Having opened this page, we assume that you are a development organisation working either locally or internationally which is interested in providing financial, material or educational support for this theatre for development program.

Here are some possible options for supporting or working with the theatre teams:

   - Support one or more of the teams to create and perform a play on a
     development related theme of your choice for audiences in your target
   - Increase the impact of the teams’ current drug prevention or HIV/AIDS
     awareness raising campaigns by supporting more performances of already
     tried and tested plays.
   - Help the team improve its work and its chances of sustainability with
     material or financial resources e.g. providing traditional costumes
     for the Yao or Lahu teams, some office equipment, or a circus tent to
     create a lively and quiet space in which to rehearse and perform.

If you are interested in one of these options, please contact us with your proposals, ideas or questions.

  There are six villagers, three women and three men, in each of the five teams. Two of these are team leaders who are responsible for coordinating activities on a local level and who guarantee the smooth operation of activities. Four of the teams operate in Bokeo province, where there are many different ethnic minorities living close together, the Akha team perform in Luang Namtha province, where a high percentage of the population is Akha.
  Cooperation with the Lao government
  The Lao Youth Union (LYU) monitors the work of the teams. The LYU is the Lao government organisation responsible for leisure and education activities for youth. When researching different topics, the teams consult the relevant government department (e.g. the District and/or Provincial Drug Control Office, when the issue is Drug Prevention) for information when making a play.
  Previous support
  The teams were set up with financial and technical support from the GTZ. The GTZ runs the Rural Development in Mountainous Areas of Northern Laos Program (RDMA).
The Bokeo component of this program is now run by IP, Institut fuer Projektplanung GmbH, who has a staff member providing technical assistance and administrative support to the theatre teams. The DED has one advisor posted in Bokeo province who is responsible for capacity building in theatre and organisational skills.
  Future development
  The development aim is to enable such local groups to gain become self sufficient and this also involves helping them to become better known and to gain the necessary support to carry out their work. They are currently receiving training in fund raising and quality control from the DED advisor and it is expected that they will soon carry out these functions themselves.
  Impact assessment
  The impact can be measured by members of the village teams who use questionnaires to determine level of knowledge and current attitudes on the topic before and after their presentations among a cross section of the target audience. After 3 months, the same people are questioned again to determine whether their behaviour has changed and whether the presentations or what other factors influenced any change in their behaviour.
  Overview of expenses
  - Missing labour fee
The performers are given a small daily fee to compensate them and their families for the lost labour in the fields or small business.
- Nourishment
In a rehearsal day, performers have no time to gather food, food is purchased from the local market and cooked for them by 2 villagers.
- Set
Defines the stage area and is easy to transport. Props are every day tools and materials. Audience seating in villages is a problem, a plastic sheet (10x10m) is currently used, as to define the performing area. Ideally seating would be provided but this is currently not available and difficult to transport.
- Technical equipment
A generator (1000w), surge protector, 2 radio mikes with receiver, a small speaker-amplifier, lights, bamboo cane and string to create lighting rig, musicians or a tape/CD player. The teams already own this equipment, but need to maintain it, as there is a lot of wear and tear in transport.
- Transport
A mini bus with a roof rack and some inside luggage space is ideal. The teams don’t yet own one, so they have to hire transport for each performance or use a car provided by the supporting project
- Costumes
Traditional costumes of the lao hill tribes are works of art. Making them takes a long time, but the visual feast for the eye keeps the audience’s attention.
- Mobile rehearsal and performance space
At present the team is rehearsing at the market place under the full view of the village. The atmosphere is chaotic and noisy with children jumping over the set while the team is creating a scene. Having their own rehearsal space such as a tent would improve the concentration of rehearsals and the quality of plays. Having a circus like tent would not only provide the team with some privacy and a place to make themselves up before the performance but heighten the drama of the event for the actors and the audience. It would also enable the teams to charge a small entry fee for some performances, where appropriate, which would help the teams to cover their costs.
  Making community theatre does require financial input, but the results are well worth the investment. Any financial or other support is most welcome, as the performers are farmers with a very low income.