Drama Workshop: Exploring Homelessness
Objective: To raise awareness and understanding about the issue of homelessness and its impact on individuals and society.
Duration: 2 hours
- A large open space for participants to move around and act out scenes
- Props such as cardboard boxes, blankets, and old clothing items to simulate a homeless setting
- Writing materials (pen and paper)
Introduction (10 minutes):
- Welcome the participants and introduce the topic of the workshop.
- Briefly explain the objective and what the participants can expect to achieve by the end of the workshop.
Warm-Up (15 minutes):
- Get the participants moving and interacting with each other by playing some physical warm-up games that encourage cooperation and creativity.
- Start with some simple physical warm-up exercises to get the participants moving and comfortable with each other.
- Introduce an improvisation game called “Yes, and…”. Explain the rules of the game: participants take turns making statements, and each statement must be followed by another statement that begins with “Yes, and…” The goal is to keep the conversation going and build upon each other’s ideas.
- Encourage the participants to be creative and spontaneous in their responses.
- This game helps to break the ice and get the participants used to working with each other in a collaborative and supportive environment.
Example: Participant 1: “I woke up this morning to a beautiful sunrise.” Participant 2: “Yes, and I saw a group of birds flying in formation.” Participant 3: “Yes, and I felt a sense of peace and calm wash over me.”
By playing this game, the participants can start to build a sense of trust and rapport with each other, which will be important for the rest of the workshop activities.
- Group Discussion (30 minutes):
- Divide the participants into groups of 4-5 and provide them with writing materials.
- Ask the groups to brainstorm and list down the causes and effects of homelessness.
- After 10 minutes, ask each group to share their lists and add to the collective list created by the entire group.If you want to extend this you could get them to to think about the following questions
- What are some of the common misconceptions about homelessness?
- What are some of the root causes of homelessness, in your opinion?
- Can you think of any examples of how homelessness affects individuals and communities?
- How do you think society can work together to address the issue of homelessness?
- Have you or anyone you know personally been affected by homelessness?
- What role do you think government, non-profit organizations, and individuals play in addressing homelessness?
Scene Creation (45 minutes):
- Divide the participants into smaller groups (4-5 people per group).
- Provide each group with props such as cardboard boxes, blankets, and old clothing items to simulate a homeless setting.
- Explain that the goal of this activity is to create short scenes that illustrate the causes and effects of homelessness, based on the list generated during the group discussion.
- Encourage the participants to be creative and to use the props provided to help create a realistic setting.
- Remind the participants to be respectful and to avoid stereotypes or assumptions about homelessness.
- Give the groups approximately 30 minutes to create their scenes.
- Once the scenes are ready, ask each group to present their scene to the rest of the participants.
- After each presentation, encourage the participants to provide constructive feedback to the presenting group. Feedback can include observations about the scene’s impact, suggestions for improvement, or praise for particularly effective elements.
- Repeat the process until all groups have presented their scenes.
The goal of this activity is to provide the participants with an opportunity to use their creativity and imagination to explore the issue of homelessness in a hands-on way. By acting out scenes and presenting them to each other, the participants can gain a deeper understanding of the issue and its impact on individuals and communities. The feedback process also provides an opportunity for the participants to learn from each other and to build upon each other’s ideas.
Reflection (30 minutes):
- After all the scenes have been shared, ask the participants to take a moment to reflect on their experience.
- Start by asking the participants to share what they learned from the scene creation activity.
- Encourage the participants to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to the issue of homelessness.
- Ask the participants to think about what they can do, both individually and collectively, to help address the issue of homelessness in their communities.
- Lead a group discussion to share the participants’ thoughts and ideas.
- Summarize the key points that were discussed, and encourage the participants to take notes to remember what they learned.
The reflection part of the workshop provides an opportunity for the participants to process their experiences and to think more deeply about the issue of homelessness. By reflecting on what they learned and discussing their thoughts and ideas with each other, the participants can gain a deeper understanding of the issue and its impact, as well as explore potential solutions. This reflection time can help to solidify the participants’ learning and ensure that they walk away from the workshop with a deeper appreciation for the issue of homelessness and a desire to make a difference.