The International Theatre and Literacy Project uses theatre as a means of social and educational uplift for children and teen-agers struggling with the challenges of poverty, crime, violence, gender inequity and inequality in developing countries. ITLP conducts theatre workshops to teach English, develop independent thinking, self-empowerment and gender equity. It strives to help young people advance their educational and employment opportunities and nurture their voices as leaders to enable growth, change and community development.
Stephen DiMenna, Artistic Director
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ITLP Summer 2015 Programs:
South Africa and Rwanda
South Africa - June 28 - July 13
ITLP just returned from South Africa for our fourth year. We partnered once again with The Ithemba Labantu Community Center (ithemba-labantu.co.za) in Philippi Township 40 minutes outside of Cape Town. This year we added four new partners: The Isihluzo Educational Theatre Project and The Nyanga Arts Center in Nyanda Township, The Magnet Theatre ( magnettheatre.co.za ) one of South Africa's most acclaimed professional theatres in Cape Town and Unami South Africa, an acclaimed puppet thetare.
ITLP teaching artists Stephen DiMenna and Chesray Dolpha collaborated with South African theatre artsists, Mbovu Malinga, director of youth arts programs at Ithemba, Jackson Vuka, the director of Isihluzo, Zwelakhe Khuse, a teaching artists from Magnet Theatre. They worked with 70 teen-agers, several returning from the 2012 and 2013 workshops, along with new students. Working each day from 10:0am - 4:00pm Monday through Saturday for two weeks they created an original play called Street Dreams that reflected the issues, ideas, challenges, hopes, dreams and visions of the future of the students. The plays performed for the community at three locations:
Friday June 11th at The Nyanga Arts Center in Nyanga Township
Saturday, June 12 at The iThemba Labantu Community Center in Philippi Township
Sunday, June 13th at The Magnet Theatre in Cape Town
The students will initiate and coordinate additional performances at schools and community centers throughout their communities over the next three months.
Rwanda - July - August 2015
ITLP returned to Rwanda for our fifth year working with 89 students at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (asyv.org) a boarding school for some of Rwanda's most vulnerable and orphaned youth and the Rwinkwavo Library and Learning Center ITLP teachings artists Channie Waites, Caitlin O'Connell and Flordelino Lagundino returned this year. They worked with two graduate theatre majors from The Kigali Institute of Education who worked as co-teaching artists.
The ITLP team worked with 20 new students, 20 students from the 2014 workshopsreturning for their third year. The students created two new plays.