Bare Drama raises awareness of gang culture for Leicester youngsters

Tuesday, 2nd November, 2010
A hard hitting play exploring key issues surrounding gang culture is currently touring Leicester schools.

Bare Drama was commissioned by The Y to raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of involvement in gang membership and associated crimes.

The play centres on Sparks, Diesel and Asher, three friends hanging out on an inner-city estate, and the decisions they face.

The characters are used to raise awareness of the experiences, situations and actions which could contribute to gang membership.

The actors will also deliver educational workshops to hundreds of Year 7 pupils in priority areas of Leicester over a two week period.

Featured schools include Rushey Mead, Soar Valley, Hamilton Community College, New College, Keyham Lodge, Newry Specialist Learning Centre, Millgate, and City of Leicester College.

Amy Christer, Education Officer at The Y, said: "The project creates a safe environment for young people to explore the choices the characters make and to reflect on their own choices."

While Leicester does not have an ingrained gang crime problem, a need for preventative education has been identified and the programme has been developed through local research involving meetings with key partners in the youth justice sector, as well as creative research with young people.

The arts in education programme aims to help young people understand and discuss risk factors, while equipping them with strategies, support networks and resources if they personally experience them in the future.

Paul Brown, Chief Executive of Leicester YMCA, said: "This production further enhances The Y's commitment to young people in the community and the issues of community safety, anti-social behaviour and crime.

"Our ultimate aim is not only to raise awareness, but to support young people to become peer-mentors in the future.

"We hope the medium of drama can be used to raise awareness of these serious issues.

We look forward to continuing to develop the partnership between Leicester YMCA, Leicester Youth Offending Service and police in the future."

The Y contracted Women and Theatre to produce the Bare Drama theatre in education programme. The play was written by Michael Aduwali and is directed by Terina Talbot.

Funding for the commission has come from Leicestershire Constabulary and Leicester Youth Offending Service.

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