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THEATRE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

Theatre is a powerful tool to promote, in the participants, self-awareness, hope for the future and confidence to take action. The theatre I propose (Raw Theatre, or Theatre of Yes) is a theatre without artefacts, without masks, a theatre of empowerment and acceptance of oneself. It is a theatre for the empowerment of those who are excluded because they have not been able to adapt to a society that only values economic success.

I’ve been very lucky to work with a wide range of groups promoting visibility and creating projects that breath life into important social challenges:

  • Adults with mental health issues
  • People with learning disabilities
  • Vulnerable women
  • Homeless people
  • Refugees and immigrants
  • Youth groups and LGBTQ+ community
  • etc

All projects follow the same structure with the aim of creating a space where participants can develop self-confidence and new skills, while at the same time exploring and reflecting on the issues that affect them. Projects culminate in high quality plays conceived by the participants using their own stories.

Stage 1 Developing people’s creativity through physical theatre

I use theatre games, improvisations, conscious movement and voice exercises to develop a safe group dynamic and allow people to explore their own capacities such as imagination, body language, expression, etc.

Through the creative process, participants will discover new ways of relating with others and communicating  ideas. Introducing physical theater, participants also become aware of how to use their bodies, which can open up new forms of expression. All of this leads to improved self-awareness, empathy, self-esteem and social equality.

Stage 2 Devising theatre from personal stories

Participants are encouraged to create short dramatic scenes that encourage reflection. This stage allows participants to think about, reflect on and talk about their own stories.

The focus is on supporting them to develop an awareness of the reality in which they live and to view life from multiple perspectives. This distancing process provides the necessary protection for participants to both think and feel deeply about personal issues in a safe manner.

Stage 3 Creating high quality performances to drive change

In this stage, participants start working towards the final performance, which will be a close and direct reflection on real life to raise awareness and to generate change.

The group adopts a collective approach to creating dynamic theatre pieces, in which the outcomes from difficult situations are invented by the performers themselves. The work evolves democratically through contributions from each participant, using many forms of improvisation.

The result is a high quality performance. We can only break prejudices and stereotypes if we reach the emotions of the spectators and put forward new narratives. The participants, sharing their own stories, become catalysts for collective empowerment.  

To scale the impact of the projects, I work alongside charities, local authorities and community organisations to support their service users in their future endeavours. If you are interested in exploring how we can work together, please get in touch: marina@actingnow.co.uk