The Third Year St. Mary’s University College Applied Theatre students are gathering stories for a play in Malawi in May 2012 as a part of their workplacement with the charity Theatre for a Change.
Verbatim theatre is a form where the words of the people represented on stage are faithfully recorded and structured into a narrative which is presented to an audience in the form of a play.
The students are interviewing men & women and seeking their opinion on gender equality and safer sex. The students are working in partnership with Positiveeast, an East London's HIV charity that offers support for individuals and communities affected by HIV and other UK charities that deal with HIV.
This is a continuation of the relationship that started last year between PositiveEast and Drama St. Mary’s. 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). 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.