Theatre-Based Techniques for Youth Peer Education: A Training Manual is a publication that provides an overview of using theater in health education. It contains four peer theater training workshops, a series of theater games and exercises that can be used in trainings, and information on developing and building a peer theater program. A collaboration between the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and FHI 360, this tool was produced for the Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER), a project coordinated by UNFPA.
This manual is intended for programme managers and youth peer educators who are interested in adding a theatre component to their reproductive health and HIV prevention activities or in strengthening a theatre component that is already part of a programme. Theatre in peer education can be used in many ways. Peer educators can weave role plays and scenarios into their usual outreach activities in schools or other settings. Peer educators might also develop a theatre piece to use as the core of a peer education session. Well-developed peer theatre programmes may even take a full-length theatre piece on tour.
This manual has five sections:
- Section 1. Starting with the Basics provides an overview of the historical and theoretical use of theatre in education, makes the case for using theatre as a means to educate young people about reproductive health and HIV issues, and explains the authors’ approach to developing improvisational theatre pieces.
- Section 2. Four Peer Theatre Training Workshops, the core of this manual, is a curriculum for training actor/peer educators, developing theatre pieces, and practising post-performance debriefings with audience members.
- Section 3. More Theatre Games and Exercises provides additional training tools to help improve peer educators’ acting and improvisational skills.
- Section 4. Advanced Peer Theatre Programmes offers information on building a theatre company, casting and rehearsing theatre pieces, directing, and other issues faced by organizations developing full-length peer theatre pieces and taking them on the road.
- Section 5. Annexes include a list of theatrical terms for peer education, a handout about the stages of adolescence, suggested resources, and sources.
Many of the exercises in this manual originated from theatre practices used in Europe and North America. However, many exercises have also been adapted successfully in developing countries. The manual is designed for adaptation to any cultural context. To successfully adapt the workshops, in particular, facilitators should read them in advance and prepare them for the needs of the audience.