Ida's Hjelpefond, a Norwegian NGO committed to Guatemala, is partnering with Bond Street Theatre to initiate theatre programming with Oasis Orphanage in Antigua, Guatemala May 20-June 16, 2012.
Three Bond Street Theatre actor-educators, Christina Pinnell, Ilanna Saltzman, and Olivia Harris, will travel to Antigua for four weeks to conduct theatrical workshops with the 70 girls at Oasis Orphanage. The BST artists will teach physical theatre skills and prepare the young women, aged 13-17, to create original theatrical work addressing the social issues they face.
Bond Street's Josh Wynter teaches stilt walking in Haiti.
The Acting for Peace program will sow the seeds for a new original theatre piece that the girls will present in July. The workshops will also train and identify future leaders of an ongoing Oasis Arts Program.
Oasis Director Corbey Dukes wants to build an arts program that can be used for the girls' healing and for outreach into the local community. This program is the first step toward making that dream a reality, creating a safe space in which the girls can envision and work toward a new future together and reconcile with the turbulent past.
Guatemala is still recovering from a civil war that raged for 36 years until 1996. More that 200,000 indigenous people were killed and over one million people displaced. Families today still face challenges due to deep poverty, marginalization, and unequal distribution of resources.
As much as 41% of the population is under the age of 15. This community needs programs to assist, educate, and help heal young people as they transition into adulthood.
Idaa's Hjelpefond and Bond Street Theatre look forward to this collaboration, utilizing the skills and experience of both to build a stronger Guatemalan community. The project is supported by the Davis Projects for Peace created in collaboration with International House New York City.