What we do

PETA’s years of engagement in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) resulted to pioneering works and benchmark projects that facilitated cross-border exchange, capacity building, and solid partnerships among the Mekong performing arts communities and civil society groups and organizations to harness arts and creativity to effect change. It has explored various ways of using the creative space for learning, artistic expression, social advocacy, and has engaged and empowered individuals and the community to tackle various social issues confronting the region.

A. The Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory

The Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory is an intensive training course for Mekong performing artists designed to provide avenues for learning and exchanges among Asian artists. It combines performing arts and advocacy theater to develop innovative performance pieces that will champion various critical development concerns of the region.

Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory 2005

(Manila Laboratory 2005)
October 9 – 29, 2005
Quezon City, Philippines

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The first Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory was organized in joint collaboration with PETA’s School for People’s Theater and PETA’s Women’s Theater Program. Twenty eight performing artists from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Yunnan province of China participated and explored various artistic forms in devising their laboratory experimentations, developing a rich gamut of expression – shadow play, contemporary dance, spoken drama, hand puppets, circus and juggling techniques, multimedia performance and a four-part mural.

1. Shadow of Dreams (Cambodia)

A charming circus play, “Shadow of Dreams” explored the use of circus forms such as juggling, acrobatics, contortion and clowning ability to tell the story of an orphaned brother and sister who leave their poor village to seek a better life in the city. As they wait for their bus ride, they fall asleep and drift into a clairvoyant dream of what their life could be in Phnom Penh. Their dreams turn into nightmares for they see themselves unemployed and get caught in a life of drugs and prostitution. In the end, as they wake up, brother and sister come to their senses deciding to return home to their village and try to fulfill their dreams there.

2. Only Once (Laos)

An entertaining and endearingly funny presentation, “Only Once” used traditional folktale to advocate issues of safe sex through puppetry and spoken drama. Inspired and liberated from the workshop, the puppeteers took on a fresh acting role and performed in front of the screen as they played out a story parallel to the folktale – about a husband who goes on a one night stand, and later caught by his wife; and tries to overturn the consequences of his action to win the love and respect of his wife again.

The interaction of puppets and actors in this production added to a certain dimension to what could turn out to be just another preachy advocacy play. The inter weaving of folktale and reality gave the piece a more appealing and playful quality which could be very effective in community and grassroots settings.

3. The Untold Story (Thailand)

A powerful shadow performance, “The Untold Story” is a product of three zestful female artists from Thailand, lyrically and enchantingly told, about a woman’s self-discovery and awakening of her sexuality. It uses metaphors of butterfly to symbolize sensuality, passion and inner world/feelings, and cage to represent social conditions, social values and morality.

Executed with black and white shadow silhouette cut outs that interacted with an actor in front of the screen, the graceful and slow moving images dissolved on each other created an almost filmic look. The poetic images of woman, sexuality and passion were very powerful, and the tight story made the performance effective. The strength of the form used made the story telling of an issue based theme not only engaging but also thought provoking because the audience’s imagination is asked to participate in reading of the symbolisms and narratives.

4. The Lost Virgin (Thailand)

Four highly skilled and powerful dancers from Thailand combined modern ballet and traditional Thai movement to tell the ordeal of a woman who is raped and scarred for life in her mind and heart as the violent and painful memories ceaselessly haunt and torment her. Repeated and escalating images of violence were presented in this piece, bringing the audience to the victim’s inner consciousness, evoking them with flinching looks and mixed reactions.

5. Mong (Thailand and Vietnam)

A witty piece collaborated by two independent artists from Thailand and Viet Nam, “Mong” is a contemporary multimedia production depicting the world of cyber sex and information technology. Through the net, a man meets a seductive woman who uses his own lust to lure him into posting his sexy photos online for her to view. After which, the woman stops communicating, and the man, left out in love, finds himself a victim of a scam for his photos are sold and posted on sex website.

Apt in its theme and setting, “Mong” captured the urban and youthful story on sexuality and the hazards of the cyber world. It certainly encapsulates the essential discourse in this modern age form of interaction and the issues of body images and perception, done with crisp contemporary humor.

6. Love Story in AIDS Time (Vietnam)

A melodrama with skillful acting, “Love Story in AIDS Time” is a spoken drama production developed by a group of independent artists from Viet Nam, based on a true story of a happily married couple. A tragedy to the family, when in one of the pregnant wife’s routine checkups, she finds out that she, and possibly her unborn baby, is HIV positive. The couple is inconsolable, especially the husband as it is revealed that he had in the past extramarital sex with a woman engaged in commercial sex from whom he got infected with AIDS and in turn infected his wife. Though constantly haunted by the wraith of AIDS and death, the couple endures their predicament and moves to forgiveness, and decides to stay together to take care of their child.

The actors from Viet Nam, with their adept acting, managed to gain emotional empathy from the audience. Though melodramatic in form, their skill proved to be effective in imparting what is organic to us, as Asians and as Humans.

7. One Woman’s Story (Yunnan, China)

A language-transcending piece, “One Woman’s Story” is a fusion of Chinese folk culture and contemporary dance performed by two young ballet dancers from Yunnan province of China, collaborated with a male dancer from Thailand. It tells the story of a woman, born in the traditional Chinese culture, forced to an arranged marriage with a rich merchant she does not love. Suffering through her fate, one day, the man abandons her and her daughter. Liberated from her loveless relationship, she vows to raise her daughter differently, to give her freedom in choosing her own destiny.

With the universal language of movement, “One Woman’s Story” carried their message. Elements of Chinese folk culture are visible into the movements and gestures. The piece had proven that though in an abstracted form, the important thing is to have a clear understanding of an issue in order to convey it clearly and truthfully.

8. Protect Hope (Cambodia)

Srey Bandol, a visual artist from Phare Ponleu Selpak of Cambodia, uses sand to paint his life stories and social commentaries. As part of the final showcase, he presented a four-part mural entitled “Protect Hope” using images of hands to symbolize relationships: The first shows hands locked together to symbolize forced marriage. In the second part, the hands show that the man and woman live side by side in their daily lives but separately in their minds. The third part shows how the separation of their mind leaves them in solitude and sadness. In the fourth, the hands show that it is possible for a man and woman to marry by their own choice and live a life of happiness, love and respect.

Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory 2006

(Hanoi Laboratory 2006)
August 27 – September 16, 2006
Hanoi, Vietnam

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The second Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory was held in partnership with Vietnam’s Center for Research Conservation and Development of National Culture, the Center for Population and Reproductive Health Studies of Hanoi Medical University, and the Center for Community Health and Research Development. It coincided with the 5th Leadership Course on Gender, Sexuality and Health organized by the Southeast Asian Consortium on Gender, Sexuality and Health. With this integration, an interaction was held with the social scientists and stakeholder-advocates (academicians, researchers, policy-makers and mass media practitioners) of the Leadership Course and the artist-advocates of the Laboratory.

Twenty seven artists from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Yunnan province of China and a guest artist-participant from Indonesia gathered and developed eight innovative bodies of work.

1. Hope (Cambodia)

“Hope” by Phare Ponleu Selpak’s Circus and Awareness Theatre Troupe of Cambodia is an exciting visual fare through a circus drama play about two orphaned sisters. While watching the circus, they think about their mother who passed away and dream of joining the circus but eventually find jobs as a construction worker and an office cleaner. The older sister has a good relationship with a gentleman at the construction site, but the younger one works for a cheating boss who tries to rape her. With help, they find a way to change their lives.

The play takes the audience in two worlds: the dream world and the real world where the sisters take on the challenge of changing their lives.

2. Is It Fair? (Laos)

Kabong Lao of Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s “Is It Fair?” is a story of a young woman who sells cloth to pay the debt her father owes a rich man. As a consequence of this responsibility, if she cannot earn the money in time, she will become the rich man’s slave. She attempts to commit suicide to end her despair, but a man steps in to help her. She and the man marry, and soon after, she becomes pregnant. During her pregnancy, the couple disagrees over wanting a baby girl or boy. The man wants a girl, while the woman wants a boy, since in their society, a girl has no freedom nor equality. While she is giving birth in the hospital, her husband eagerly awaits the answer. Their doctor gives them valuable advice on how to nurture their child regardless of whether it is a boy or a girl.

3. Sinderella (Thailand)

“Sinderella” from Thailand’s SaoSoong Theatre and Thammasat University’s Arts Addicted is about Sindy, a full-figured woman who lacks self-confidence. Nonetheless, she enters a contest to win a chance to sing with the hottest Korean pop superstar, Rain. Making it to the final round of the competition, Sindy turns to her fashion guru on the internet at http://www.FairyGodMother.com for a beauty makeover that will prepare her for the big day.

4. Purgatory (Thailand)

“Purgatory” from Thailand’s Crescent Moon Theatre, B-Floor Theatre Group and Bangplay Educational Theatre is a multi-media, movement play about three women who meet in the cauldron of hell after their deaths. They take turns in reviewing their life stories and question why they are there. They ask God to judge their guilt and decide if they can go to heaven. However, meeting God not only surprised them of their beliefs but made them also realize of God’s real plan for them.

5. Faith in Life (Vietnam)

The Tran Huu Trang Cai Luong Theatre’s “Faith in Life” is a musical drama about a girl in a drug rehabilitation center who discovers that she is HIV positive. Unable to sleep, she decides to escape to the city to take revenge on the people who had caused her drug addiction. In her journey through the forest, she gets haunted by the ghosts of the people she seeks and her friends who have died of AIDS. Lost and exhausted, she falls in the care of an old woman who listens to her and offers her wisdom. This transforms the young woman, which made her decide to return to the center and continue her life.

6. Stereo Man (Vietnam)

“Stereo Man” from Vietnam’s Youth Theatre is a movement and dance drama presentation which captures images of male as created by the society. The movement expresses the discourse that while a human is made of two parts – the yin and the yang, the masculine and the feminine, our society tells us that only one side is allowed to be shown, thereby creating an imbalance.

7. An Island of Solitude (Yunnan, China)

From the People’s Republic of China’s Neng Guan Performing Arts and Training Center of Ruili, “An Island of Solitude” is a dance performance about an HIV/AIDS victim who struggles along the line between life and death. With his situation, he feels as if his soul has been exiled to an island of solitude, where his emotions range from fear to enduring love for life, and his external senses resonate inwards toward self–knowing. Though life may seem full of despair, he is determined to go with the struggle and to carry on.

8. Kama Salah (Indonesia)

“Kama Salah” by Pak Suyanto of Indonesia is a theatrical script for a Javanese Wayang Shadow Puppet Performance that will take place in Indonesia about God Wisnu when He does a ritual ceremony to protect the populace from further misfortune. Suyanto uses traditional symbolism and characters named after Indonesian cultural practices to address contemporary issues of health, gender and sexuality.

Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory 2007

(Battambang Laboratory 2007)
November 23 – December 15, 2007
Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang, Cambodia

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On its third year, the Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory, organized in partnership with Phare Ponleu Selpak, went on mobile and was themed as an “Artists’ Caravan”. Continuously held in three provinces of Cambodia, the Laboratory opened in Phnom Penh during their Water Festival, paid tribute and celebrated World AIDS Day in Siem Reap, and showcased their final performance to the community in Battambang.

Furthermore, this Laboratory introduced the concept of a ‘Laboratory within a Laboratory’. Small groups of Young Director’s Laboratory and Performing Arts Technical Team’s Laboratory were set up and integrated within the main Performing Arts Laboratory.

Twenty three performing artists gathered together developing eight wonderful arrays of performances.

1. One Night in the Rubbish Mountain (Cambodia)

Combining circus and spoken drama, “One Night in the Rubbish Mountain” is a tale which reveals a young orphaned girl who lives day-by-day, collecting trash in a world surrounded by poverty. One day, Srey Bo stumbles upon a beautiful box and as she holds it close to her, she falls into deep sleep and dreams about the life she wished she had. When she wakes up, she finds herself battling with four bullies who want the box for themselves. The plot unravels as she faces occupational challenges and depicts her struggle with her dreams, not only for herself, but also for other scavengers like her.

2. Magic Tree (Laos)

“Magic Tree” is a collaboration between two theatre groups from Laos that illustrates how a poor homosexual boy fights betrayal and abuse, and confides in a magic tree, which gives him hope and care, like what he got from his family. The light hearted performance deals with physical movement and puppetry to portray the life of Buakeaew, who ultimately visited the magic tree to end his life. Sensing his depression though, the tree kept him alive and opened his eyes to a world of love and affection.

3. Because of You (Laos)

“Because of You” is drama performance which integrates puppetry and physical movement, tells the story of a girl who faces the dilemma of early pregnancy. Barely an adult, 14 year old Dieun finds herself overwhelmed with guilt and regret when her family and the community learn of her situation. With her boyfriend washing his hands off the matter and her parents’ fury, she is left alone to decide how to save what is left of her integrity- contemplating abortion and even suicide.

4. The End of the Sky (Thailand)

With the application of a futuristic setting, “The End of the Sky” is a physical theatre, comedy highlighting the life of a young, overweight girl who is shunned by the village kids due to her looks. The story unfolds as she seeks comfort in fairytale books that promises her hidden treasures and finds herself escaping from reality when she meets a foreign creature, who offered her beauty in exchange for her freedom. Eventually, she will discover the true intention of the alien and escape to live in the true concept of beauty instead.

5. Mae Nam: The Mother of Water (Thailand)

“Mae Nam” is an abstract and diverse play which blends shadow theatre, Butoh and contemporary theatre to tell a tale inspired by a true story of a young pregnant woman who was infected with HIV by her philandering husband. Two female artists from Thailand team up to produce a piece, with special guest appearances from eight members of Phare Ponleu Selpak, that will bring us through the journey of the life of a 27-year-old woman, Nam, and her search for the meaning of survivals.

6. See Me As Who I Am (Thailand)

“See Me As Who I Am” is an interactive performance using physical movement and shadow theatre that leads the audience on a journey in the life of a young HIV-infected orphan. At a tender age of 13, Daeng, accepts his fate as he battles to continue his life in a society where knowledge of HIV/AIDS is lacking and discrimination towards the infected is apparent. The play takes us on an emotional struggle of a child as he wrestles to be treated like an ordinary person in the eyes of the society and more importantly, his best friend.

7. Lost and Found (Vietnam)

“Lost and Found” is a performance piece that uses slapstick humour alongside physical movement, and drama to narrate a story on male prostitution, drugs and friendship among the youth in modern day Vietnam . As the two friends went about resolving their financial issues, Hung and Anh find themselves slowly growing apart. One day, both of them face the shock of witnessing Hung’s girlfriend experiencing an over dosage in their apartment. As the possibility of being accused of murder creeps slowly to the pair, Anh has to decide whether to run away or stick by his childhood friend.

8. My Story (Yunnan, China)

“My Story” is a biographical narration incorporating the use of multimedia tells the story of a woman from a province in China and the expectations that she faces from the community. Through physical movements, this solo piece showcases the life of Xue Mei, an educated woman, who grew up trying to meet the community’s expectations of a woman. Now, it is up to her to take matters in her own hand and decide if she should start to make a difference to the next generation by taking the first step with her only son.

Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory 2008

(Chiangmai Laboratory 2008)
November 3 – 29, 2008
Chiangmai, Thailand

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The fourth Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory, organized with The Wandering Moon Performing Group and Endless Journey (Wandering Moon), was especially themed to utilize “Masks and Puppets” as performance forms and devises. In this Laboratory, new sets of ‘Laboratory within a Laboratory’ were introduced – a Visual Arts Laboratory composed of a small group of young visual artists from Cambodia and Thailand, and a Music Laboratory composed of music students from Thailand, collaborated with the performing groups in the performance recital of the Performing Arts Laboratory.

Twenty two performing artists from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and Vietnam participated developing seven new performance pieces.

1. I Love You (Cambodia)

“I Love You” is a playful narrative inspired by the words “I love you” that weaves different images and meanings of people as they speak of love. Using circus, contortion, balancing acts, gestures and masks, young members of Phare Ponleu Selpak explore different ways of saying “I love you” to reveal emotions and relationships – between lovers, family, friends and strangers. In the end, the individual also defines his or her own terms of loving in ways that liberate oneself from the culture of violence.

2. Oooh (Laos)

“Oooh” from two Lao performing groups that collaborate is charming narrative interpretation using masks made from coconuts and baskets, movement and puppets, about two families at odds with each other. The Basket Family has a beautiful daughter falling in love with the son from the Coconut Tribe. Their love is forbidden but they both decide to elope. The marriage falls apart when she discovers that her husband has been unfaithful at the time she is pregnant. She returns to her Basket family and gives birth to a child who looks strangely familiar like one of those from the Coconut family.

3. Treasure (Myanmar/Burma)

“Treasure” from Myanmar puppeteers is a combination of spoken drama and marionette puppetry to tell a story about family and identity. A famous marionette maker casts his precious old marionette aside when he creates a new favorite clown puppet. Forlorn and forgotten, the old marionette takes a journey through a world of puppets, seeing shadows of his past life and searching for a new home. Reminded of the value of his old marionette as the root of his identity, the maker and the clown set off after him, finally to be reunited.

4. I Remember (Thailand)

“I Remember” is a solo performance exploring poetry, movement and puppetry, inspired by a personal journey into finding one’s inner voice. Ironically, a puppeteer who is often in control of puppets feels she is not in control of her own life. Passionate in what she does but lacking in self-confidence, she is compelled to remember those that have manipulated her and to finally break the silence to reveal what she truly wants using her own voice.

5. Three Minutes? (Thailand)

“Three Minutes?” is a solo dramatic multi-media piece depicting what happens when a woman anxiously awaits her pregnancy test result in 3 minutes. Suddenly, time becomes eternity as memories of the man she loves are repeatedly played in her mind in retrospection of the choices she has made in life. And this time, will she make the right choice?

6. Twins (Thailand)

“Twins” is an imaginative visual exploration of masks and shadow puppetry that lends insight into the world of Siamese twins sharing the same body. Even as they look the same, or wake up, or move everywhere together, they have different names: Un and Jin. One day, they wake up and tell each of their dreams. Not quite inseparable, after all.

7. Equilibrium (Vietnam)

“Equilibrium” is a solo modern ballet piece that portrays a young man’s struggle to find the balance between strength and weakness within oneself. As he begins to touch every region and space of his body, he learns to open his senses and become more aware of his innate dualities. He soon recovers the language of his body to express himself with more faith and acceptance.

The 5th Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory

(Manila and Bangkok Laboratory 2010)
September – October 2010
Manila, Philippines and
Bangkok, Thailand

The 5th Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory introduced a new thematic thrust: children’s rights and child protection. Organized with Save the Children UK’s Mekong Cross-border Project in the GMS as the main partner, it is considered a “Master Class Laboratory” focusing on directing, playwriting and dramaturgy as important devising tools in developing advocacy performances.

Eighteen artists from eight performing groups were invited to participate, developing seven germinal ideas of innovative performance pieces.

1. Distant Haze (Cambodia)

War wounds and scars every child. Even the sound of thunder reminds her of mortar fires and bombs. Her sense of life is shattered and splintered. So Sokha finds comfort with her foster parents and friend. With warmth and encouragement, she is free to play and wander joyfully in the light. But when she is asleep, the shadow of fear haunts her. She runs away and hides but realizes that she needs to conquer the fear that threatens her whole being. With the help of a friend and foster parents, she starts to feel she is not alone and there is a way to healing her wounds. Phare Ponleu Selpak uses the spectacle of circus and dance not only to entertain its audience but to show the innovative re-telling of stories from their Khmer Rouge experience.

2. Broken Dream (Laos)

Khao Niew is known for its ingeniously-made puppets and equally ingenious puppeteers, using indigenous materials. This time they combine puppetry with light and shadow to tell a familiar story. Dam dreams of a better life for her family in Laos and is driven to help her ailing mother. She runs away from home with a friend and finds herself in a Bangkok nightclub owned by Fasai. Instead of working as a waitress as she had been promised by her friend, Dam is forced to work as a sex slave. When she refuses, she is locked in a cell and drugged each time a customer uses her. She meets other girls who, determined by their common fate and compelling desire to go home, plan their escape. Fasai’s men chase after her and her friends who are rescued by the Thai police. Fasai is caught and Dam is finally free.

3. Raindrops from the Sky (Myanmar/Burma)

When it rains, it pours. Just when things aren’t going well at home, Nadi and Yepyar are still fortunate to have their grandfather to look after them while their mother is abroad studying for their future, and their alcoholic father is unable to take care of them, Cyclone Nargis comes like a thief in the night, destroying homes and lives. Grandfather dies while father loses his leg. Nadi is brought to an orphanage and Yepyar goes blind. Though tragedy twists one’s fate to an unhappy ending, Nadi and Yepyar become stronger and resilient in the most hopeless times. Their father dies leaving behind the strange legacy that is his eyes, for Yepyar to see again. It is through these eyes that Yepyar and Nadi recognize and reunite with their long lost mother. Mandalay Marionette Theater makes unique use of puppets held by master puppeteers that move to traditional Myanmar music.

4. Shue Shu’s Diary (Thailand)

What’s in a shoe? A foot, a girl, a story, a half-life, a journey. Wandering Moon, through shadow puppetry, tells the tale of a shoe that loses its pair when darkness overcomes light and in the harrowing shadow of the owner of the shoe, a young girl, is raped by her stepfather. The shoe, broken without its other, carries with it the brokenness of the young girl after the rape, and her search for healing and wholeness.

5. Perfect Child (Thailand)

Saosoong Theater’s latest satire touches on what it sees as a Thai middle class’ obsession — perfection. They want everything to be perfect. In the ever optimistic and all-consuming desire to control the future of a child, a couple discovers the paradox that as they plan to make the perfect child by choosing the perfect time for conception, or picking the perfect diet for the baby’s nourishment, or listening to a perfect music to make a smart child, or getting the perfect education to shape a righteous person, they are doing this for themselves and not for the child’s needs. A perfect child can only come from perfect parents.

6. Paradigm Paradise (Thailand)

Khandha Arts’n Theatre Company bravely chooses an auto-biographical story performed solo through dance and drama comedy. After the dance performance, the butoh dancer cleans up her body paint and reveal her traumatic past : a broken family with constantly changing surrogate parents: physical abusive guardian, mislead to Bufonophobia (fear of toads), a love-hate relationship with an alcoholic mother, and running away from gunman. But from her pain and misery and the commitment to change the point of view towards life, the miracles happen.

7. The Rice Child (Thailand)

Crescent Moon’s experiments with music and songs, sand drawings, and a playful mix of shadow puppets – marionette and paper – to tell their story. Inspired by a Mekong folktale about bearing fruits from the same seed, theirs is a story about the friendship of two children, descended from two different cultures. Wawa comes from a minority group in Myanmar (Burma) and migrates to Thailand with her parents. Kao, just like the other Thai children, thinks that Wawa is different and joins the others in bullying her. But these children learn to know more about each other when they began to enjoy playing together. As they begin to see that they have more things in common, the relationship between Wawa and Kao evolved from discrimination to acceptance, from enmity to friendship, and from disunity to harmony.

B. Mekong Creative Communities: Arts for Advocacy Fellowship

The Mekong Creative Communities: Arts for Advocacy Fellowship is a partnership and support-giving component of the PETA-Mekong Partnership Project. It aims to increase creative initiatives and innovative approaches among the Mekong performing arts communities to address and intensify public debate on different issues on gender, sexuality, health, HIV/AIDS, women’s rights, children’s rights and child protection around the region.

Support is given to groups and networks that will engage in:

ADVOCACY PERFORMANCES – pertains to full-length productions or performances using various disciplines (e.g. dance, theater, puppetry, etc.).

SPECIAL PROJECTS – includes art-based innovative works:

a. Education through the Arts (e.g. trainings & workshops utilizing theater and other performing arts disciplines as methodology for teaching);

b. Producing New Bodies of Work (e.g. interactive IEC materials using the arts, text-based performance scripts, visual performance pieces, improvisational workshops culminating to small performances, artist collaborations leading to new bodies of works, culture/art-based research, etc.);

c. Art Happenings (e.g. performance art, exhibits, community-based art events like festivals & rituals, poetry reading, mini-concerts, etc.);

d. Artist-Exchange Program (e.g. study tour, internship, cross-cultural exchange, etc.).

OUTREACH SUPPORT PROGRAM – allows for the availment of services of consultants or resource persons to provide repertory theater guidance, dramaturgical consultancy to performing troupes, and training to address the orientational, artistic, and organizational needs of partners and collaborators. PETA provides the consultant or the resource person (e.g. dramaturgs, writer, director, choreographer, trainer, etc.) and shall be responsible for travel, fees, and living allowances. Choices of resource persons shall be based on the partner’s identified needs and criteria.

Arts for Advocacy Fellowship 2006

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The Train Programme
Phare Ponleu Selpak (Cambodia)

A mobile awareness campaign on HIV/AIDS, illegal drugs and trafficking through theater to be performed in trains travelling around the provinces of Cambodia.

A Drama Group as Community Educator and Advocate for Openness and Tolerance
Lao Youth AIDS Prevention Programme or LYAP (Laos)

A drama group will be organized from the marginalized sectors of the community, and to be trained to develop an advocacy performance tackling issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, to be performed in different provinces in Laos.

The Butterfly Series
The Wandering Moon Performing Group and Endless Journey (Thailand)

To develop a series of shadow theater performance that will touch on people’s understanding and awareness on gender, sexuality, reproductive health and women’s rights issues, to be toured around the GMS.

Mong/Nhin (Look)
Saosoong Theater and Phan Y Ly (Thailand/Vietnam)

A 30-minute multi-media play on cyber sexuality to be performed in universities in four major cities of Thailand and Vietnam.

Stories of Us Goes to Hue Festival
Together Higher (Vietnam)

A contemporary dance piece addressing the problem of ignorance and stigma of HIV/AIDS to be performed by a group of artists who are deaf at the Hue Festival of Vietnam.

Using Local Traditions of Music and Dance to Reduce Vulnerability, Drug Use and HIV Infection among Ethnic Communities in Dehong Prefecture of Yunnan Province
Neng Guan Performing Arts and Training Center of Ruili (Yunnan, China)

To develop an advocacy production on HIV/AIDS by out-of-school minority youth and local students of the training center to be performed around the Yunnan province of China.

Arts for Advocacy Fellowship 2007

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Eclipse: A Voice Raised for Tolerance Advocacy and Arts
Phare Ponleu Selpak (Cambodia)

An advocacy performance on stigma and discrimination using theater and circus to be performed at the International Drama/Theatre in Education Association (IDEA) Congress 2007 and at the Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory 2007.

B-Floor Theatre Group (Thailand)

To conduct performances in universities in Bangkok and nearby provinces of the play “Purgatory”, a performance piece developed from the Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory 2006 using multi-media and physical theatre tackling the concept of womanhood as believed and set by the society.

Mong (Look) 2007
Saosoong Theatre Group (Thailand)

An advocacy piece on cyber sexuality to be performed in schools and universities in the East Coast and Southern part of Thailand (Chonburi, Rayong and Phuket), “Mong” was developed during the Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory 2005. The performance will be enhanced and will develop new stories to cater to various gender groups.

Women in the Moon: A Women Playwrights and Directors’ Festival
Crescent Moon Theatre Group (Thailand)

To organize a festival of Thai women playwrights and directors to showcase their works and to provide space for artistic sharing and dialogue among Thai women artists.

A Journey Back Home: Two Women Remember
Pornrat Damrhung and Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc (Thailand/Vietnam)

To produce and publish a tri-lingual book (English, Thai and Vietnamese) of short plays by two women playwrights who attended the 7th International Women’s Playwrights held in Jakarta, Indonesia. A play reading will also be done to launch the book both in Thailand and Vietnam.

Stereo Man
The Youth Theater (Vietnam)

“Stereo Man”, a contemporary dance piece developed during the Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory 2006 tackling the issues of male sexuality will be developed into a 30-minute dance production to be performed in 3 cities of Vietnam (Hanoi, Hai Phong and Thai Nguyen).

Arts for Advocacy Fellowship 2008

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Phare Ponleu Selpak (Cambodia)

“Puthou!”, an advocacy performance about desire, love and resentment, to be toured and performed around Cambodia and in France. It tackles different modern issues of women, youth and sexuality through circus and physical theatre, combined with Cambodian traditional music.

Tradition and Innovation Partnerships for Gender, Sexuality, Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS: Education, Awareness, Campaign and Discussion by Interactive Art and Theatre Performance
Kabong Lao and Takieng Lao Community Theatre Group (Laos)

Two performing groups from Laos will collaborate to develop an advocacy performance using theatre, interactive drama and puppetry, tackling the issues of gender, sexuality and HIV/AIDS. Performances will be toured around different universities, border villages, and work places in the Vientiane capital and nearby provinces during traditional festivals and national events.

Nang Phom Hom (The Lady with the Fragrant Hair)
Sema Thai Marionette (Thailand)

“Nang Phom Hom”, an advocacy performance piece based on local literature using Marionette puppetry tackling violence against women and children. It will be toured in schools around the Northeastern region of Thailand.

For a Little Less Noise: Mae Nam (Mother of Water)
Khandha Arts ‘n Theatre Company (Thailand)

“Mae Nam”, a Butoh and multimedia production developed during the Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory 2007 about the struggle of a pregnant woman infected with HIV, will tour and perform in Bangkok and Chiangmai.

See Me as Who I Am
Bangplay Educational Theatre Group (Thailand)

“See Me As Who I Am”, an interactive play about a child infected with HIV. It will have its performances in streets and communities in Bangkok. The performance was initially developed during the Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory 2007.

Bangkok Theatre Festival 2007
Bangkok Theatre Network (Thailand)

PETA provided additional support for media publicities and logistical aspects of the Bangkok Theater Festival 2007.

Arts for Advocacy Fellowship 2010

Grants were provided to all performance outputs of the 5th Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory to be toured and performed in their own country.

C. Events and Festivals

The PETA-Mekong Partnership Project develops and organizes events and festivals as a means to celebrate and dignify eastern culture, creativity and artistry.

Mekong Arts and Media Festival 2009

November 23-27, 2009
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Mekong Arts and Media Festival is a celebratory, innovative and forward-looking event showcasing a milieu of rich, fertile ground for creative work and local talent toward social change, in particular the development and use of arts and the media as a lens through which to look into transboundary issues as a result of regional development. It also provides an opportunity and space for artists, civil society and development stakeholders, workers and groups to share and have a dialogue about tools and learning strategies in arts and media, widening creative space, changing trends and opportunities for arts or for media as a part of economic, social and political changes in the region, and cross-border exchange and learning.

D. Trainings, Seminars, and Workshops

PETA’s wide range of experience in curriculum and training development using creative pedagogy and integrated theater arts approach delivers culturally appropriate training courses, seminars, and workshops. They also provide consultants and facilitators in developing innovative education programs.

Regional Leadership Training Course on Children’s Rights, Child Protection, and Child Participation

August 17 – 27, 2009

The Regional Leadership Training Course on Children’s Rights, Child Protection, and Child Participation is an intensive training course for government officials, NGO and development workers, and other stakeholders in building the child protection structures in the GMS. Using PETA’s creative pedagogy and integrated theater arts approach of learning and education, it aims to enhance the leadership capacity of managers, project staff, members of Child Protection Committees, social workers, police, teachers, health workers, community leaders, case managers and trainers, and enrich their creative skills in delivering their roles on child protection in their own localities for effective and sustainable child protection mechanisms.

Mekong Youth Leadership Training on Child Protection

March 22 – 31, 2010
Chiangmai, Thailand

The Mekong Youth Leadership Training on Child Protection is a regional training for youth leaders in the GMS to enhance their creativity in developing initiatives that would promote children’s rights, child protection and child participation. Through creative methodologies and dialogical process, the training emphasizes the evolving capacities among young leaders, as they are encouraged to use their creativity and leadership skills for the empowerment of youth around the region.

Mekong Youth Forum 2010

October 24 – 29, 2010
Bangkok, Thailand

The Mekong Youth Forum is a regional children and youth workshop which facilitates the active participation of children and youth around the region by developing their own recommendations on issues of human trafficking, migration and the vulnerabilities of children and youth in the region. Through interactive arts and creative approaches, the participants share their insights; analyze situations; voice out their commitment and suggestions; and in the end, present their views and develop a dialogue with government officials, policy makers and stakeholders.

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