Danica Real, 126
You might be asking yourself “What is TYT and why would I want to get started with it?” Well, TYT stands for Thai Youth Theater and it is an annual three-day festival. This February, we held our festival in the Pathum Thani province just north of Bangkok. The festival started on Friday afternoon when Peace Corps Volunteers and their theatre groups from around Thailand began arriving at the school. The students spent the day relaxing and rehearsing their plays on the stage. Once everyone arrived, we played some “get to know you” games to help foster new friendships within this network of fun and creative kids.
We woke up early on Saturday morning to get started with the classes planned by our creative affairs team. The students rotated between dance, singing, and mask making classes. After they finished, half of the school groups performed the plays which they had been working hard on throughout the school year. They gave smashing performances and their teachers remarked on how their confidence improved after being on the stage.
That night, we finished with a masquerade where the students performed the songs and dances they had learned that day and showed off the creative masks they had made. Once the students took over, it evolved into a silly, crazy, and amazing dance party with everyone from the PCVs, the students, and the Thai counterparts getting down. Tired out from a full day of exciting activities, we went to bed.
Sunday morning started with a rotation between costume design class where the students got to put on a fashion show, and sword fighting class where they could perfect their acting skills. After the classes, we all sat down to watch the other half of the
school group performances. We saw Snow White, Harry Potter in Thailand, a Thai adaptation of Stone Soup, and
several other original pieces. The festival ended with a trophy presentation for all of the schools’ hard work and lots of pictures, of course. We had lunch, said “See you next year” and put the 2015 festival down in the books.
Thai Youth Theatre Project
Sounds like a good time, right? It is, and you can be a part of the 2016 festival. All you need is a theater group and a 10-20 minute play in English.
Here are a few things that you can do to get started today:
- Talk to a counterpart or teacher. Find a community member who is interested in theater and willing to support you. Show them our website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page to pique their interest.
- Get approval from your school. Start small, propose using a play or starting a drama club to help promote English language learning.
- Talk to your students and find out who is interested. Anyone brave enough to play charades in class has star potential. You can also use interested students for set design, costume design, and co-directors. We have had students as young as Pratom 4 and as old as Mattayom 6.
- Work with students and teachers to pick a play. You can check the resources page of our website for ideas.
- Cast your play and set up a practice schedule that works for everyone involved.
- Stay tuned for the festival applications!
Please reach out to any of the committee members if you need help in getting started or have any questions.