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The ‘P’ Play, is back on the road

10/01/05

“10 Foot Tall and Bullet Proof”, The ‘P’ Play, is back on the road

“10 Foot Tall & Bullet Proof” A Theatre in Education Project on the Abuse of ‘P’

P abuse Prevention –The Tale on Tour Continues – for 2005

After an intensive and arduous funding campaign, Playworks Co. and Northland’s Arts Promotion Trust, having a genuine motivation to fight the spread of ‘P’ or Methamphetamine, are to take ‘10 Foot Tall & Bullet Proof’ back on tour. The Theatre in Education, multi-leveled project on the nature of addiction and the abuse of “P”, will be taken to High Schools and communities in Northland, Auckland and further afield.

After the very successful tour of Northland Schools in 2004, “creating inroads into drug education where others could not”, the Ministry of Health, via Hon. Jim Anderton has seen fit to back this new tour with a substantial grant from National Drug Policy Discretionary Funding. This support is generous enough to cover the first five weeks of the proposed 10 week tour. Beginning in the second half of the first term, APT will be contacting schools to make bookings during the last week of January, just before schools go back.

Playworks and APT are actively searching for supplementary sponsorship from concerned agencies, businesses and individuals. To ensure maximum numbers participate, it is vital that the programme can be presented free of charge. APT believes that the success of the first tour will inspire other funding bodies to now come forward. Support for the first tour had been significant with funding received from: Lion Foundation, Hau Ora Whanui The Southern Trust, Manaia PHO, Henderson Reeves, People Potential, Safer Whangarei, Advance Whangarei and The Whangarei Dental Association. Support in kind was received from NZ Fire Service, Tikipunga High School, Rubicon, CAYAD, and Northland Health.

Director and writer Bryan Divers’ thoroughly researched, topical play, and accompanying programme aimed at 15-18 year olds, will start its new tour in March. It looks as if the original cast will be available again, and this group of young, professional, Tai Tokerau actors ensures validity and integrity for the plays target audience. The performances plus the subsequent workshops and internet support have been designed to reinforce community resilience and the individual’s ability to make informed decisions and steer clear of drug abuse and addiction. This project is in line with National Drug Policy aims following an “education not propaganda” approach.

The performance of “10 Foot Tall & Bullet Proof” is targeted at a teenage audience, following extensive research gathered from many relevant sources. “The play uses fictional characters and fictional events but presents an authenticity and truth. The play follows the testimony and confession of a young woman (played by Whangarei local; Gemma Adams); we meet her family, her friends, and the “scene” where she could have, should have, made other decisions.” says Writer/Director Bryan Divers, “We follow her downfall from being the very normal, loved and popular high school student, through innocent moments of being an unwitting pleasure seeker, to finally, becoming a burnt out slave to P. Left imprisoned by her addiction, the play presents multiple endings designed to stimulate audience discussion.” The resulting discussions lead into workshops.

The programme aims to complement existing work being done in the regions to combat the P epidemic, and strengthen the battle against drugs. The innovative method of delivery ensures the message is received, loud and clear, by our high school students and their support networks. Community performances will also be programmed again during the tour. These special performances allow the opportunity for family members and those in the community concerned about P, to listen and learn about the drug problem. Again all are welcome and there is no entry charge.

For their first tour in 2004, Playworks and the Arts Promotion Trust worked in consultation with Northland Health’s Community Health Services, Rubicon, Safer Whangarei, Hau Ora Whanui, Te Oranga and the Whangarei branch of CAYAD. These agencies supported the tour, oversaw the workshops, evaluated the programme and made sure schools had the right tools to enable them to deal with any ongoing issues arising out of the project. For this new tour in 2005, Playworks will continue with its existing partnerships and is looking to form new ones with A & D workers and health professionals working in the new regions to be visited.

Response to the tour has been extremely positive. Health agencies, teachers, community groups and most importantly teenagers took on board the messages delivered and are still talking about the play, which is indicative of the power of the method of delivery.

There has been nationwide interest in “10 Foot Tall & Bullet Proof”, and interest in hosting the troupe has been received from all over the North Island. The tour will continue as long as is feasible, in accordance with funding raised.

For further information and to ensure the programme reaches you, or to offer funding or other support for this very important project, please contact Arts Promotion Trust 09 430 6432 or info@apt.org.nz.

ENDS


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