Participatory theatre as a powerful educational tool

Program start 2011
Impacted population

Human Drama is a program of social and community development through participatory theatre.

Context

The objective of Human Drama, the first programme of its kind, designed in 2011 by the British Council and FXB, in Myanmar, is to help populations become aware of the various issues relating to health, HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, domestic violence, gender equality, sexual violence, citizenship, the justice system, the dangers of misinformation in social networks, the peace-building process and road safety.

The aim is to bring about behavioural change by creating an enabling environment where viewers can freely express opinions, determine and provide, together, the best solutions to the problems they face.

Our action

Unlike other methods of disseminating messages, such as brochures, this edutainment programme has proven to be a remarkably efficient tool for communication and to raise awareness.

The performers present short pieces illustrating real-life problems and situations previously collected by the FXB team in the target community. They encourage the audience – youth and adults, women and men – to actively intervene at key moments of the performance when the spectator thinks they can say or do something that would change the course of events.

Situational scenarios are simple but effective methods of addressing the issues to be debated: the performances and complementary workshops allow the audience to analyze their own reality, to become aware of the potentially negative impact of their actions on others and, as a result, to gain greater ownership of the need for behavioural change. This technique also tends to create empathy among community members.

Program impact

Over time, the programme has built a solid reputation in Myanmar. It enables several thousand people each year to engage in critical discussions on more than twenty social issues.

Testimonial

My sister convinced me to attend a performance of Human Drama in my village. I learned that violence against women is not a normal part of life.

Cherry