Creating an interactive puppet show to promote  non-violence and tolerance

 

                

School violence is now so common that children get used to it to the extent of not noticing it. It is the targets of aggression, usually children that differ from the others in one way or another, that cannot help but be aware of it all the time.

The educational approach in our school is long outdated – didactic and failing to engage children’s emotions and creativity. Infinitely more interesting are the  electronic games and action movies filled with violence. The demand for and the implementation of new effective methods for reducing aggression among adolescents doesn’t seem to be the concern of anyone – neitherthe students’parents ,nor the  teachers.

As a result of this carelessness our society is shocked by the cruelty manifested at ever younger age, instead of putting their efforts into finding effective methods of teaching  humanity and tolerance to children .

 

At he first session of the Sofia Programme “Culture” for 2013 to support the creation of cultural events supporting the candidature of Sofia and the Southwest region for the European Capital of Culture – 2019 , “Theatre   Tsvete” received co-funding for the project  Creating of an interactive puppet show to promote  non-violence and tolerance .

Thanks to the received support, as well as to the volunteer work of the team of “Theatre Tsvete ” and friends the puppet show ” The Flying Knight ” was created. It is the story of an 8 year old boy with an unusually vivid  fantasy. The boy does not attract the attention of parents and teachers, because he is not a troublemaker . But he also remains unaccepted by his peers because of his different behavior. For him the daily stories of school life have other dimensions. At the end of the show the viewers have the opportunity to take part in it and seek solution to the problems presented . This is the so called Forum Theatre.

Forum theater gives its audience  the rare chance to try out in a safe environment different behaviors in potential problem situations. The facilitator invites the viewers to try and create a positive change in the situation as they  getinto the role of the oppressed and change his/her behaviour the way they see fit. This interactive theater form has not only rational, but also an emotional impact on the participating audience. It was created by the Brazilian director Augusto Boal and is implemented worldwide as an effective tool of civil education . Forum theater is a form of modern informal education through applied theater, and is quite  innovative for our country. We believe that our performance adds to the support of  Sofia and the Southwest region for the European Capital of Culture 2019 .

 

What  happens on stage is familiar to the viewers . It’s fun… But did our viewers ask themselves whether they all of them laughed ? We try to sharpen the sensitivity of the kids from elementary school course to violence , teach them to recognize it in its various forms and to  protect one another.

And those who can’t  not to be ashamed to seek help.

But do they actually get  security and support from the adults?

If your kids are not  prepared to  share , but remain silent and put up with the violence , the abuser easily believes he is invincible and goes on with the harassment infecting others as accomplices.

And if violence is answered with violence,  a wave of aggression follows. A vicious circle from which it is very difficult to get out.

With this show we want to challenge children, parents and teachers to face  the personal responsibility of everyone  to the  huge problem  of school violence. Depending on who the  audience are, it gives material to make a forum  for  the different target  groups.

 

The show was created by the team:

 Script and direction : Tsvete Yaneva

Set and puppets : Christina Nedeva

Music: Vlada Ianeva

Cast:

Violina Vassileva

Dana Andonova

Ekaterina Kazakova

Yanko Velkov – Yanetz

               and 7 -year-old Ivan Mutafchiyski