The community theatre group, AIDS ACT, was established in part to help combat issues of ‘AIDS fatigue’ among students. The group of students who form AIDS ACT were drawn from the broader group of HIV and AIDS peer educators as well as other students interested in drama. AIDS ACT is an educational theatre project, aimed at relaying the message of HIV prevention in a creative and fun way. Drama is used to impart knowledge and address attitudes and beliefs about HIV and AIDS.  The theatre project is targeted both towards university students as well as high school students in the nearby community, although an important part of its work is to support the HIV/AIDS peer education activities. The group is also available for performances in organizations and businesses wishing to diversify their HIV/AIDS educational media. To successfully convey their message, a high premium is placed on audience participation. It is not uncommon for characters, during the play, to step out of character and interact with the audience.

The members of the group are all undergraduate students with no prior theatre training or experience. The brief skits performed by the project are collaborative efforts based on observations, experiences and perceptions of campus life combined with training themes explored in HIV/AIDS training workshops. These themes are scripted jointly by the group, with members moving in and out of directorial, script writing, and acting roles. Two core themes, the impact of conceptions of gender roles and HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention, make up the conceptual foundation of AIDS ACT’s performance message.

For more information or to arrange for AID ACT to perform for your school or organization, please contact Melani-Ann Cook at: 021 959-3928