The Yak Pack Theatre Project
A collaboration between Treehouse Theatre and Direct Theatre
During the summer of 2018, The Yak Pack Theatre Project
brought Theatre-in-Education - and its well documented benefits -
to 1850 schoolchildren, families and the special needs community
living in the isolated Spiti Valley, performing to 1 in 10 of the population..
How did it go? Read our newsletter here >
"the benefits of education in theatre arts are clear...emphasis on creativitity, critical thinking and collaborative skills especially apply to all fields in the 21st century workforce" The American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE)
Documentary coming soon!
There will be a free public viewing - watch this space for details
The Spiti Valley is part of a 'tribal' region of the Indian Himalayas bordering Tibet, and its remote villages are among the highest inhabited places on earth.
Whilst rich in culture and spirit, Spiti is poor by many other standards, and its simple rural economy and basic education system struggle to keep pace with a fast changing world.
It's not surprising that the 3000 children that live there have had no experience of theatre in their education.
We wanted to do something to change that.
The 3 week Yak Pack Theatre Project will:
- Bring exciting and engaging live theatre to more than 1000 school children and family members living in this isolated and impoverished 'tribal' area, including hard-to-reach children with special needs.
Performances will be held in schools, monasteries and nunneries, and in villages at the end of the working day.
- Share a sensory and interactive performance which celebrates and explores the joys and issues common to rural societies all over the world.
Using a cast of adults, children and a local narrator, we will connect with our audience across divisions of age, background and language.
- Offer teachers formal and informal training to bring more drama into their curriculum, and support the movement away from rote learning towards more modern education styles.
- Establish cross-cultural links between schools and organisations in the UK and in Spiti, and leave a legacy of enthusiasm for theatre, and the tools to use it in the classroom.
Who we are
The Yak Pack Theatre Project is a not-for-profit association formed solely to bring theatre to the Spiti Valley in 2018.
We are two English families who, with our five children, a trunk of props and a backpack of costumes, will all perform in the specially written play ‘Jambhala’.
With over 25 years experience making theatre for and with young people, we will bring a direct and inspiring learning experience that will stay with the children of Spiti for many years to come.
Ben and Louisa run Treehouse Theatre, providing Theatre-in-Education to UK schools.
Peter and Juliette run Direct Theatre, a Youth Theatre Company staging performances with up to 50 young actors.
'Jambhala' is an original fairy tale which explores issues relevant to isolated communities all over the world.
'Jambhala' means 'wealth' in Hindi, and invites our young audience to reflect on the many meanings of wealth: money, knowledge, spirituality, community and home. Whilst addressing serious subjects, the performance is interactive, multi-sensory and light-hearted, appealing to all ages and backgrounds.
“Culture and the arts are essential components of a comprehensive education leading to the full development of the individual. Therefore, Arts Education is a universal human right, for all learners”
UNESCO: 'The Road Map of Arts Education' (2006)