Act Out!

Act Out! uses fun drama games and scenes to help youth express themselves about situations they have faced or might face in their everyday life as adolescents. No previous drama experience is required.

The program staff, consisting of five counsellors and actors, presents scenes on realistic topics such as peer conflict, racism and homophobia. They invite students to enter the scene to affect the outcome and explore ways to handle the situation.

Using drama games and discussion, a safe, fun, small group atmosphere is created where youth can express and act out their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and challenges.

Act Out! helps participants:

  • learn to handle difficult situations such as bullying, violence, racism and homophobia
  • develop confidence and competence
  • become comfortable with who they are
  • find their voice
  • develop empathy

The Act Out! program accepts the fact that youth now face as many or more difficult situations as any previous generation. It allows them to explore fun, informative ways to achieve resolution.

Act Out! is based on Trauma Drama, which was created by psychologists from the Justice Resource Institute and actors from a group called Urban Improv in Boston, Massachusetts. Members of the Act Out! troupe are certified trainers in this model and have been offering Act Out! in Calgary Junior High schools since 2006. Act Out! will be offered in a community setting for the first time this fall.

Testimonials:

Participants:

  • “I can be myself around new people I never talked to before”
  • “I learned that no one is alone in what they’re going through”
  • “It’s OK to be different and to stand out, it’s OK to stick up for yourself”

Parents:

  • “My son developed lots of confidence, his self esteem is much better, and there are no more fights or bullying in school”
  • “My daughter is finding her voice, she talks to me now”

This program is offered in partnership with the Calgary Board of Education in designated high schools. The program is specifically for youth in those schools only.