“Generally, sex education for British teenagers revolves around finding a variety of ways to tell them that they must use a condom, before asking them to practice unrolling one on a banana. Very rarely is the emphasis placed on how to prepare and protect oneself emotionally for a sexual relationship, and this is exactly where ‘Girlhood to Womanhood’ comes in!”
Founder, Body Gossip
Sunday the 29th of September 2013 saw the second public performance of Beyond the Classroom’s Girlhood to Womanhood (G2W) theatre production. Part of an SRE (sex and relationships) TIE (theatre in education) initiative primarily delivered to young women in schools, colleges and youth centres - this was a rare opportunity for the general public and key community stakeholders to see the play.
The evening kicked off to an emotional start, with a film screening of ‘A Girlhood to Womanhood journey’. Created by the young G2W cast & crew, the film documents the personal experiences, growth and development of a group of SFX College students. As they embarked on the powerful journey to create the G2W production and become peer mentors to young people across London.
The scene was set for the performance of an authentic youth led TIE production, the delivery of which certainly did not disappoint!
The multitalented cast effectively guided the audience through a roller-coaster of emotions; laughing, crying and reminiscing on their own coming of age experiences. A packed auditorium were blown away by the cast’s remarkable employment of music, comedy, drama and powerhouse vocals. Audience participation was a successful tool in breaking the fourth wall between audience and stage, and even saw one audience member temporarily become a part of the on stage performance to great comic effect.
“I am certain that young people across the country will find this initiative incredibly informative. It deals with poignant issues that are becoming ever more prevalent in the lives of young people. And educates about these often taboo topics in a highly engaging and entreating way, excellent!”
Wandsworth Council Family learning co-ordinator
A brief intermission provided an opportunity for attendees to engage in Beyond the Classroom’s ‘Feedback Walls’. Analysis of the production revealed that 100% of the audience would like to see Beyond the Classroom programmes delivered to young people more widely, and would recommend them to others.
While the open and more direct questions put forward by cast members, yielded detailed heart felt responses. For example;
Q: Why do you always tell me life is hard? Give me something about adulthood to look forward to…
A: You can look forward to overcoming the hard times with joy. Because when you receive the reward, you will look back on the storm with love.
Q: Why do you make sex seem like such a bad thing, haven’t you done it?
A: It is because sex is not generally talked about openly, or in a way which allows people to really think about what is right for them.
The evening was ceremoniously rounded off the presentation of graduation certificates to the young ladies who have now successfully graduated from the Girlhood to Womanhood programme.
For more information on the Girlhood to Womanhood initiative, or to book Beyond the Classrooms programmes get in touch here.