Drama Development Worker Alyson Evans is working with 10 pupils from Maesteg Comprehensive School in a new 7 week drama project. Alyson is working with pupils from year 8 and 9 who have been identified by the school as having low confidence and self-esteem issues, so these workshops aim to help them develop positively in a safe creative space. Using Augusto Boal’s work, particularly the Rainbow of Desire techniques, pupils will be given the opportunity to explore oppressions in their life and how they deal with challenging situations. Image work, monologues and writing in personal journals play a key role in these workshops, giving the young people a way to express themselves creatively in a non-evasive way.
Alyson has worked for many years using Boal’s techniques in image theatre, trust exercises and forum theatre, but this project is the first time she has used Boal’s Rainbow of Desire exercises. After participating in a ‘Theatre Versus Oppressions’ Rainbow of Desires training course, Alyson felt that this style of work would be very powerful to use with young people with low confidence, for whom taking part in exercises and speaking in front of others can be quite a daunting prospect. Using these Rainbow of Desire techniques the young participants will be able to create an image rather than talking about their feelings, creating a safe method for self-expression. This work is still very challenging for participants however, as it constantly aims to push people past their comfort zones; facilitating this process is also a challenge, as Alyson will have to trust the exercises and let the process develop itself.