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...
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.
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.
The award winning actress, Pamela Nomvete, will discuss her autobiography and its theatrical adaption, Ngiyadansa. The adaption features the poet Lebo Mashile. Also, they will have a talk with students about the professional worlds of stage and screen acting, theatre, and spoken word performance.Click here to view event
NINE URBAN BIOTOPES is an international cultural exchange and artistic research project that targets the potential of visionary practices and initiatives within a global network.Click here to view event
DFL Town Hall presents: A physical theatre play that takes the audience on a journey through time from the origins of the earth to present day.Click here to view event
In the form of an installation and a documentary, the exhibition “RED” by Simon Gush examines labour relations at the Mercedes Benz plant in East London in 1990.Click here to view event
DFL Life.Beats is a weekly radio show produced and hosted by Wits academic programme Drama for Life in association with Voice of Wits (VOW) FM. Every week DFL Life.Beats tackle… Continue Reading
NINE URBAN BIOTOPES is an international cultural exchange and artistic research project that targets the potential of visionary practices and initiatives within a global network.Continue Reading
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