Applied Theatre for Community Building
A Collaborative & Educational Workshop in partnership with ICA
This workshop was designed for community organizers, arts-based project coordinators, people involved in Social Justice, Social Work, art therapy, artists of different backgrounds, theatre directors, facilitators, and educators. Participants will engage in discussion about what Applied Theatre is and how it has been used for community-building initiatives. For those with little experience in the field of theatre or the arts, you will learn how to utilize some of the functions of Applied Theatre to engage participants in processes of sharing and staging their personal experiences. For artists in theatre or other areas this workshop will highlight the conventions used in Applied Theatre to create a safe space for participants to share personal stories. Part of creating that safe space is to understand the ethical implications of working with people who have experienced trauma, and of understanding the steps to take to ensure safety and autonomy of participants within this space.
Applied Theatre is a hands-on participatory model of engagement that involves its participants in a collaborative process of creativity. Through theatre activities and conventions the group comes together to bring to light certain important issues to the community, or to simply create the space where participants can form bonds and connections as a means of building community. Applied Theatre is designed to engage people who have no experience in theatre, but have a shared vested interest in a particular topic they want to explore through creative means.
Victoria’s initiative to welcome Syrian migrants means that there will be more opportunities for the arts to play a role in helping this community settle and make new connections. Feelings of isolation, alienation, and culture shock are amongst many that newcomers may experience. We believe that through the arts we can begin to create a common language of dialogue, exploration, celebration, and honoring of the memories left behind, and of those memories that are about to be created for our newcomer migrants.
Through the years we have seen the impact that community theatre can have on the experiences of newcomers. In sharing stories and recalling memories participants make connections, gain insight, but most importantly, they allow themselves to celebrate their strength and acknowledge the courageousness of their journeys. This type of theatre is celebratory in nature, but it also acknowledges the hardships and obstacles people have had to overcome to arrive at their destination. Implied in this work is a process of healing the past, and in doing so one can begin to welcome the future.
What is Applied Theatre, and what is the impact of Community-based Arts practices on building connections and dealing with important issues. Can this practice be used as a means of healing, of reconciling, and of reintegration of marginalized communities into society? How can organizations use theatre and the arts to foster inclusion and community building? What is the power of creating a space where people share their personal stories of struggle and reconciliation? What are the ethical practices necessary to ensure safety of participants in storytelling of personal narratives?
PEER POWER VIDEO PROJECT – BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Exploring Masculinity & Misogyny
Peer Power intends to create powerful messages to invigorate the dialogue and awareness of misogynistic attitudes and sexual violence prevention strategies among youth. Some examples of Short Films:
Issues that will be discussed include:
- Pressures exerted upon young men by traditional ideas about masculinity, male superiority & male sexual entitlement.
- Mass Culture – video games that treat women like disposable sex objects; songs about blurred lines “You know you want it”; and the insidious effects of pornography.
- ‘Rape Culture’ – beliefs that encourage male sexual aggression and support violence against women. Has physical and emotional dominance over women become the societal norm?
- What is Consent? Consent for any sexual activity is the centerpiece for preventing sexual coercion and unwanted sexual behavior. A voluntary, sober, enthusiastic, informed, mutual, honest verbal agreement equals consent.
- Bystander Intervention – preventing and de-escalating potentially violent incidents by empowering bystanders with the confidence and tools to intervene.
NB: Before being involved in this project, all young adults under the age of 18 will be required to get signed parental consent.
For more information please contact: Paulina Grainger, Arts & Outreach Coordinator, Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250) 388-4728 Ext. 138.
This project is a partnership with Peter Campbell and Gumboot Productions and is funded by TELUS Community Board and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria. Aligned with ICAʼs mandate this project aims to create a space for youth of all backgrounds, regardless of colour, race, sexual orientation, religion, culture and (dis)abilities.