The drama of self-efficacy

Job Shadowing from 23rd April to 7th June 2023 with the DUANAMA theatre company in Marseille / France: Perceptions of body and voice, articulation, developing scenes together, diving into roles, inspiring the imagination and – playing! Theatre, especially Forum Theatre, thrives on conflict, on drama, which is also spontaneously staged. It is then the audience with whom possible solutions are developed and “acted out” together.

This is exactly what was rehearsed in the project “Village égalité” with residents of a district that is considered one of the poorest in France. The topic was quickly found: Wage differences between women and men. And this with reference to the cleaning staff and a waiter as well as waitresses of a restaurant. The boss remained stubborn, but it was not easy for him… In parallel and not at all unegalitarian, child care was offered – with theatrical elements.

Another form of experiencing one’s own talents, abilities and possibilities of self-expression is a project by people who have experienced  homelessness. In a writing workshop, they had developed texts about their situation, their longings, hopes, pain and moments of joy. Moderated by Monika Smiechowska, the director of the DUANAMA company, a sequence of scenes was developed together from the texts. They were structured in three thematic circles: Évasion (escape, breaking out), Amour (love), Révolte (rebellion). The performance of this kind of biographical theatre on 5th May 2023 was a great moment for those involved. The audience thanked them. ?

The professional exchange in another country makes it possible to develop one’s own competences for a “social theatre” and to explore its possibilities for educational work. Without a doubt, free theatre brings people together, lets them experience belonging in a group and expand the spectrum of their self-expression. Without pressure to perform, through play and fun, one can approach topics. A journey of learning and discovery for the head and heart and with all the senses.

The hurdle lies in the word “theatre”. It can trigger fear and makes some people think of ‘high culture’ performances in large theatres. Far from it. Everyone can speak in some way – and not just with their voice. The beauty: Making mistakes yourself is important, because: “Mistakes are among the obligations with which one pays for a full life” (Sophia Loren).

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