Thursday, January 26, 2006

Theatre for a Change

The project grows. We've not got video projection facilities in the rehearsal space, and even elements of the lighting, so we can start to experiment properly with the machine of theatre. Usually, you have to guess what will work, and bung it all in at the last minute during the tech. Here, we can treat the design and technical elements as an integral part of the production, rather than an add-on. Bliss.

I spent this evening with Patrick Young, who runs Theatre for a Change in Ghana. It's a Boal-ish, interactive theatre organisation, with a particular interest in work around gender, sexual health and HIV. What they emphatically do not do is "Theatre for Development" (a term which I always suspect means "Theatre to make African people more like us"). Patrick and his young facilitators work to ensure that the questions they ask do not impose the answers, but offer the participative space for the solutions. When the participants play, men can become women and women men, and so gradually they can begin to ask how people might behave differently. I find myself very inspired, and tentatively book Patrick to lead a Laboratory workshop when he's next in England (probably March). Watch this space......

No comments: