Thursday, 11 April 2013

Theatre for Development Module - South Africa 2013

Applied Theatre students will for the second year in a row fly to South Africa to participate in a 10 day Theatre for Development project.  As a part of the project, they will be placed in South African schools in Kwazulu Natal to facilitate drama workshops with the students, work in community centres in and around Durban and Magabheni Township as well as have the opportunity to work with university students at Kwazulu Natal University.

As component parts of their Theatre for Development training, students have researched the socio-political situation in South Africa, pursued funding opportunities, administer fundraising events & galvanise support.    Within the exchange, the students will lead drama workshops as well as participate in workshops, exercises & performances led by the community.  The content of the workshops & performances would be decided upon within the community with the drama students bring the form & structure of Forum Theatre, but not the content.  

The students’ stay has been programmed in advance with opportunities to be fully engaged & emerged within the community with visits to local schools, hospitals, community centres, etc… all with the possibility of using drama within that particular community.  The programme would also look for opportunities for young people within the community to work closely with the St. Mary’s students. Costs to the communities would be kept to a minimum as the students fundraise in London for this opportunity.  No money comes from the University to support this exchange so a budget would have to be tightly followed and would be worked out in advance.  

It is a vital part of our exchange programme that the St. Mary’s students give as much as they receive.  It needs to be more than a ‘voluntourism’ opportunity, but an opportunity to leave a sustainable legacy with other St. Mary’s students returning for future opportunities.  It would be expected that the community be involved as an intrinsic part of the exchange as well.  Debate, discussion & reflection within the community are critical.  

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