Using drama as a vehicle for change

Using drama as a vehicle for change

01 August 2013 - 01 October 2013
South Africa
Young people in Belhar use street theatre to tell the tragic tale of how alcohol affected the lives of a young local couple.

The tragic story of how drink-driving and drink-walking affected the lives of a young couple while enjoying a night-out was told in a street theatre production, performed by SR4Y youth members in Belhar, South Africa.

The powerful production drew a strong reaction from audiences, with roughly 60 – 80 locals turning out to enjoy each of the 5 performances.

The production was developed over the course of a youth camp (organised by Local Promoting Groups) when a plot and screenplay were developed and the rehearsals began. The core SR4Y members involved in the acting were also responsible for engaging with the audience both before and afterward performances.

The production was well advertised in the surrounding streets as members of the theatre group went door-to-door distributing leaflets, especially targeting youth in the 15 – 24 age range.

The impact the production had on audiences is visibile in the responses given to an assessment survey, carried out among audience members following the performances. Some of the responses given included:

“Irresponsible alcohol use can kill”, “I must take responsibility for my own actions”, “No drinking and driving”, “We must appoint a sober driver to drive us home”, “Walking while drunk is also not good”, “We mustn’t get into a car with a drunk driver”, “We can enjoy ourselves without alcohol”, “I must plan things before I go out to enjoy myself”, “We must organize a taxi”, “We must be more responsible when we start to party”.
 

Testimonials

“There is a clear impact on the audience – the drama is very powerful. Yes, I think there will be a long impact from this activity because of the power of the message and the play. This comes from the way they act out the scenes, these are more or less what you expect to see in real life”.

Argentina

Argentina

• 29% of 18 to 25 years-olds admitted to driving a car while drunk
• Between 34% -50% of people have been passengers alongside a drunk-driver in the last 3 months
• Many young people do not perceive drink-driving as a very serious risk

South Africa

South Africa

• Only 19% of young people surveyed knows the legal limit for drivers
• 30% of young people have recently been passengers alongside a drunk-driver
• 30% have felt in danger of being hit by a car when walking home after a night of drinking

Vietnam

Vietnam

• Traffic crashes are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity among young people in Vietnam
• A high proportion of young people admit to frequent drink-driving
• Half of the youth population had at least one road accident in the last three years