GET works primarily with school-aged children in developing nations. Our aim is to use a blend of applied and educational theatre techniques to address the complex struggles of children living in poverty as well as the broader concerns of their communities. We work with both boys and girls, however our focus is with those who are afforded the least opportunity to share their voices. It is girls who benefit the most from our programs as they face the most barriers to being heard.

Boys and girls as allies

We work within patriarchal communities so our programs are designed to teach boys to collaborate with girls, in many cases for the very first time. Over the course of a two-week intensive workshop, boys and girls are assigned to work together to co-create and perform a play.

Throughout the process, boys and girls are given equal voice. All stories must be told. This means boys must help to tell stories written by girls and this helps them to see the struggles of girls through the eyes of their female peers. We believe this aspect to our program is truly unique. Providing the opportunity for girls to voice their concerns is extremely important, but teaching boys to be their allies in the process is critical to affecting long-term change.

English literacy

In many countries, failure to master the English language means a severe loss of opportunity. A university education, a good job and the chance to provide for loved ones depends entirely upon ones ability to speak English. This is particularly true in Zanzibar where competency in English means the difference between a harsh life working in a field or a good paying job in the city. In Zanzibar, children who fail to pass an English exam cannot attend university.

English is a complex language. Our goal is to use playwriting and devised theatre techniques to reinforce valuable skills in the written and oral communication of English. The story creation and writing process helps students to think in English and deepens their understanding of grammar and usage.

Not all of our programs place such emphasis on English literacy. In Latin America, where many children do not speak English, GET plans to conduct workshops in Spanish. Our goal is to reach and empower as many children as possible. In order to accomplish this goal, our programs must reflect the specific needs of the communities in which we work.

It’s About Education – A short film on GETheatre’s work featuring students in Zanzibar

GET team member, Tessa Bry, and her partner Nathaniel Taylor have created a wonderful glimpse into the journey of GET, spotlighting our Zanzibar program.

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