Luciano Iogna
Actor - Director - Writer - Facilitator - Instructor

SELECTED HISTORY (Youth Focus)

 

 

Body Image
Facilitated an all-girl Grade 11 Physical Educational class at Forest Hill Collegiate in Toronto around the issue of body image. Spent one week with the class using theatre games and techniques to explore, analyze and create scenarios around why and how the pressures of body image affect youth - especially young women. Discussions centred around the powers of media and peer pressure to conform to what looks beautiful and 'acceptable'. Created three interactive scenarios with the class that were presented to some Grade 9 and 10 Phys Ed classes to discover positive and proactive modelling when faced with decisions around what to do or say when confronted with pressure over what a 'good' body looks like.

Women's Rights
Facilitated numerous workshops throughout Turkey from April to May 2006 with various arts groups in using Forum theatre to explore and present problems confronting women's rights in Turkey (forced marriages, domestic abuse, illiteracy, etc.). Painted Bird Theatre (Tiyatro Boyalı Ku- Turkey's first women-run/feminist theatre company), Greater Eskiehir Municipal Theatre and the Istanbul Creative Drama Association (ÇadaDrama Dernei - ÇDD) brought me to Turkey to teach Forum Theatre to their respective members; to look at ways of presenting problems facing women and young girls in contemporary Turkish society. These theatre organizations realized that the struggle for women's rights is becoming more prominent within Turkish society and they were looking at improving their presentation faculties by incorporating innovative theatre methodologies as a tool for social change within their communities.

Youth Training
Facilitated two workshops with the Connect 2 Youth program of Turning Point Youth Services (at the Dufferin Mall Youth Services - 2005/6). These workshops were to aid youth participants in creating typical personalities and characters which they then developed and role-played to assist Youth Counselors in their social work and counselor-training programs. I blended Theatre of the Oppressed techniques with Sweet Medicine Teachings to help participants identify and define manipulations as well as oppressions used by clients in counseling situations.

Conflict Resolution
Co-facilitated (with Nawa Nicole-Simon) workshops with Youth Peers at the Black Creek Community Health Centre over two, two-evening sessions. We trained youth to identify and address diverse attitudes and behaviours which lead to hostility - manifested in gang violence - within the youth community in places such as housing developments, schools, malls, hang-outs, clubs, etc. Used various theatre techniques and Sweet Medicine Teachings (forms of external manipulation) in helping the youth to create realistic scenarios with role- play to aid exercising practical communication and problem-solving skills. The Youth Peers then took these skills to work with students at Middle Schools in the Jane-Finch region.

Homophobia
Facilitated several workshops with teens from three regional high schools in Parkdale (Toronto) around the issues of homophobia, the use of homophobic references and actions in bullying and gay-bashing among students and youth. Developed my Forum Theatre play THE 10 % REALITY, produced by Mixed Company Theatre and to be presented in a school tour through southern Ontario High Schools in Spring and Fall 2006.

Identity
Facilitated the creation and scripting of THE OTHER SIDE - a play about teen identity, sexual crises and suicide - with the Toronto District School Board Theatre Co-Op Program and Mixed Company Theatre. Worked with 17 youth over 6 weeks to explore issues, identify and develop themes into a play which toured Middle Schools in Toronto.

Peer Pressures (Parts 2 and 3)
The continuation of the 2000 workshop. With Simon Malbogat (Artistic Director of Mixed Company Theatre), taught more detailed Forum Theatre techniques in two separate 5-day sessions. These workshops included creative playwriting and facilitation for this medium - in Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine. This program was a joint sponsorship of Canadian Society for InternationalHealthandtheYouthForHealth-Ukraine-CanadaProject. Participantsinthe course were Youth Counselors and youth peers who were taught practical and alternative methods of communication and presentation around specific issues of smoking, alcohol/drug abuse, and STI's/AIDS and their prevention. Trained participants to use theatre as an educational tool to create, and script/write scenarios for specific topics and how to facilitate Forum Theatre presentations with youth audiences within their communities in Kiev.

Peer Pressures (Part 1)
Co-facilitated a week-long (5 days) workshop, outside of Kiev (Kyiv) during the Youth Summer Program in Ukraine, with youth and peer counselors on issues such as: smoking cessation, alcohol abuse, drug abuse and sexually transmitted diseases and their perpetuation through peer pressure. With Simon Malbogat (Artistic Director of Mixed Company Theatre), taught the basics of Forum Theatre techniques and skills to name and demonstrate forms of peer pressure - especially when working with street youth and youth at risk. The Youth Peers then broke into several groups to cover different parts of Kiev to reach as many youth as possible. This program was joint sponsorship of Canadian Society for International Health and the Youth For Health - Ukraine-Canada Project.

Forum Theatre
With Celalladin Uçar (Artistic Director of À La Türka Productions), taught the introduction to Forum Theatre at both Istanbul and Mula Universities Theatre programs and at the 15th International Denizli Theatre Festival during the À La Türka/Mixed Company tour of Turkey with their co-production MERHABA/BONJOUR/HELLO! Participants in the workshops varied from high school and university students to academics and professional theatre artists to community organizers and activists wanting to learn practical and alternative methods of theatre and tools for social activism.

Youth Employment
Facilitated a series of workshops with youth organizations (SERVE Canada and Upward Motion) using Theatre techniques in the examination of the issues which specifically affected them - youth employment. Theatre methodologies were blended with communication exercises to aid participants in understanding their issues better and to better articulate their concerns to various communities. Both organizations created theatrical productions for educating their peers in high schools and colleges, and also presented variations of their work to Non Government Organizations and private industry.

A.I.D.S. Awareness
Worked and researched with Toronto health agencies and Public Health Nurses in the Toronto Secondary School Board to adapt material for an interactive play for youth to be presented in Toronto area High Schools. Students would play role-models for each other in situations that challenged persistent attitudes and beliefs around the spread of H.I.V. / A.I.D.S. and other negative-life perspectives. ACTING AGAINST AIDS has also been adapted and performed in a university or college versions for older youth in altered situations and attitudes. This play is still part of Mixed Company Theatre's repertoire (in 1998 I wrote a new play for this project originally titled H.I.V. TOOLBOX ; my new play of this ongoing project written in 2002 is entitled HOW CAN YOU TELL? and in 2003 was nominated for a Dora Award as the Most Outstanding Production for Young Audiences in Toronto).

Youth Violence
Students from several Scarborough High Schools in the YouthLink Program met for a couple of workshops to play, discuss and share their views and experiences around violence in schools and in dating relationships (around issues of peer-pressure, self-esteem, choices, drugs and alcohol,sex,etc.). AdaptedmaterialtocreatetwoMixedCompanyTheatreinteractiveplays, THE FIRST RESORT (societal violence) and FRIENDS AND LOVER / LOVERS AND FRIENDS (violence in relationships), for Metro Toronto schools. THE FIRST RESORT is still being used as an educational tool in the development of approaches towards conflict resolution.

Violence in Relationships
Worked with Public Health Nurses and Social Workers (in French and English) to research and adapt material for the Mixed Company inter-active play, BREAKING THE CYCLE, to address the issue of violence/abuse in dating, long-term and married relationships. Although specifically geared for bilingual Northern Ontario communities, the play was then adapted for community and school tours across rural and urban Ontario and used as a catalyst to discuss myths and stereotypes of relationships and to explore alternatives. BREAKING THE CYCLE
is still being used today.

Alcohol and Peer-Pressure
Several students from 3 different Toronto Parkdale area High Schools joined together for two workshops to brainstorm and share experiences and perceptions about peer-pressure and how it relates to choices, alcohol and other issues (including violence and abuse). Adapted some of this material to create Mixed Company's production of FROM BEER TO ETERNITY, an interactive show for High Schools.

Hemophilia and HIV
A weekend retreat with HIV+ hemophiliac youth and their siblings at Camp Kandalore (Northern Ontario), sponsored by Hemophilia Ontario. With Patty Jarvis, co-facilitated workshops with 14 youth from across Ontario, aged 10 to 24. Built trust within the participants using a variety of sociometry and theatre-based games and exercises which then allowed the group to openly discuss sensitive issues from family dynamics to disclosures to coping with stress.

Racism and Sexism in Schools
Ursula Franklin Academy (Brockton H.S.), and students from various schools within the Toronto School Board. Used theatre techniques to initiate dialogue between students around different forms of discrimination from many levels within the school system. Eventually gathered material for the creation of the Company of Sirens production of talkin' 'bout... OUR GENERATION, a High School interactive show which toured schools in southern Ontario from March to May 1992 (remounted in the Spring and Fall of 1993 and in 1995).

Street Youth and AIDS
Facilitated workshops through Second Look Community Arts with teens and "street youth" in Community Centres, Drop-Ins, High Schools, Half-way Houses, Shelters and Group Homes around problems related to AIDS information for youth - including discrimination towards the Black and Gay communities. Created a playful, non-judgmental environment where youths could relate personal fears to their peers with their own stories to seek help and support. Theprogram/projectknownasWHAT'SWRONGWITHTHISPICTURE? (includingthe internationally award-winning video) successfully continued through 1991.