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2009 Recipient - Street Spirits Theatre Company

Street Spirits Theatre Company is a youth-driven social action theatre company. They use the techniques of Theatre of the Oppressed along with other techniques to create audience interactive performances that raise awareness and generate solutions to problems of concern to the community and to the world. Street Spirits was founded in 1999 by Andrew Burton, and has performed all over North America but most of their work is in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. Their shows are about drug and alcohol use, family violence, racism, sexual assault, poverty, peer pressure, homophobia and other topics that arise. Street Spirits offers custom created shows as well as shows from our catalogue, and provides interactive theatre workshops to teach social action theatre techniques to communities of shared concern.

Street Spirits creates many performances each year. They are asked to custom create plays, they are asked to present plays that people have seen or heard about from their playlist of past shows and they create new plays through a workshop process. The content of the plays is designed to raise awareness of issues and to give audience members an opportunity to generate solutions to those issues by intervening and working through the problems in the play. From time to time they create plays that have harsh and disturbing content. Additionally, they have created shows acceptable for elementary school audiences about bullying, peer pressure, tobacco and alcohol. They have created plays about racism, relationship violence, child abuse and drug use for teen audiences. As well, they have created plays about family violence, prostitution and drug use that are clearly meant for adult audiences and are advertised as such.