Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Drama training in Kenya

I had the privilege of giving another "Drama in the Ministries of the Church" class at Daystar a few weeks ago.  This was the best group yet!  Pastors and drama leaders from 6 churches across Nairobi, all diehard drama fans and eager to deepen their understanding of communicating and ministering through the creative use of drama.  I was also spurred on by Birte Papenhausen, a fellow drama enthusiast who works in Mongolia; we were able to demonstrate more forms of drama in the class, as a part of our devotions and learning.  The class looked at the Biblical basis for the arts, why drama is a powerful tool for communication and learning, and all the ways that drama can be used in church (and out!).  Students said they learned more than they could have imagined, and had their horizons stretched as they saw that there is more to drama than the standard "skit" or play; how about dramatizing Scripture?  Or storytelling your way through the Bible?  Or using tableaux, or or playback, or participatory theatre to discuss issues facing Christians and possible solutions?  God is a creative God and we certainly must be willing to explore creative ways of communicating truth!

 I am up to 34 different forms of drama that can be used in performance, teaching, or discipleship. Here's one, to go along with the Storytelling Festival that just happened here in Kenya— Sigana.  This is based on a traditional African form of drama that uses storytelling, dance, music/song, riddles and audience participation.  The result is a modern fusion theatre that is uniquely Kenyan.  One of my students caught a vision for an "urban sigana" that could be used in their church.  I hope it will come to pass soon!

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