Thai Youth Theater 2016

As my last big project just finished it really does feel like my time here is wrapping up. I'm now in my last full week at my site, after just coming back from the Thai Youth Theater (TYT) festival. Last year I helped prepare a group of students that were part of my school's English club to attend the festival. This year my school was unfortunately unable to bring a group, but I still went as I'm on the planning committee for the festival. As the Director of Administration, most of my duties took place before the festival working on securing a location, applying for a grant, and making the budget. Working on this project was a nice change of pace from the English classroom.

The festival was a big success this year, with schools coming from all over Thailand. A number of schools returned for their second or third time. The students had lessons on dancing, singing, stage fighting, and stage make-up. The main event of the festival is a public performance by each group of a prepared English play. This year, in addition to teaching English and theater techniques, we expanded the scope of the festival to include lessons on gender and equality. We were funded by Let Girls Learn, a new initiative with strong support from Michelle Obama, that is meant to promote girl's education and equality around the world. Thank you to everyone who also made personal donations to this project!

 

Everyone together!

 

One of the teaches preparing her students for the show.

 

Students watching a performance.

 

One of the students reading about the play. This one was a traditional Thai story that the teacher translated into English.

 

Most of the students from this group are part of an ethnic group called the Karen. They decided to do a play that showed different aspects of Karen culture. This is a traditional dance they do using bamboo sticks. This play was empowering for the youth as they were able to show case and celebrate their culture!

 

This group did a great job performing 'Sleeping Beauty.'

 

One of the sessions during the festival was face painting. The students practiced how to identify different feelings based off facial expressions. Then in groups they had to paint one student's face as a particular emotion.

 

Both her face paint and expression definitely exude 'happiness.'

 

The students had a session on stage fighting. Incorporated into this lesson was a discussion on anti-bullying and non violence in real life.

 

One of the groups with their face masks. Students made masks in their free time to wear at the 'masquerade' on the last night.

 

 

Singing and dancing to I will survive before the big masquerade, aka dance party.

 

Myself and the two other Peace Corps volunteers in my group that helped put on the festival this year in our photo booth.

 

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