At the SHORE Centre, we are committed to providing youth with the most accurate information and resources to ensure they make well-informed decisions. With more than forty years of training and education experience, we are the trusted resource for local schools, youth groups, community centres, as well as a number of community organizations.
One of the ways in which we actively engage youth in a fun, positive environment is through our Peer Theatre Education Program and Great Sexpectations Play. Through the method of interactive theatre, we use the power of live drama and the strength of peer education to raise awareness and educate youth on various issues of healthy sexuality.
Themes may include:
- Birth Control and Safer Sex
- Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
- Consent and Peer Pressure
- Decision Making and Communication
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
- Pregnancy Options
Interactive Theatre Philosophy
Our interactive play is based on forum theatre and offers an opportunity for youth to tell the truth about their daily lives and step outside of difficult situations. By doing this they are able to explore how others might experience the same situation differently and also see themselves as having many choices in how they can respond. A safe space is created where they can practise different ways of approaching challenging situations and perfect their problem solving and decision making skills.
How does Interactive Theatre Work?
The play presents many situations which are unresolved and is presented twice. The second time it is shown, audience members have the opportunity to stop the action when they see a character who is struggling in the situation and have an idea of how they might deal with the situation differently. They can then come into the scene and replace this character, and try out their idea. If they do not wish to join the scene they can also tell the actors what to say and do. In this way everyone learns from each other about the many possible choices the character could make, and therefore they could make in their real experience. This process is facilitated by a theatre director who serves as a bridge between the audience and the stage, and helps to deepen understanding of what is happening.
Why are we doing this?
We hope to spark a dialogue about situations that often don’t get talked about, especially with youth. We hope to deepen the understanding of these situations and what they want in their own relationships. By sharing experiences we hope to raise awareness and connect with others, in order to increase comfort levels and self-esteem of youth to enable them to make healthy informed decisions regarding relationships and sex. We believe that if individuals have information, motivation and behavioural skills they can be proactive and preventive in their decision making and behaviours regarding sexual health.
Each presentation supports the Ontario Curriculum for Health and Physical Education and is presented in a non-judgmental, safe environment where participants will have the opportunity to participate, and shape the learning process. Past audiences, community centres and teachers have expressed that this is a creative and entertaining way to learn vital information. Great SEXpectations was awarded the Bentley Prize for Excellence in 2016.
Booking a Performance
As with all of our services at the SHORE Centre, our Peer Theatre Education Program is free of charge. If you are interested in booking a performance for your youth group or grade 11 or 12 class or would like more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Peer Theatre Education Program is generously supported by the Musagetes Fund at the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation and donors from the community.
The Theatre Program is very important for our students – the performances are always very interactive and educational. Our students are given the opportunity to learn about healthy positive relationships in a fun and interactive way. This gives them a chance to see positive role modeling and therefore, help them to make healthier choices for themselves. Over the years, the Theatre Program has performed a number of times for our students at Monica Place. It would be very beneficial to continue the performances in the future. We would love to have the group come twice a year to our school/Monica Place.
At OK2BME we have a lengthy and positive relationship with SHORE, in particular the OK2BME program has benefited from multiple performances of SHORE’s theatre production of Great Sexpectations; both yearly at our drop in youth group, and at the WRDSP GSA Conference. This play has provided a fun and engaging space for our youth (LGBT youth between 13-18 years of age) to learn about healthy relationships and healthy sexuality. Even youth who have seen the play before, continue to report that it is fun and informational for them. We are so grateful to the SHORE theatre program for this contribution to our youth programming.