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Facilitated by Manchester-based theatre maker, Martin Stannage (BBC Radio 4, Cbeebies) and produced by Katherine Rogers (Exodus, Platforma) the project will focus on the process and experience for the men involved.

Boaz Men’s Group Theatre Project

During Spring 2016, CAN collaborated with the Boaz Trust on a six week theatre project at Methodist Central Hall.

Facilitated by Manchester-based theatre maker, poet, MC and music producer, Martin Stannage (BBC Radio 4, Cbeebies) and produced by Katherine Rogers (Exodus, Platforma) the project worked with 12 men from a range of countries who were destitute asylum seekers living in Greater Manchester.

With a focus on the process and experience for the men involved, the sessions drew on the group’s strengths and provided an enjoyable experience, promoting emotional and physical wellbeing for participants.

Boaz provides accommodation and support as the men work through their cases and learn a new culture. Despite their incredible capacity and drive, Boaz clients are under a lot of pressure due to their critical position within the asylum process which can lead to feelings of anger, low motivation and hopelessness, all of which are helped by this sort of project.

The project introduced the men to Playback theatre techniques which helped to democratise the process of theatre making. Music and spoken word were also used to raise the confidence and self-esteem of participants, whilst building a sense of solidarity and mutual support. The project was successful in creating a supportive atmosphere where all of the men had a voice. They performed at an informal sharing at the Boaz Trust in March 2016 and the staff team were amazed by the men’s growth in confidence and the skills learnt in a relatively short period of time.