Stefanie Siller, 2013, Anthropology

This summer, I worked with REPACTED, a Magnet Theater group based in Nakuru, ­Kenya, that focuses on HIV/AIDS prevention. Magnet Theater uses performance to create a ­forum for communities to discuss health and social issues in the ­developing world, such as HIV/AIDS, female circumcision, and alcoholism. Magnet Theater helps ­audiences to ­analyze the factors contributing to risky health behaviors by ­dramatizing a ­situation in which a character needs to choose whether or not to engage in a risky behavior. The audience is asked to advise the character and the troupe ­facilitates the ­discussion, ­providing ­information and allowing the audience to analyze the ­issue as a ­community. My specific project was to work with REPACTED to train two youth groups from the rural Kuria West District of Kenya to perform Magnet Theater ­outreaches in their own ­communities. Together with a few other interns, I assisted ­actors from REPACTED with a three-day ­training workshop for these youth groups. ­Specifically, I ran a voice ­projection workshop to help the actors be heard in the outdoor marketplaces where Magnet ­Theater is typically performed.