By Emma Durden (auth.), Dennis A. Francis (eds.)
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Extra info for Acting on HIV: Using Drama to Create Possibilities for Change
To illustrate, we can consider the play “Heartbreaker”. Mr and Mrs Ndzimande (Gideon and Puleng) both work fulltime and their son, Tumelo, is at college. Gideon feels that Puleng spoils Tumelo, yet she feels she is a good mom. When Gideon finds out that his son has HIV he blames his wife. When Tumelo’s girlfriend, Palisa, finds out that Tumelo, with whom she has been having sex, has known for two months that he has HIV, she also becomes angry. The short play, which is left unresolved, ends with Mr Ndzimanda calling his son ‘a disgrace’ (Smith, 2009: 15).
In this way, drama has the potential to play in that it positions young people to engage more actively with the realities of HIV and their own sexual health. The programme also highlighted the challenges of putting into practice Boal’s FT in a real life setting. Among the unique qualities of Boal’s theatre is the ‘discovery of the right to speak, the ability to articulate a point of view and through performing, the freedom to reveal the self’ (Harding, 1998). The conditions under which this programme was run were in sharp contrast with these principles.
Through asking questions the spectators will be trying to understand the protagonist or antagonist, to be in the shoes of the other, so that they can understand the other. Also through their questions the spectators will be trying to invoke the protagonist or antagonist to take a look at themselves in relation to the action and position they would have taken in the play. The principal, in “Acceptance”, for example, may be challenged by an audience member to support the rights of gays and lesbians.
Acting on HIV: Using Drama to Create Possibilities for Change by Emma Durden (auth.), Dennis A. Francis (eds.)