‘Theatre for Everyone’ project

The spectator is inspired to act

In our ‘Theatre for Everyone’ project the key word is participation. By taking part in the performance, the spectator is inspired to act in his or her own life, and is likely to continue to take part in theatre activities, transforming the impressions of art into a personal experience.

Our work with vulnerable youth living in the disadvantaged area of Cserehat, in northeast Hungary, is based on this approach – says Balázs Simon, artistic director and lead actor of the Spec. Theatre Creative Community

We have experimented with various techniques to harness these awakened energies for educational purposes — such as improving focus and attention/listening skills, self-awareness and social behaviour, and developing the linguistic/verbal competencies of youth.

In Theatre for Everyone, when we persuade young people to cooperate with us, we motivate them with a promise of stage success. The young participants are motivated by the success of their performances, and they carry this forward in their lives. The process of organising the performance and working out the topic and storyline, based on social issues central to their own lives, proves to be transformational: they discover their agency and are motivated to continue with theatre and social engagement.

In our regular camps and drama sessions we channel the unleashed energies of young people into creative work, and spur social transformation manifested in amateur theatrical companies that sprout up in the settlements in which we work. The key word here is self-organisation. In the last four years, newly established unsegregated theatrical companies have emerged in Cserehát, performing their own productions in their own and neighbouring villages.

We have facilitated the founding of six amateur companies by assisting in their legal incorporation and development. As they get increasingly involved in the work of these companies, the family and friends of the young people participating, and other community members, are likely to contribute to their upkeep  — and we regularly apply for small amounts of funding for them in cooperation with local NGOs.

The master programme for developing a community theatre network in Cserahát is made up of six sub-projects:

  1. Over the years we presented 130 performances: Shipwreck was based on local stories collected from Roma and non-Roma people living together in the region, and Prince of No Man’s Land was an interactive tale. We provided no fixed ending. It was up to the audience to choose it and contribute to a possible conclusion of the story. Our aim was to infuse the spirit of interactive theatre in the life of the villagers by involving them in the live performance.
  2. A drama class followed each performance in order to persuade the younger people that acting was an exciting thing to do. Our actors and instructors returned whenever there was enough interest shown in a follow-up. We regularly visited 21 villages in the region to train and develop the performing skills of local youth. In parallel, we invited the adults for a moderated talk on common themes – this is how we were able to boost local support for further youth theatre activities.
  3. At the end of each school year we selected 50 participants for our summer camps, from hundreds of applicants. They prepared short performances during the camps, so we expected them to come to the camp with well developed ideas. To help them in this work, we organized preparatory weekends a month before the camp, where personal mentoring was provided to the selected participants.
  4. The participants in the drama camps worked in groups, each organising and producing its own performances, with our support. The overall artistic quality, however, remained our responsibility. The final performances were considered ‘professional’ enough to go beyond the success of the closing gala, ad to go on tour, with performances outside of Cserehát in places such as the Sziget Festival in Budapest.
  5. During the school year we provide follow-up programmes within and outside the schools, mentoring the participants for future performances, and supporting them in participating in regional amateur festivals and performances on local community days.
  6. Through EU projects such as Youth In Action and EXCEPT (www.exceptnet.eu) we provide them with international exposure that broadens their experiences and their vision.

 

 

Our long-term purpose is community development, especially among the vulnerable communities (many of them are Roma) in Cserehát, and empowering young people involved in our program, as well as teachers, minority leaders and social activists, to affect change in their own communities. Participants acquire necessary skills when working on a common agenda, firstly for their own performance and later for their amateur company. Theatre is an ideal medium to build and sustain collective competencies. Being a community art, theatrical practices develop skills such as team building, intra-group cooperation and competition, and conflict management.

Our goal is to improve certain individual competencies, especially those relating to entrepreneurial leadership. It is of crucial importance that Roma minority leaders (as well as youth who are willing to assume leading roles in the community) recognise new opportunities and organize their peers to take advantage of them. Theatre is an effective device for improving both problem-solving and leadership skills. Furthermore, young people who are successful on stage return to their homes as examples to others in their community. Their higher self-esteem also helps them in acquiring other individual competences in school.

In our experience of the performances and workshops, older and younger participants are equally hungry for the live action and emotional experience that theatre provides. When participants feel they can express themselves boldly and safely, they begin to extend that active engagement into their own lives. This newly gained self-confidence leads to independently establishing amateur companies and other activities, as seen in the villages of Abaújszolnok, Alsóvadász, Felsővadász, Léh, Méra, Aszaló and Selyeb in Cserehát. In this way, the younger generations learn how to organise their community around future agendas. Such leadership skills will be useful in their future roles as entrepreneurs or community leaders.

A Place for Everyone: LATEST Articles

INNOVATIVE LOCAL INITIATIVES FOR INCLUSION

 

Contact Us!

If you agree with our goals, we invite you to send us your own development stories, for sharing and connecting with others through this site so that together we can reinvent Europe as a welcoming place for everyone who lives here.

We also wish to benefit from the views, technical know-how, experience and commitment of dynamic partnerships and advisors from the civic, governmental and private sectors.

Please fill the form to submit your stories, inquiries and expressions of interest.

Required

Required

Submitting Form...

Eerror.

Form received.

Required

‘Theatre for Everyone’ project

The spectator is inspired to act

In our ‘Theatre for Everyone’ project the key word is participation. By taking part in the performance, the spectator is inspired to act in his or her own life, and is likely to continue to take part in theatre activities, transforming the impressions of art into a personal experience.

Our work with vulnerable youth living in the disadvantaged area of Cserehat, in northeast Hungary, is based on this approach – says Balázs Simon, artistic director and lead actor of the Spec. Theatre Creative Community

We have experimented with various techniques to harness these awakened energies for educational purposes — such as improving focus and attention/listening skills, self-awareness and social behaviour, and developing the linguistic/verbal competencies of youth.

In Theatre for Everyone, when we persuade young people to cooperate with us, we motivate them with a promise of stage success. The young participants are motivated by the success of their performances, and they carry this forward in their lives. The process of organising the performance and working out the topic and storyline, based on social issues central to their own lives, proves to be transformational: they discover their agency and are motivated to continue with theatre and social engagement.

In our regular camps and drama sessions we channel the unleashed energies of young people into creative work, and spur social transformation manifested in amateur theatrical companies that sprout up in the settlements in which we work. The key word here is self-organisation. In the last four years, newly established unsegregated theatrical companies have emerged in Cserehát, performing their own productions in their own and neighbouring villages.

We have facilitated the founding of six amateur companies by assisting in their legal incorporation and development. As they get increasingly involved in the work of these companies, the family and friends of the young people participating, and other community members, are likely to contribute to their upkeep  — and we regularly apply for small amounts of funding for them in cooperation with local NGOs.

The master programme for developing a community theatre network in Cserahát is made up of six sub-projects:

  1. Over the years we presented 130 performances: Shipwreck was based on local stories collected from Roma and non-Roma people living together in the region, and Prince of No Man’s Land was an interactive tale. We provided no fixed ending. It was up to the audience to choose it and contribute to a possible conclusion of the story. Our aim was to infuse the spirit of interactive theatre in the life of the villagers by involving them in the live performance.
  2. A drama class followed each performance in order to persuade the younger people that acting was an exciting thing to do. Our actors and instructors returned whenever there was enough interest shown in a follow-up. We regularly visited 21 villages in the region to train and develop the performing skills of local youth. In parallel, we invited the adults for a moderated talk on common themes – this is how we were able to boost local support for further youth theatre activities.
  3. At the end of each school year we selected 50 participants for our summer camps, from hundreds of applicants. They prepared short performances during the camps, so we expected them to come to the camp with well developed ideas. To help them in this work, we organized preparatory weekends a month before the camp, where personal mentoring was provided to the selected participants.
  4. The participants in the drama camps worked in groups, each organising and producing its own performances, with our support. The overall artistic quality, however, remained our responsibility. The final performances were considered ‘professional’ enough to go beyond the success of the closing gala, ad to go on tour, with performances outside of Cserehát in places such as the Sziget Festival in Budapest.
  5. During the school year we provide follow-up programmes within and outside the schools, mentoring the participants for future performances, and supporting them in participating in regional amateur festivals and performances on local community days.
  6. Through EU projects such as Youth In Action and EXCEPT (www.exceptnet.eu) we provide them with international exposure that broadens their experiences and their vision.

Our long-term purpose is community development, especially among the vulnerable communities (many of them are Roma) in Cserehát, and empowering young people involved in our program, as well as teachers, minority leaders and social activists, to affect change in their own communities. Participants acquire necessary skills when working on a common agenda, firstly for their own performance and later for their amateur company. Theatre is an ideal medium to build and sustain collective competencies. Being a community art, theatrical practices develop skills such as team building, intra-group cooperation and competition, and conflict management.

Our goal is to improve certain individual competencies, especially those relating to entrepreneurial leadership. It is of crucial importance that Roma minority leaders (as well as youth who are willing to assume leading roles in the community) recognise new opportunities and organize their peers to take advantage of them. Theatre is an effective device for improving both problem-solving and leadership skills. Furthermore, young people who are successful on stage return to their homes as examples to others in their community. Their higher self-esteem also helps them in acquiring other individual competences in school.

In our experience of the performances and workshops, older and younger participants are equally hungry for the live action and emotional experience that theatre provides. When participants feel they can express themselves boldly and safely, they begin to extend that active engagement into their own lives. This newly gained self-confidence leads to independently establishing amateur companies and other activities, as seen in the villages of Abaújszolnok, Alsóvadász, Felsővadász, Léh, Méra, Aszaló and Selyeb in Cserehát. In this way, the younger generations learn how to organise their community around future agendas. Such leadership skills will be useful in their future roles as entrepreneurs or community leaders.