Sexwise is a national touring sexual health promotion theatre programme using live performance and dynamic facilitation to engage rangatahi/youth, whānau and communities in dialogue. The goal is to create a transformational and empowering experience, rather than simply deliver information. The facilitation method acknowledges rangatahi/youth as sexual beings who can make healthy choices.
Sexual Health themes and dilemmas are presented by the Performer-Facilitators with songs, humour and drama. The narrative intentionally contains loose ends and unresolved conflicts to provoke thinking. Unresolved conflicts framed in the performance are the basis for dialogue with rangatahi/youth audience members about the issues and behaviours depicted. Audience members have an opportunity to provide real advice to the fictitious characters. In this way, our approach acknowledges young people as knowledgeable and fosters peer learning.
For this to be most effective, the performance needs to be relevant and engaging to connect with the audience. Ideally, students will recognise and/or identify with the characters and the issues they face.
Expectations of Performer-Facilitators
- Warm-hearted, engaging and confident in relating to young people with differing values, backgrounds and cultures.
- Communicating openly, in a non-judgmental and accepting manner.
- Self-motivated, generous, disciplined, and adaptable.
- Co-operative, collaborative and ready to take and give constructive criticism.
Approach the subject matter in an assured, open and non-judgemental way. Be secure with your own sexuality and totally accepting of others with a different sexual orientations. This requires an ongoing practice of self-reflection. Reflecting on our hang-ups in the process of understanding our own biases, helps us bring layers of depth to the characters we portray.