Performance arts educate young people
In July 2012, David Williams, Ariana Paganetti, Marri Wright and Carla Nirella travelled to the Pilbara to deliver the NiteStar Program.
NiteStar uses a theatre-based model incorporating drama, music and peer education to help guide pre-adolescents, adolescents and young adults as they confront the many challenges of growing up.
Productions are all original, created by members of the company.
They are culturally appropriate and age-specific, and are designed to diffuse myths on topics such as pregnancy, substance abuse and relationship violence prevention, as well as to help youth make informed decisions and provide options for changing attitudes and prejudices, and create opportunities for behavioural change.
NiteStar uses the performing arts and peer education to help young people make informed decisions, providing options for changing attitudes and prejudices, and creating opportunities for promoting healthy behaviours.
During their time in the Pilbara, the NiteStar team worked with youth from Karratha, Roebourne, Wickham, Onslow and Pannawonica with participants ranging from six to16 years-of-age.
The program started in the first week of the school holidays, and the workshops ran in Roebourne and Wickham on Tuesday and Wednesday, and finished up with a performance for the parents on Friday afternoon.
Theatre exercises and discussions on topics including the positives and negatives of living in an isolated town were discussed, as well as bullying in peer groups and how that manifests.
Vignettes relating to the participants’ culture were created which improved confidence and individual comfort levels.
The NiteStar team commented on how inspiring it was to see the youth take charge and ownership of casting, writing and directing the piece, and the audience commended how honest and raw their piece appeared.
The team travelled to Onslow for the second week of the holidays where the first workshop was run.
Due to the extensive range in ages, the groups were split into two so there could be a focus on issues specific to age groups.
It was then on to Pannawonica for the Thursday and Friday to work with participants who were bursting with energy, enthusiasm and natural talent.