“Theatre is a great tool to describe problems” – Sofia Nesterenko

In 2008 I got acquainted with “Theater for dialogue” (Theatre of the Opressed workshop “What does youth need?”). The word “theater” draw my attention and desire to take part at this event. Personally, I understood that theatre practice is a great tool for describing problems that should be solved. The most interesting part was a possibility to stop actor`s actions and change a performed scene. As a result, l I have received great experience and knowledge. There were interesting workshop`s participants too. I had chance to get acquainted with Iryna Fedorchenko, representative of NGO «Generation UA».
As a result of the 3-day workshop we got inspired and established our own theater laboratory aimed at developing imagination, creative thinking, communicational skills and teamwork of children and teenagers. I drafted agenda for the first class: games for getting to know each other, warm ups, exercise “complete a fairy tale”, working out character (story, name, age, residence, occupation, hobbies, character, favorite emotion (grief, joy etc.), presentation of the character, uniting in groups; characters develop common story; presentation; feedback.

I took interesting games and exercises from this theatre workshop. The title of the laboratory appeared very quickly  -  “A Flight of Imagination”. We gave to children full freedom for creative thinking and materialization of their fantasies during our classes. “You can be anybody!’

Classes of theater laboratory take place every Wednesday in Generation. UA office. Children and adults (10-15 years old) could take part in our classes, but we are ready to accept everybody, who is beyond this age category. We want to improve our theater laboratory and we are open for partnership 

Iryna Fedorchenko (NGO Generation. UA): “We are open for those youth initiatives. I got acquainted with Sofia Nesterenko during Theater for dialogue workshop. I proposed her to do some activities in Generation. UA, so that Sofia could develop as trainer.

Honestly, I didn`t hear about similar theater laboratory in our city. There is a center for children`s creativity close to us, an experienced teacher is working there. Perhaps, there is a higher level of acting skills there, but at the same time teenager can feel him/herself  in certain boundaries…  During Sofia`s classes I have observed that teenagers felt themselves in their own environment. Sofia treats them equally, she is not positioning herself as a trainer that will teach them smth. Everything is organized in open and easy format , children  are not scared to express themselves. She is just a moderator, gives tasks, maybe that is the main advantage – they all are equal.

We discussed with Sofia that maybe with a grant support this can be a regular theater studio which happens twice a week, where children can prepare all necessary stage props by themselves. We have a colleague Tatiana, who can make something very beautiful from anything that is not in use anymore. So, Sofia has some support already.

Theatre for Dialog