From Politics to Therapy: Sistren Theatre Collective's Theatre and Outreach Work in Jamaica
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 February 2013
Sistren Theatre Collective has been producing theatre and working with community groups in Jamaica for the last thirty-five years. Over the last decade the company has changed its profile to include male drama specialists and social workers in its team. This has come about due to new funding arrangement with the Jamaican Ministry of National Security, which won a large grant from the Inter-American Development Bank to establish the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP). The CSJP has a community outreach component in which Sistren has been employed to run socio-drama workshops and provide counselling to residents in Kingston's ‘garrison’ communities. In this article Karina Smith compares Sistren's theatre and outreach work under the CSJP programme with the group's previous theatre productions and workshops, devised when it was the leading women's popular theatre company and Women in Development non-government organization in the Caribbean region. Karina Smith is a Senior Lecturer in Literary and Gender Studies in the College of the Arts at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. She has published on Sistren Theatre Collective's work in Modern Drama, Theatre Research International, and in Suzanne Diamond's Compelling Confessions: the Politics of Personal Disclosure (2011). Her monograph on the Caribbean community's oral histories of migration to Victoria is forthcoming from Breakdown Press.
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