Volume 91, Issue 91

Friday, March 20, 1998

Lynn and Tonic


Real theatre, Real life

By Shannon Muir
Gazette Staff

There are many problems and issues facing young people today, with some not-so-obvious answers. What are some possible solutions?

Real Life Theatre – the name says it all. This non-profit organization's aim is to help its audience deal with issues of 'real life.' Founder Dale DuBois firmly believes in the power theatre can affect attitudes and lives. "Live theatre has been recognized as a highly effective tool of communication for education and awareness purposes," she says.

The theatre troupe is comprised of professional actors recruited from the All Teens acting group or from open auditions. The experience of these actors ensures the plays are presented in a realistic and powerful way.

The set is unique, with limited props and other accessories that facilitate the actors to "go into any setting; schools, boardrooms even church basements."

The varied topics of the plays attack issues including incest, drug abuse, unemployment and date rape. These powerful topics are presented with the intention of yielding a profound effect on the audience.

A unique aspect of the show is that each performance is followed by an open discussion, facilitated by experts in each particular field. DuBois explains these experts can be teachers, social workers or "if the topic is drug abuse it could be a recovering addict with personal experience."

The point of these discussions is to help with the main objectives of the program: education, awareness, prevention and intervention.

Prevention is an important aspect and DuBois uses drug abuse as an example. "The plays alert people to the potential dangers of drugs. In our play on drug abuse, one character does die. This may prevent someone from even trying drugs."

Intervention means helping people who do have a problem. An audience member may identify with a character or recognize the problem of a friend. "The program gives information on how and where to access help, such as support groups, private counselling and Alcoholics Anonymous," says DuBois. Real Life is out to help people deal with their problems, not just prevent them.

The Real Life Theatre Troupe will be in the main lounge of Saugeen-Maitland Hall tomorrow at 2 p.m.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998