their organization (Teach for Bulgaria), within their schools and communities and anywhere else where possible.
1. The major activity happened on December 5th, 2014 during one of their organization’s usual Professional Development Friday interesting skills and ideas. There were about 30-40 people from Teach for Bulgaria participating and the presentation involved an energizer, a quick presentation about the project + plays that were done in Tenerife and a theatre exercise (“turn around, I will tell you a word, count back from 10 and then you need to turn and freeze into a pose you think represents this word” game; they used some ‘controversial’ words like gypsy and religious person, but also some of the fun ones – like woman and teenager)
Everyone was rather excited and it is possible that the partner will organize one-day Forum Theatre training, so that more teachers can get to know the techniques and use it in their classrooms.
2. Now all the Bulgarian participants in the TC often use theatre in class to practice vocabulary and strengthen the class spirit. Nikol used some theatre exercises in school with 6th graders (11-12 years old) and is currently working towards convincing the principal to establish a Theatre club at the school, but they are short on space, so it will probably be a hard task to come up with a way to accommodate everyone who wants to sign up.
1. On the 10th of December 2014, Kaidi introduced her training experience to the employees of the Võru Okasroosike kindergarten. A total of 15 teachers took part. For starters, she presented them the content and the idea of the training and introduced the people, who came together for the training – a short introduction, such as where they were from and what they do.
They also played different games:
– The mirror game (imitating your partner);
– The multiple meanings of items, as in how to explain to your companions what the item is without the use of any words;
– Meeting a foreigner and translating what he or she is saying.
She introduced games they could use with smaller children. The teachers especially liked the game where you had to pass on your emotions using only 3 numbers.
2. A few weeks after the training, before Christmas break, Maiu and Kai organized in their community, with youngsters, parents and teachers a big Theatre show. The participants had as objective to impersonate a famous artist. They had time for teamwork, preparation, costume time etc.
The partner organization with 2 of the Italian participants at the TC organized a meeting for the dissemination of the course in the library of Isola delle Femmine on December 16th 2014. There were around 20 people between 18 and 40. They were students, teachers and members of other local associations. Gaya and Giuseppe explained almost all the activities they did in Tenerife and the people present were very excited because they didn’t expect that a training course could be so nice and interesting. Also it was explained how Erasmus+ works and the audience asked for more info about it.
For the presentation the support materials received after the training were used and a video presentation was made.
At the end of the meeting some people ask to join the Comeunamarea Association so they can participate in similar projects.
During the youth exchange Business Creativity, implemented in Tenerife between 29th of November – 7th of December 2014, with 36 youngsters from 6 European countries, P.O.D. Association organized an image theatre to raise awareness on the stereotypes of the Spanish men. The young participants easily recognized the stereotypes and agreed that are well-known ones, although the Spanish men they personally know don’t fit in any of them.
Poraka Nova celebrated 30 years of activity on the 3rd of December 2014 – the international day of the people with disabilities, and for that occasion they organized an event with more than 100 people where one of the moments was an image theater. Before the event it was organized a training activity for the staff, volunteers, families and beneficiaries, and the result of the training was an image theater play called “One school class – Social exclusion of a person with intellectual disability in regular schools”. In the play took part one beneficiary of the day care center who is dealing with intellectual disability.
The dissemination activity was made in the high-school where 2 of the participants at the TC are teaching, respectively studying. They asked around for willing participants and made a group of 10 members – 5 native Swedish students and 5 students that recently came to Sweden as refugees. After a few meetings with the youngsters where they did some energizers, get to know each-other and theatre exercises learned at the training in Tenerife, the group decided to make an image theatre about direct armed violence against a child.
The image theatre prepared was presented in a high-school classroom with approximate 20 students and 2 teachers, before Christmas vacation. The audience was skeptical at first as to what and why they had to be a part of what happened, but they soon loosened up and started rearranging the troublesome situation enacted. At the end the audience had resolved the directly violent situations. The child was safe in the arms of his mother and the man with the weapon was disarmed and being hugged by three people. One thing that remained and which was a good point to discuss was that the woman pointing and laughing was, basically, still doing that. In a small community where many people voted for a political party founded on racist ideologies it was good to point out the importance of solving that act of aggression as well.
Visibility online of the project:
Teach For Bulgaria