Theatre for Youth: A Tool for Tackling Trafficking


Jo Beth Gonzalez, PhD, MFA & Roxanna Schroeder-Arce | September 20 | 10:15-11:15 AM

Topic: Art | Knowledge Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Theatre for young audiences, while entertaining, more significantly provoke youth to think. Playwrights, through careful crafting of characters in conflict, bring attention to injustices not just for youth but for their parents as well. Theatre for youth reminds parents and educators to be mindful stewards of their children. This session describes the evolution of a one-act play for young audiences that raises awareness of human sex trafficking of minors. Lily's Shadow, co-written by professional playwright Roxanne Schroeder-Arce and members of the Bowling Green High School Drama Club, illustrates signs of abuse in victims, strategies traffickers use to coerce young victims into the system, and tactics for escaping perilous situations. The first part of the session provides a brief background of the play's evolution and addresses how the playwrights explored ways to develop theme, heighten artistic expression, and integrate age-appropriate content into the production. The second part of the session will demonstrate the production by featuring 3 scenes from the play performed by members of the BGHS Drama Club.  In the third part of the session, presenters will discuss specific strategies for using theatre to tackle sex trafficking of minors and invite questions to generate dialogue about theatre's effectiveness to impact young people's thinking on the issue.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Illuminate how theatre (specifically Lily's Shadow) is an engaging art form and helps kids recognize danger signs of human sex trafficking.

·  Highlight the heightened impact of learning when high school actors inform younger kid.

About the Presenters