Educational Theatre 2012
By Chris Broodryk
Posted on 28 March 2012
The Drama departmentís annual touring educational theatre programmes ran from 14 to 20 March 2012. The programmes are developed annually under the supervision of Prof Mariť-Heleen Coetzee.
The programmes are presented in collaboration with the SAPS Villeria, the Tshwane Metro Police, and since 2010, Kilnerpark Security, as part of their crime prevention programmes and has been running since 2004. According to an SAPS estimate, the programmes played to 10 000 learners this year.
The Drama department creates original, new educational theatre programmes each year that targets specific themes identified by the police and schools. The department’s educational theatre makes use of a mixture of theatrical forms, participatory and educational techniques to reach audiences. For 2012, the department created two programmes – one for Grade 0-3 (in both English and Afrikaans) and one for grade 5-9.
The grade 0-3 programme dealt with bullying, stealing and respect for others and was presented three times a day. The grade 5-9 programme dealt with drug abuse and peer pressure. The programme was presented four times a day. It was a very demanding run that required students to draw on, and integrate, their movement, voice, acting and improvisational skills. Students had to adapt rapidly to changing performance circumstances, venues and audiences.
The students felt that the process was a great learning curve for them, not only in terms of performance skills and the content of the programmes, but also in terms of what they have learnt about themselves and the world they live in. Many students commented that they were personally touched by the experiences they had performing for learners with special needs.
The programmes received an overwhelmingly positive response from teachers and learners. Despite this demanding run, students are already preparing for their next touring community theatre project.