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© Clear Village 2011

General Information Teaching values and creating awareness for societal physical and mental health issues is not an easy task and sometimes families and schools need a little help in it. Local cultural institutions like our inspiring example ‘The Pyramid Theatre Company’ can easily create engaging environments for learning, adapting and using the arts as transitional activities to create awareness for such issues and overcome the image of values as an obligatory way of thinking. It thus can truly reach the community through the actors and audience with a lasting impact.

Inspiration & Parametres for change a) raising awareness for health issues in the community Usually social and health problems are not amongst today’s young people interests. The challenge is how to make them interesting and to encourage people to be involved in raising awareness and trying to solve these issues. b) debating and questioning societal values Creating an awareness for the sense and non-sense of societal values through an alternative debating platform is necessary. Theatre-in-Health education significantly supports understanding values rather than memorizing them and makes a remarkable contribution to adapting a critical view in communities.

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INSPIRATION CASE 18: THEATRE-IN-HEALTH EDUCATION Our inspiring example: Pyramid Theathre Company, Wales U.K., 1993

Š Clear Village 2011

Pyramid Theatre Company was founded in 1993 as a specialist Theatre-in-Health Education Company, covering health issues in the broadest sense. The Company became a charity in 1996. From its inception, Pyramid worked nationally, providing a service in throughout the UK and Ireland, reaching all sections of society and all ages. The company has three main activities: 1) touring its own productions, 2) community drama projects focused on teaching values and raising awareness for health issues, and 3) training in the use of drama techniques. Most importantly, projects are not exclusive to young people and Pyramid has worked with a variety of groups - school pupils, excluded young people, travelers, intergenerational groups, people on probation etc. How does Pyramid Theatre work in detail? Pyramid productions are carefully constructed plays including professional and fully committed actors with a subsequent interactive session including the audience. This section is an important part of the production and allows audience members to question the characters in the play in depth, about their motivations, feelings, opinions and needs. Community projects are about working intensively with a community group for three weeks to give participants a voice and the drama skills necessary to effectively use that voice, to raise awareness for society’s and their own values as well as health issues including for example drugs, bullying, teenage pregnancy, homosexuality, cancer or heart disease. Over the weeks, Pyramid personnel facilitate the production of a play that is showcased on the final night. The resultant production can be toured locally or filmed by the Company as a permanent teaching aid. Drama workshops are subject specific workshops, which can be run in conjunction with or independently of productions, for example in form of training for Service Providers who would like to use drama techniques/activities in their day-to-day work. The workshops are being used to assess and utilise the existing skills of participating individuals and to build cohesive and lasting groups. They develop both life and drama skills, and the ideas of the participants will be explored and recorded.

What does this mean for the local community? Understanding social values and being aware of health issues means being an integral part of the society. The Pyramid Theatre Company provides an environment where people learn more about health issues and the importance and influence of values on our lifes whilst practicing drama acting. This concept provides people with intrinsic motivation to learn and makes them active participants. But the benefits are not limited to the participants in the workshops. Surveys have shown that, for every person who benefits directly from seeing a production, at least eight others will benefit indirectly from hearing about it in great detail. This word of mouth recommendation ensures that messages contained within a production are disseminated throughout the community hence makes theatrein-health-education as a health promotion and education tool.

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Inspiration Case 18: Theatre In Health Education  
Inspiration Case 18: Theatre In Health Education  

Teaching values and creating awareness for societal physical and mental health issues is not an easy task and sometimes families and schools...