Earlier this year International Alert organised a six-day training workshop in Lahore, Pakistan entitled ‘Theatre Development’, on how to use theatre to spread awareness of issues relating to sexual violence against women in the country.
The training, which was organised in collaboration with SRAM Studios, highlighted the significance of developing theatrical productions that are focused on social issues in a way that is relevant and sensitive to the local context. It included both theoretical and practical aspects of theatre, with participants taking a keen interest in acquiring hands-on experience in writing, acting, producing and directing a stage play. The sessions included script writing, character improvisation, movement, directing skills and the role of theatre in society.
On the last day of the workshop the participants performed in front of their instructors, an enthusiastic audience and the special guest for the evening, Iftikhar Khaid, Country Director of OXFAM Novib (Netherlands). On completing the course, they were awarded with certificates and provided with information kits, to help them build on what they learnt and apply the lessons in their local communities.
The workshop, which took place from 28 February–5 March, involved 36 individuals from three target districts: South Punjab, Muzaffargarh and DG Khan. The trainers included seasoned and renowned practitioners of theatre, including Ayub Khawar, Salman Shahid, Aurangzaib Lagari, Claire Pamment, Asif Hoat, Nighat Chaodhry and Adnan Ansar.
The training was organised as part of our ‘Creating Safer Districts for Women’ project, supported by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which aims to enhance community-based prevention mechanisms against sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict areas in Pakistan.