Skip to content Skip to cookie consent
Skip to content


Useful lessons for theatre in development

Setting The Standard provide very practical guidelines to organisations to make sure that children are protected

2004 Available in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese

Footsteps magazine issues on a wooden desk.

From: Theatre for development – Footsteps 58

Using theatre to encourage understanding about different community issues

  • Do get your facts right. There is nothing worse than giving people wrong or misleading information – for example, about how HIV/AIDS can be transmitted.
  • Do be aware that the effectiveness of theatre will depend on the confidence and abilities of the producers and actors.
  • Do watch what is being said and done in your organisation’s name – theatre can often reach very wide audiences!
  • Do be aware that the cost of developing and performing theatre using professional performers can be high.
  • Don’t just use theatre to tell your community what to do or how to behave – if you are only telling, you are not listening!
  • Don’t try to include too much – theatre which covers too many issues may just confuse people.
  • Don’t expect to change attitudes or behaviour with just one performance – it is a slow and careful process which takes time, respect and encouragement.
  • Don’t try to influence the emotions or fears of the audience to achieve your own purpose.

Child protection

Cultural activities are often seen as fun and free of risk. Sadly, there are cases where child abusers have used them to gain access to children. It is very important to ensure child protection in cultural projects and provide adequate management and monitoring.

If you have any queries or concerns, there is a brochure available called Setting the Standard. This provides very practical guidelines to organisations to make sure that children are protected. A free copy is available from:

People In Aid, Regents Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL, UK E-mail: [email protected] It can also be downloaded from the publications section of: 

Similarly Tagged Content

Share this resource

If you found this resource useful, please share it with others so they can benefit too.

Subscribe to Footsteps magazine

A free digital and print magazine for community development workers. Covering a diverse range of topics, it is published three times a year.

Sign up now - Subscribe to Footsteps magazine

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.