Addressing conflict through theatre

Four friends are watching V for Vendetta, and talk about how change is something that Sri Lanka needs. One reads out a text message he got which is political in nature. They talk a bit about the war and the ethnic conflict, they have a laugh and go their separate ways. The following day, when they are at work, authorities come over and take one of them away, no reason given.

What happens next?

That's a glimpse of the story line of the newest forum theatre production by the Beyond Borders Group. This time, they talk about the ethnic conflict, surveillance and different freedoms that have been sacrificed in the name of national security at a time of war.

But unlike in traditional theatre, the audience can get involved in changing the actions of the characters, thereby affecting how the following scenes are enacted. Like in real life, taking different courses of action would result in a different set of circumstances. Forum Theatre opened a new way of understanding issues prevalent in society and it empowers the audience to explore complexities with regard to a situation, through an interactive theatre experience.

Beyond Borders is a voluntary, youth-led, youth-run initiative active in Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh and (formerly) in Pakistan & the UK. Based on the working themes of Identity, Diversity and Active Global Citizenship, Beyond Borders provides a space for young people to actively express themselves and take action on development issues affecting them. Currently the group is working on issues related to peace, governance, citizenship and sustainable development.

They can be found on the web on http://www.beyondborders.lk. Tickets for the performance priced at Rs. 100/= can be purchased at the British Council, and the fate of the characters will be at your disposal on Thursday, November 20, from 6:30 pm onwards at the British Council Auditorium.

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