Participatory Theater Training

I have done theater since I was in primary school and have been training in theater for more than 14 years. There is a difference between classical theater and participatory theater so we teach this in the training. There is a formal training that lasts about a week and then the training continues in the field. I love theater because it’s a way for actors to give a voice to those who don’t have a voice in the community. If I talk with people who don’t know much about theater and I say I am an actor people respond, ‘But what do you really do?’ After these types of people see our theater they generally love it and respond positively to the messages we communicate.
— Rahliatou Omar, a trainer for PDev II Participatory Theater outreach
I began doing theater with PDev II in 2014. I do this because I want to serve my community. Theater, it’s a passion for me, I’ve been doing it since I was a child. When the communities see us perform they are happy that we say what they have wanted to say through theatre.
— Amadou Rahilatou, of Niamey, Niger, was an actor in PDev II Participatory Theater for two years.

Rahilatou Omar and Amadou Rahilatou, of Niamey, Niger were a Participatory Theater Trainers for PDev II. In their roles, they spoke to members of the community to identify potential social problems that could be addressed through theater. An example of one such issue was how to deal with problems during football matches and the conflicts that arise between teams during the games, which can result in violent confrontations between players. Further conflicts can arise later between parents within the community, which creates further tension. The aim was for the actors to interact with the public, encouraging them to participate in order to adapt, change, or correct a situation, attitude or behavior. This combination of entertainment and education proved effective in bringing about positive change.