This is a continuation of the relationship that started last year between PositiveEast and Drama St. Mary’s. We will be working with Positive East exploring the topic of 'Gender Equality & Safer Sex' in the UK.
The students interviewed six participants from Positive East. They were selected due to their stories and their comfort in speaking publicly about them. The students were professional as well as sympathetic to each of the interviewees. Each had positive responses about the interviews once they were finished and commended the students' on their interest and work.
The next stages is to see if these interviews can fit within the verbatim play that the students are creating for their trip to Malawi in May 2012. They will also be interviewing family and friends about their thoughts on 'Gender Equality and Safer Sex' which will also be a part of the play.
We will take the play to Malawi as part of our exchange and tour to teacher training colleges around Lilongwe. The hope is to share practice around verbatim and forum theatre with the teachers and staff from TfaC.
PositiveEast was thrilled at the outcome of last year’s performance of the play, Turning Poison into Medicine (original title, Living with HIV in the UK)in May 2010. Several of those interviewed were in the audience in February at St. Mary’s and participated in the post-show feedback session. The play was performed outside of a school in Lilongwe, Malawi to a captive audience and was very well received by both Theatre for a Change and their learners. The play was later filmed at Nickelodeon studios in central London to be distributed by MTV as a part of the HIV awareness programme. There are also plans to distribute it in student film festivals. The second part of the play, Living with HIV in Malawi, was performed to a packed audience at the Waldegrave Drawing Room at St. Mary’s upon return from Malawi in May 2011. This play was based on interviews conducted with sex workers in Malawi and on the students' experiences in Malawi.