In the last few decades, Bolivia has seen rising levels of violence, drug production and addiction, and societal tensions. Santa Cruz has become the second fastest-growing city in Latin America, but services and work opportunities have not kept pace with the increase in population and migrants have encountered difficulties in integration. Young people, who are the most vulnerable to these social problems, have become frustrated and isolated from each other, their families, and their culture.
We will organize theater workshops for small groups of young people in the province of Santa Cruz, thereby providing a space where individuals can interact with each other, develop their ability to express themselves, and celebrate their culture. To incentivize participation and increase the workshops' visibility, each one will culminate in a regional festival. We have used this model in the past and it has been successful in spurring public interest in theater and, eventually, tourism.
Theater is a particularly potent way to achieve greater social inclusion because of its low financial barriers to entry, and eastern Bolivia is fertile ground for continued development in the dramatic arts. In the last decade, the National School of Theater was built in Santa Cruz, there are some 20 stable theater troupes in the region, and performances draw crowds of all ages and fill communal venues, proving the power of theater to engage youth and promote a tolerant, peaceful society.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Press coverage from the recent theater festival