Drama for Life rejects functional interpretations of Applied Drama that reduce the field to a limited technical approach. Applied Drama is about the creation of critical reflective pedagogies, spaces and aesthetic forms that give rise to alternative ways of being in the world.
Our interest is in how drama can become an effective process that moves beyond a dialogue of binaries; how drama can engage the whole person as an agent of his or her own destiny within a social context driven by cultural, national and global forces; enhance intrapersonal...
The Drama for Life Programme is a comprehensive academic, training and research programme that focusses on Applied Drama: Theatre in Education, Communities and Social Contexts, Drama Therapy and Drama in Education. The programme's philosophy, critical reflexive pedagogy, provides intrapersonal and interpersonal education for Reflexive Practitioners in Applied Drama, Drama Therapy, and Drama Education.
Students studying in Drama for Life can do the following from 2013:
In the field of Applied Drama: Theatre in Education...
Drama for Life currently offers one of the most prestigious postgraduate scholarships which was established with initial support from then GTZ SADC and now GIZ SADC and subsequently supported by Goethe-Institution. Drama for Life has formed fruitful partnerships with funders and other organisations involved in HIV work and drama in South Africa, Africa and worldwide.
DFL was officially launched in February 2008 with the arrival and registration of 29 scholars at Honours and Masters levels at the University of the Witwatersrand. These scholars are committed to returning to their home countries...
A standard selection procedure is required in all African countries. Applicants must follow the required application procedures as set out by Wits School of the Arts, Wits University and the Drama for Life Programme.
The selection process is transparent, open to all people, and publicised regionally in African countries.
A selection panel is constituted by the Drama for Life Research and Development Committee at Wits School of the Arts and other Partner Universities, which will review all applications.
The final selection will be chaired by the Drama for Life Management Committee and will entail performance work, teaching demonstrations...
Drama for Life engages future cultural leaders in the complex interdisciplinary field of theatre for change – a theatre that intersects with anthropology, sociology, communication health, psychology, performance studies, social work, development and education – a field that has come to be known as Applied Drama. The Drama for Life – Applied Drama and Theatre Programme develops future cultural leaders to become artists who understand the theoretical and practical ethical and contextual issues related to social transformation on the African continent.
Warren Nebe is the Director of Drama for Life. He is a theatre director, senior lecturer, a HPCSA and NADT registered Drama Therapist and a Fulbright Alumni. He is also the Managing Director of Themba Interactive – Initiatives for Life.
His research focuses on identity construction, representation and memory in South Africa through an auto-ethnographic theatre-making approach. This research is articulated in the Transformation Project supported by the Wits Transformation Office and Carnegie Corporation.
For the past four years Drama for Life has hosted and organised the Africa Research Conference in conjunction with varied partners. Each conference has developed out of issues identified by delegates and in response to important developments, and debates within the field of Applied Drama and Theatre.
The conference has provided a much needed platform for academics and theatre practitioners to interrogate and investigate issues pertaining to the applied Drama and Theatre practises, particularly in an African context.
In 2013 the independent academic publishing company RODOPI will publish two volumes presented by Drama for Life that include the following research:
Volume 1: Applied Drama and Theatre as an interdisciplinary field in the context of HIV/Aids
Introduction by Hazel Barnes
Delineating the field:
Ch1: Negotiating the space, framing for understanding and performing for change: Opportunities and challenges for Applied theatre praxis in Hiv/Aids contextsby Patrick Mangeni.
The DFL Playback Theatre is the only officially recognized Playback Theatre Company in Africa. Through its collaboration with playback innovator and founder, Jonathan Fox, DFL offers accredited training.
Playback Theatre uses music and improvisational theatre to transform the stories of an audience into the art of theatre. A Playback Theatre cast is made up of six members consisting of the facilitator, four actors and musician. In the course of a performance, memories, feelings and social conflicts offered by the audience are all re-enacted on the spot by the performers.
The Drama for Life Sex Actually Festival is an HIV and AIDS intervention. It is the first of its kind not only in South Africa but on the African continent. The festival is unique in its methodology, implementation and strategy in addressing the AIDS disease and its surrounding themes - sex, sexuality, relationships, culture, gender, human rights and social issues. The festival is curated in a way that allows arts practitioners and audience members to holistically engage with the subject, to interrogate the complexities of the disease and its themes. The target audiences are youth, parents, and communities.
This project is an excitingly innovative performance poetry competition which aims at encouraging the youth to talk openly and creatively about relationships, intimacy, sex, HIV/AIDS. This is done through regional and national poetry competition (slams) and workshops which engage with youth from around the country (16 to 35 years), regardless of their social, financial and cultural backgrounds. DFL partners with a number of Universities, poets and poetry groups from across the country to participate in this challenge.
The DFL Human Rights and Social Justice Project started in 2009 as the “Drama for Life Zimbabwe Project” (DFLZP). The project aimed to contribute to the normalization of the Zimbabwean social and political situation, as well as to promote democracy. The project targeted Zimbabweans living in diaspora, as well as those living in the country.
Realizing that Human Rights and Social Justice are topics that also need to be discussed in a South African and African context, DFL decided to change the project’s title to “Human Rights and Social Justice Project” to be more inclusive.
Student voices will affirm Wits’ solidarity with the millions of people – men, women and children – silenced by rape and sexual violence. Freedom of Speech is denied to victims of sexual violence. Survivors face victim-blaming, secondary victimisation and social stigma when they speak out about the violence they have experienced.Click here to view event
Sometimes I Laugh Like My Sister arrives in Johannesburg for the final run of shows of its South African Tour. Sometimes I Laugh Like My Sister is a solo play about the reaction of Rebecca Peyton when her sister, BBC news producer Kate Peyton, was shot once in the back and died. Kate, who had been based in Johannesburg for ten years, had been sent to report on the situation in Mogadishu, when she was killed. This is a story about politics, journalists and grief told through eyes of Rebecca who co-wrote the piece with German theatre pedagogue and director Martin M Bartelt.Click here to view event
The apartheid regime was one that ravaged South Africa in more ways
than one. What does this information have to do with the piece?
Like Beckett’s WAITING FOR GODOT, this piece deals with the action of
waiting in contemporary South Africa, as well as past events that
still affect and will affect the populace in years to come.
Creative approaches to working with conflict through the Arts
The Arts, when used in the service of the individual and group are powerful tools for dealing with and transforming conflict. Our approach to ‘being’ with conflict has been developed during the past 25 years through our work with individuals and groups in conflict in a variety of culturally diverse settings—the United States, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. Our work is predicated on the belief that the arts enable the nurturance of capacities that promote creativity, resilience, tolerance and understanding between people…Click here to view event
Soweto Theatre - 8 May 2013Continue Reading
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Can you imagine a lovesong about Instagram? Listen to it now, 90.5 vowfm! #LifeBeats @WarrenNebe
May 13, 2013 7:35pm 5 days ago