The term, ‘drama’ comes from a Greek word meaning “action”: “to do” or “to act”.

For those who have not been directly affected by sexual violence, the pain it causes can be hard to imagine. Theater can a powerful way to provide survivors with the space to share their experience with the public.  But you absolutely do not have to be a survivor in order to create a moving and powerful performance that addresses these issues. You can devise a fictional play (Check out Slut: The Play) and create characters who experience and survive sexual violence. Whether in the form of a video or a live performance, drama is a powerful, creative and meaningful way to bring a relatable message to your audience.

Spectacle Theatre worked with families, adults, children and teachers to co-produce a piece of interactive theatre based upon the experiences of young people to explore cyber-bullying and online sexual harassment with families, adult groups, children and teachers. Special is based around two central characters: one an eleven year old girl who is a witness to a bullying incident, the other a fifty year old man with special needs, whose mother is in hospital so he is being cared for by his sister.

Every October, the United Nations celebrates the International Day of the Girl with an event (sponsored by the Working Group of Girls) that includes a performance (co-produced by SPARK). A call goes out to girls around the world to send in monologues, poetry, stories and songs related to their experiences of being a girl where they live. We then create a script from these pieces (often from 20+ countries) and perform at the UN alongside high level officials, ambassadors and leaders of UN agencies who speak about the work they are doing to improve the lives of girls in their countries. The performances help personalize the issues and the audience of 600+ people in the room plus viewers in more than 80 countries get to hear the voices of girls using poetry and drama to express their stories. It’s pretty awesome!

For more ideas and information on working with theatre and the arts to prevent violence through the promotion of healthy relationships, see Tender’s Bridge Project. Tender is a charity that works with thousands of young people every year to help prevent and address abusive relationships.

For a how-to toolkit that guides you through using theatre to address sexual violence, download our SPARKit! Theatre Toolkit

For information about some amazing performance programs for young people, click HERE.

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