Alert, aware and alive: Environmental Awareness Day at FOSKOR, Phalaborwa
As the hot sun came blazing down unto the FOSKOR community centre in Phalaborwa, the inside of the centre looked like an ant farm. Everywhere you turned there were people rushing around to get everything ready for the long awaited Environmental Awareness Day.
5 Dec 2007 14:51
Slowly but surely the large space was filled with enthusiastic employees. One by one the seats were filled and finally the Master of Ceremonies (Mrs L de Jongh) announced the beginning of the events with an opening prayer by Rev. R J Mashele. After the ZCC St. Engenas Choir performed and a delightful speech programme was delivered by students from Mhala Mhala Primary, it was time for the highlight of the agenda: The Learning Theatre's generic industrial theatre production entitled ‘Superman Goes Nowhere'.
Inspired by Health, Safety and Environmental issues, Superman Goes Nowhere has become one of The Learning Theatre's most unique generic products. By providing spot-on enactment of uninformed attitudes and misconceptions accompanied by a dash of dangerous behaviour, the characters of Cyril the Safety Rep, Brian the Operations Manager, Jack the old school employee and Joey the newly appointed employee swept the audience of 800 employees to a different, yet familiar reality. The 30 minutes were filled with roars of laughter and panic-stricken silences as they recognised themselves and fellow-workers in each of the characters.
Gripping and entertaining, Superman Goes Nowhere enlightens employees in a sensitive yet effective manner. It is turning the mirror at just the right angle for the employees to recognise themselves, notice their own behaviour and, most importantly, to truly see the consequences of such behaviour unfold in front of their eyes. Industrial Theatre provides the blue print for the audience to not only bear witness to the consequences of unhealthy and unsafe behaviour, but also to experience the emotions and devastation of those consequences through the living experience of theatre.
The play ended on a hushed and pensive note and the audience filed out silently to enjoy the refreshments on offer. Then the buzz started as they began to discuss the play, the characters and the message. When the actors made their appearance they were greeted with tumultuous applause, lots of back slapping and the assurance that the message had been taken to heart.
Once again the effectiveness of theatre as an education medium was proved.