Part of our mission is to educate the public at large with respect to significant social issues. Throughout our history, we are particularly proud of the work we have done with Manitoba youth. We continue to develop new works which are relevant, relatable and that spark important dialogue with young members of our society. Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to read the revised version of Giving Voice with several youth at VOICES: Manitoba Youth in Care Network. We received some fabulous feedback and suggestions on how to get this important work out into the community. This week, these youth and the celebration of the annual We Day event has inspired us to reflect on some of the ways we work with youth in our communities and inspire them to become agents of change.
It is our tradition to tour a show every two years to Manitoba high schools. These shows include Ripple Effect, No Offense…, Diss, and our most recent work in progress, Giving Voice. These projects have explored a range of topics relevent to youth including violence in schools, racism, gun violence and how the marginalization of immigrant youth makes them susceptible to gangs. Our latest work tackles the realities of youth who experience life in care. Many of these plays have been performed in Forum Theatre style which is a lively and effective way to look at and counter issues that our community faces today. After the play is performed, scenes are replayed and the audience is able to stop the action and step in with solutions. This provides a chance for those watching to discuss what happens and participate in changing the ending.
This year, we are excited to be part of The Winnipeg Foundations Youth in Pilanthropy annual conference! YiP is a program designed to introduce local high school students to philanthropy and community development. The program provides hands-on experience that benefits both participating students and local charities. On November 7th, we will be speaking to a group of youth who have chosen to attend a session called “Art: It’s Not all Drawing”. The session will feature local organization run arts initiatives that encourage people to tap into creative abilities and express themselves through artistic outlets. They will have the opportunity to learn about how different forms of art not only provide a creative release, but also work to support community. We are thrilled to have been invited to speak at this event and hope to inspire many youth who are curious about how theatre can indeed create social change.
Here is to youth creating change!