The purpose of this project was to support four young people from the Maori and Somali community to develop skills in leadership and communication so they could step into the role of “audience host” for performances of the community theatre work “Crossing Lines.”
The four were mentored in the skills needed to support and encourage their community to reflect on the performance, to further engage with the dialogue presented and to genuinely respond to the work. Group workshops, held in the performance space, sought to develop the skills required, to build relationships between the group, to develop an understanding of the performance work and the questions being raised by the actors.
Phase One was free weekly drama classes for refugee youth which ran October 2010 – February 2011. These classes were used to build capacity amongst the youth with the aim of nurturing a core group who would move on to phase two of the project.
Phase Two is the creation of an original performance work that will be presented to the wider Wellington community at the World Refugee Day carnival held every year. At this point a number of theatre professionals will be invited to offer mentoring and support to the core group.
Phase Three will see the performance recorded and edited into a DVD which, with the script, will be circulated to schools and agencies nationwide in an effort to engage further debate around the refugee experience and foster greater understanding of refugee issues.
10 young people, identified by teachers and parents as needing additional support to build confidence and improve behaviour were selected for this project. They met weekly with a theatre facilitator from Voice Arts Trust and introduced to a range of games and exercises designed to challenge and enjoy. Workshops focused on building confidence and self-esteem amongst the participants while encouraging new forms of emotional expression and social engagement with other children.
This project offered a rare and unique opportunity for five young people with refugee backgrounds to be guided through the process of creating, developing and producing their own radio dramas for broadcast on Radio New Zealand National in celebration of World Refugee Day 2010.
The foundation of this project was individual workshops with a skilled arts-facilitator; the aim was to nurture new forms of self-expression and to support the creative exploration and development of each participant’s story of choice. The result is five unique and very different stories exploring themes of loss, separation, re-birth, true love, and misunderstanding. The stories aired on Radio New Zealand National 21st June – 25th June 2010 and are now part of RNZ’s permanent on-line collection. This project was funded by The Department of Labour.