Drama Therapy Brings Refuge for Homeless Children in Bolivia
The “Little Prince of the Andes” is the latest theater production of a group of homeless children in La Paz, Bolivia, who experience prostitution and drugs on the harsh sidewalks of Bolivia’s capital. It is also the title of the film in progress by the prize-winning filmmaker, Tupac Saavedra, documenting the transformative powers of drama therapy. This post presents Part 1 of Nina Serrano’s two part interview with Tupac about his film project.
A few years ago Tupac learned of a theater program in La Paz where a teacher brought street children into his home, training them to explore their situation through theatre games that developed into skits and plays. Eventually, they built a separate theater building and brought in social workers to recruit the kids. Through the development of self exploration and analysis that theater demands of the actor and playwrite, self esteem slowly develops in the children. Today graduates of the program sometimes become the teachers.
Tupac’s film chronicles the homeless youth’s plight on the street, abused and scorned by passer bys, customers and police. You can see that in his trailer of the film as he captures their daily lives. For more about this fascinating project, see Part 2.