The Life Drama Project makes use of applied theatre & performance techniques to promote sexual health & wellbeing in Papua New Guinea, the Pacific and Northern Australia.

Brief history of the project

1.1 Project History

The Life Drama project began with a workshop in Lae on using drama techniques to engage people in learning about HIV transmission, gender relations, and reducing stigma. The workshop was so well received by the 12 participants, all national employees of non-government organisations, that it seemed a worthwhile endeavour to scale up the project.

The Queensland University of Technology was successful in obtaining an Australian Research Council Linkage grant, with the PNG National AIDS Secretariat, Marie Stopes International PNG, and Porgera Joint Venture, as partner organisations. The Life Drama project commenced in February 2009.

The first Life Drama pilot site was Tari, in the Southern Highlands.

The second Life Drama pilot site was Karkar Island, Madang Province.

The third Life Drama pilot site will be in Port Moresby.

From July 2009, Life Drama has employed a Research and Administrative Assistant based in Port Moresby. The project is in the process of establishing the Pacific Centre for Applied Performance, based in the Melanesian Institute for Arts and Culture, on the Port Moresby campus of the University of Papua New Guinea.

In January and February 2010, Life Drama conducted a Theatre Exchange Workshop with a representative of VSO Tokaut AIDS, several ex-members of Raun Raun Theatre in Goroka, and staff of the University of Papua New Guinea. The purpose of the workshop was to research the history of theatre for development in PNG over the past few decades, and to find ways of drawing on indigenous performance traditions to enrich the Life Drama work aesthetically, culturally, and educationally.

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