In the late 1980’s, PETA created the Children’s Theater Program (CTP), which brings to the public critical issues and concerns affecting the child. Through the medium of theater, the program provides training and assistance in developing performances with marginalized children – children in urban poor communities, child laborers, street children, children survivors of physical & sexual abuse as well as trafficking, and those caught in armed conflict.
CTP has partnered with child-focused organizations from different parts of the country. It has been successful through quality engagement and the participation of children and young people in the process of developing stories, play-making, capacity-building, and developing sustained cultural programs in local communities. PETA’s Children’s Theater is both an artistic expression and a developmental process for children and youth as it allows theater to be instrumental in their self expression, creativity, participation and resiliency.
The PETA Children’s Theater Program works with children and youth beneficiaries of child-focused non-government organizations as well as community associations along the following areas:
1) Theater for Children’s Rights Advocacy;
2) Creative Pedagogy Training for Youth Leaders and Adult Guides; and
3) Building Resiliency/ Theater for Psychosocial Processing
Through the program, PETA has helped give birth to stories that embody the imagination, hopes and dreams of children. Theater provides the means of dialogue between the artists and children, between children and other children, between children and the community.
As the plays are performed before audiences, the children’s stories gain the power to move and transform people’s hearts and minds. The performance itself becomes a vehicle for Children’s Voices to be heard and empowers children to speak for themselves.