Sexwise is a national touring sexual health promotion theatre programme using live performance and dynamic facilitation to engage rangatahi/youth, whanau and communities in dialogue. The goal is to create a transformational and empowering experience, rather than simply deliver information. The facilitation method acknowledges rangatahi/youth as sexual beings who can make healthy choices.
Sexual Health themes and dilemmas are presented by the Performer-Facilitators with songs, humour and drama. The narrative intentionally contains loose ends and unresolved conflicts to provoke thinking. Unresolved conflicts framed in the performance are the basis for dialogue with rangatahi/youth audience members about the issues and behaviours depicted. Audience members have an opportunity to provide real advice to the fictitious characters. In this way, our approach acknowledges young people as knowledgeable and fosters peer learning.
For this to be most effective, the performance needs to be relevant and engaging to connect with the audience. Ideally, students will recognise and/or identify with the characters and the issues they face.
Expectations of Performer-Facilitators
- Warm-hearted, engaging and confident in relating to young people with differing values, backgrounds and cultures.
- Communicating openly, in a non-judgmental and accepting manner.
- Self-motivated, generous, disciplined and adaptable.
- Aged 18-25
- Co-operative, collaborative, ready to take and give constructive criticism.
- Approach the subject matter in an assured, open and non-judgemental way. Be secure with your own sexuality and totally accepting of others with a different sexual orientations. This requires an ongoing practice of self-reflection. Reflecting on our hangups in the process of understanding our own biases, helps us bring layers of depth to the characters we portray.
- Providing a Safe forum for discussion of an often contentious, tabu and stigmatised subject matter. Include working in imagined worlds with imaged people – creating an imagined garden and populating it with real toads. Protecting into emotion rather than avoiding it. Framing through role as advisors while being gamers.
- Offering Power and Agency – enabling young people to bring to the fore those things that they want to talk about rather than what we think they need. Giving them choices about what they will discuss, ownership over their learning.
- The performance should provide opportunities for Identification for every participant with something, or someone, in the narrative.
- It is important that THETA demonstrates acceptance of differing values and traditions and opening them up for discussion and information.
- Our rangatahi/youth are sexual beings.
- We support open expression of diversity and the right to self-identify with regards to ethnicity, sexuality and gender identity.
- Educating for healthy sexuality – right to information to support positive choices
- Equity of access to sexual health services - Strength based Health Promotion
- Contraception – being available to all
- We honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi
About THETA: The Theatre in Health Education Trust
Vision: Stronger resilient communities.
Mission: THETA uses applied theatre to promote wellbeing, equity, self- determination and to strengthen communities.
Maori, Pasifika, & LGBTQ+ people are encouraged to apply
Rehearsal / Production dates
5-week Devising/Training/Rehearsal begins 23rd Jan 2022, after which the show will tour secondary schools through April/May 2022 with a break during the school term break in April.
THETA is a living wage employer