Act, Learn and Teach : Theatre, HIV and AIDS Toolkit for Youth in Africa

Learning & Teaching Materials
UNESCO Office Dakar and Regional Bureau for Education in Africa, BREDA
Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service, CCIVS
68 p.

Act, Learn and Teach: Theatre, HIV and AIDS Toolkit for Youth in Africa is a publication resulting from a project collaboration between UNESCO and the CCIVS (Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service) edited in 2006. This toolkit and associated material, including the CD-ROM provided, introduce you to Forum Theatre as a tool for HIV and AIDS education. The toolkit has been written with special consideration for youth groups and amateur theatre groups in English-speaking Africa who wish to address HIV- and AIDS-related issues in ways that are creative and engaging. The toolkit is divided into 5 parts as following: (I) Theatre as an educational tool (provides a short background on theatre as a tool to raise awareness on different issues and gives special attention to the context of popular and contemporary theatre in English-speaking Africa. This section explains why theatre is a useful tool for HIV and AIDS education and introduces the concept of Forum Theatre, its historical background and the main elements of any Forum Theatre play). (II) Think before you play (presents points one needs to keep in mind before setting out to create and perform a Forum Theatre play. Considering carefully your audience members, their culture(s), and the specific concerns they might have regarding HIV and AIDS will help make your Forum Theatre event a success. This section walks you through these considerations and introduces other important steps that you can use to help plan your play. Here, you will also find useful tips on how to dramatize HIV- and AIDS-related issues while using language that is appropriate to your specific audience). (III) Creating a forum theatre play (looks at the nuts and bolts, the essential elements, of play making. It introduces the Forum Theatre actor and considers her/his role. You will also be introduced to the Joker, a unique and important character in Forum Theatre plays. You will learn essential tips on how to facilitate a play, how to engage the audience, and how to behave on stage. Finally, you will be given some suggestions on how to cope with unexpected pitfalls that may arise). (IV) Action! Performance day (presents ideas for welcoming and warming-up your audience and for evaluating the impact and effectiveness of your event after it is finished). (V) Other helpful resources (will set you in the right direction for further developing your play and reinforce your knowledge of the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS. This part is composed of two annexes; Annex A: Examples of Forum Theatre Scenarios. You can perform these scenarios as they are written, or, for greater impact, you can adapt them to your specific context and audience using the considerations explained to you in Part II. Next, Annex B: Basic Information about HIV and AIDS summarizes facts about HIV transmission and prevention, HIV counseling and testing, and common myths about HIV and AIDS. Annex C: Resource List provides you with websites and other information for guidance and further inspiration. You will also find valuable information about participatory development and youth participation. In addition, a CD-Rom has been included to facilitate your use of this toolkit. Therein, you will find helpful interviews with experienced Forum Theatre actors and Jokers, as well as clips of Forum Theatre plays. By introducing theatre as a dynamic educational tool, this toolkit and the accompanying CD-Rom are meant to inspire creative ideas and reflection on HIV and AIDS. However, be advised that the concepts, exercises and considerations found here should not be considered applicable or appropriate to all contexts, even within English-speaking Africa, for which this kit has been prepared.

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