TheatreWorks offers workshops utilizing theatre to facilitate healthy change in schools, communities and organizations.
School and Community Previous Projects
Iced in Kitimat!
Iced in Kitimat was produced by Kitimat Community Services Society and TheatreWorks, funded by BC Ministry of Children and Family Development, and supported by Mount Elizabeth School and Mount Elizabeth Theatre. Working with fourteen participants between the ages of ten and sixty three, we utilized Theatre for Living to explore our struggles with drug and alcohol use. In the process, we created three powerful audience interactive plays for a community performance in Kitimat, BC, March 2007.
Meth: iron fist
The Bridging the Gap Program from the YMCA-YWCA of Greater Victoria and TheatreWorks partnered to create and present Meth: iron fist. The project was funded through a grant from the Victoria Hope Society, and supported by the Victoria Youth Clinic.
The project created two Forum Theatre plays about the realities of crystal meth use, addiction, and the marginalization that often leads to and contributes to struggles with crystal meth and other substances. The plays were performed at The Metro Theatre, Victoria, in November 2006, and followed by performances at the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria; the South Island Training Initiative Conference; Spectrum and SJ Willis High Schools; and the Victoria Youth Custody Centre.
In March 2007 we were invited to perform at Victoria City Hall. The performance was followed by a panel discussion and question and answer period. Panel members were drawn from the University of Victoria's Risky Business research project http://www.youth.society.uvic.ca/activities/research/cahr/proj3.html, the Victoria Youth Clinic, YMCA-YWCA Youth Outreach Team, and the theatre project. The panel was moderated by Gordon Harper, Executive Director, Umbrella Society for Addictions and Mental Health.
Sticks and Stones
Forum Theatre About Bullying
Sticks and Stones, Forum Theatre about Bullying, came about through a partnership between the Oak Bay family of schools, School District 61, the Oak Bay Police Department and TheatreWorks. In a three day workshop, high school drama students and elementary school leadership students explored the issue of bullying around difference: race, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability, and other differences. After the workshop, River worked with ten drama students to create two forum theatre plays for performance at the three elementary schools in the Oak Bay family. Audience members brought courageous and innovative interventions to the scenes of exclusion and discrimination presented in the plays, and engaged in thoughtful dialogue about the issues.
The Waged Poor Project: theatre about working and living in poverty
A Forum Theatre project partnering with the Quality of Life Challenge, Victoria.
Supported by Community Social Council of Victoria, Van City, the City of Victoria and the Public Service Alliance of Canada's Making Poverty History initiative.
The project began with a three day Theatre for Living workshop with 15 people living the issue of working and living in poverty. After the workshop, TheatreWorks Director River Chandler and 5 participants went on to create a Forum Theatre play based on the material explored in the workshop. The play was performed for a Community Council/Quality of Life Challenge event marking Victoria's first Corporate Social Responsibility Week, and for The Victoria International Arts Symposium Artists of Conscience Galleries.
InsideOUT: interactive theatre about homophobia and transphobia
Presented by TheatreWorks, Burnside Gorge Community Association and Victoria School District 61. Funded by National Crime Prevention Strategy and The Ministry of Public Safety.
"I gained so many things from InsideOUT: community, self respect, understanding myself and those around me, support, validation, and the sense of doing something above myself."
"I've lived my entire life until the work shop as one person. After the workshop, I became the real person inside. I was flipped "inside out". My inside self is now free."
- Project Participants
"The performances were very well done. I enjoyed being part of such an innovative and interactive theatre experience."
"The performance really involved the audience & I'll be thinking about this much longer than I would have with a mainstream theatre production."
- Audience Members
U WSA'NEC (Honouring Family)
Presented by TheatreWorks in partnership with the Saanich Adult Education Centre and Headlines Theatre.
"We must realize that the primary work and answers lie within ourselves and the community for "real change" to happen. As WSANEC people we must work together by being our own greatest source of healing."
Outspeak is a new program at AIDS Vancouver Island. We are a group of young peer educators who offer workshops to schools and youth service agencies addressing substance use and sexual health from a harm reduction approach in a way that is informative and respects a diversity of values. We also provide workshops on homophobia, heterosexism and transphobia aimed at reducing the stigma and discrimination directed toward queer youth.
TheatreWorks worked with the peer education team to develop two forum theatre pieces to be utilized in school and community presentations.
"Thanks so much for a fun real and fascinating learning experience! This new and exciting program has a great foundation, thanks to you."
- The Youth Community Development Team
ACTING OUT: Sex, Sexuality & Gender
An exploration of sex, sexuality and gender through Forum Theatre brought to you by TheatreWorks, Headlines Theatre and the UVic Women's Studies Department.
This project grew out of University of Victoria Woman's Studies student Mimi Warren's Honours thesis, centred on a research project she conducted evaluating the BC Sexual Health Curriculum in BC public high schools. Through her research, Mimi identified the need for youth and young adults to have the opportunity to explore and discuss sex, gender and sexuality in an inclusive, open, participatory and creative environment. Having participated in a Power Play project last year, Mimi was interested in utilizing Forum Theatre as a tool to initiate this dialogue and exploration, and approached TheatreWorks to facilitate the workshop.
"You can't read this out of a book or watch it on TV and get this full experience. This is the way to learn."
- Workshop participant
Yeah, We All Take Risks
A regional Real Theatre project supported by ANKORS and the Station, Castlegar.
Directed by River Chandler, TheatreWorks, Assisted by Chloe Sage, Real Theatre.
"The two plays presented at The Station Youth Centre were powerful and gripping."
"The audience interventions in the plays proved to be highly entertaining, thought stimulating and extremely powerful.
- Castlegar Citizen, March, 2005
Gimme the Keys
TheatreWorks partnered with Headlines Theatre, Vancouver, to present the Victoria project of the national initiative Gimme the Keys. In Victoria, the project was supported by ICBC, Vancouver Island Head Injury Society, Victoria School District Chair Charley Beresford, and St. John's Church, with local funding from the Ministry for Public Safety, South Island Autoplan Brokers, and BC Government Employees Association.
"I learned more on the ride home from Gimme the Keys about where my teenage son and his friends were, about drugs and alcohol, than I ever could any other way. The three powerful plays opened them up and I, as a parent, am very grateful."
- Mary Wilkie, Psychotherapist
"The performances attended by three of our SJ staff were most impressive. Using theatre as a teaching tool to explore issues in depth, to ask the important and hard questions, proved to be a powerful experience for the audience and performers. Using the art form of theatre to examine in depth the thorny problems youth encounter with substance use, driving and other real life issues is an effective and engaging tool to reach the hearts and minds of all community members."
- Principal, SJ Willis School
River is a theatre instructor for Victoria OCTA Collective's artsREACH program, in partnership with Vancouver's Arts Umbrella.
artsREACH delivers free theatre and visual arts workshops to public elementary schools in the Capital Region, focusing on those schools with a high population of children from low income families. Through these workshops, children explore themes such as building safe communities, multicultural understanding and respect for each other.
"The most successful aspects of the workshop were the calm, controlled, inspiring environment, and the progressive, sequential activities building skill development. The students were all engaged and loving every minute."
P. Keenan, Teacher, Marigold School
"Thank you so much for the lovely drama lesson. It was magnificent!"
Grade 4 student, Brentwood Elementary School.
© 2006 TheatreWorks Consulting
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