Street theater performance – Working with Nepalese communities

April 19, 2022

Getting practical! Last week students of the Akasha Traineeship program conducted their first community activity – to put into practice what they learnt within the last 5 months.

After weeks of preparation, a street theater performance took place in Gamcha, a village with a few social challenges which is located close to Nepal’s capital Kathmandu.

Pressing current topics

Around 70 people, almost the whole village, watched curiously when the students performed their play which combined drama, theater, dance and acrobatics. The students addressed alcoholism, domestic violence and teenage pregnancy which are pressing topics in the community.

According to the United Nations Population Fund, 48% of Nepali women say that they have experienced some form of violence at some point in their lives and 15% have experienced a sexual assault. Issues with violence are often also related to alcohol abuse.  

Also, as a result of inadequate education about sexual and reproductive health and rights, lack of access to services tailored to young people and due to societal pressure Nepal also has high levels of teenage pregnancy. 

The approach of Forum Theater addresses these subjects of domestic abuse, violence and alcoholism in a creative way. By engaging communities who are concerned with these issues into a theatre play – people involved get the chance to deal with the situations in a different way. 

Engaging the community

After one hour of performance of the play in Gamcha, the community was also able to participate. Many raised their voice and pointed out what they would do in such a situation. It was a big success: both for the young women of the training to experience the positive impact they can have as role models, as well as for the community, who learnt a new approach to these very common issues in Nepal.  

After the play the trainers were approached and asked for further workshops and activities by the members of the community.  

Spreading the knowledge

The theater performance was a great way for the students of the Akasha Traineeship to develop confidence as role models in their community and empower others on how to face these common challenges.

Because of the positive reception and impact, additional street performances are planned within the upcoming weeks in the area of Suntakhan. We’re looking forward to seeing more such inspiring events in the future!