Empowerment Through Theater

 

(For youth ages 13 and up)
T his new program is targeted towards young men and women in Canadas First Nations and Inuit communities who have ideally taken at least one or more BluePrintForLife workshops in the past. This innovative new weeklong workshop builds on past themes explored in other BluePrintForLife workshops. ( Respect, bullying, anger management, suicide, drugs and alcohol, abuse, healthy living, cultural pride and healing).

U sing a variety of well established theater techniques up to 40 young participants will be engaged in physical contact theater. Through a variety of contact theater games, youth will explore their own emotions, creativity, and cultural pride. Short theater montages around the issues they define as important will be developed as they learn basic theater techniques and the art of creating their own pieces that they can perform in their community.As in other BluePrintForLife workshops there is a focus on teamwork and creating youth driven communities where

the youth themselves visualize and promote an environment away from bullying. Not only will there be lots of activities to build the self confidence of the youth, but there will also be a focus on expressing oneself and harnessing emotions in the creative process. It is well established that when youth find their own voice they feel empowered and that theater can be a great tool in helping validate emotions, fears and hopes for the future.

T here will be a focus on exploring local legends and story telling in the theater process and cultural traditions such as drumming, dancing, traditional songs, and throat singing will be explored and integrated throughout the week. There will also be some focus on exploring movement through dance and how this can be brought into the theatrical process. As in other BluePrintForLife workshops there will be discussions everyday on a variety of topics affecting the daily lives of the youth in remote communities. These discussions are also hoped to help facilitate the creative content that will be used in the development of some short montages that the youth will perform for the community on the final Friday night. This final night show will be a blend of theater, cultural performances and dance choreography.

 

The structure of the workshopsmikkkkke

These workshops will have the youth split into 2 different groups of 20 students so that a more direct and inclusive environment can be fostered. These two groups will rotate through a morning and afternoon session with one session focusing on theater, with the other session working on creative movement through Hiphop dance. There will also be a discussion time each day where everyone comes together as one large group.

The theater sessions will be run by 3 BluePrintForLife facilitators – all University graduates with theater degrees, professional theater experience, and extensive experience in leading youth engagement workshops. These theater sessions will have an Inuit or First Nation cultural artist involved to help explore traditional culture in this process.

The dance movement sessions will be run by 3 BluePrintForLife dancers and youth facilitators. These team members have been to Canada’s remote arctic many times and will likely be familiar faces to the youth involved.

As in all BluePrintForLife workshops there will be a focus on this program becoming alternative school for the participants, and teachers, counselors, social workers etc will all be strongly encouraged to be involved directly as participants.



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