In an attempt to confront the act of challenging and domineering, a London youth group turns to the honourable arts of drama and storytelling. “Ucanbethe1”, pronounced “you can be the one”, works closely with children and teenagers to bring change to important incidents such as cyber challenges and body image through drama workshops and story sharing.
The group’s drama workshops unite children and teenagers who first share their experiences as survivors or witnesses of someone being domineering to them and then compose a collaborative show re-enacting those experiences. The shows take place on a regular basis and are expected to culminate in a final performance.
The re-enactment of being domineering has a two-fold impact: first, it encourages children and teenagers to externalise a condition that is commonly internalised; second, it raises awareness in a collaborative environment. While the act of being domineering may make people feel like they are the only one, Ucanbethe1 supports a collaborative confrontation of the incidents.
With approximately 250 audience members in their first performance and an all-inclusive cast of approximately 60 people, the shows have already enjoyed large success. The group also seeks to change other social things in the past.
“It’s about building positive role-models and raising confidence”, says Anthea Kissoon, who is a teacher and the group’s co-director. She adds, “we begin by talking to our young people about the topics they want to change, then looking at ways to bring them to life”.
Ucanbethe1 are launching their show on “gangs and bullying” on Sunday 24 March, 2013 7.30pm-8.30pm at Battersea Park School, 401 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 5AP (Admission Free).