Project ACT was an interactive Forum Theatre presentation, written by Rex Deverell, that aimed to help students in grades 7-9 recognize and overcome barriers that prevented them from leading active, healthy lives. Developed in collaboration with Ontario youth and Community Partners from across the province, Project ACT empowered students to incorporate the Foundations for a Healthy School into their lives and communities. Accompanying teaching guides and resources were designed to activate manageable changes for the student community, helping educators integrate healthy initiatives into schools long after we left the building.
Project ACT was an exciting province-wide initiative supported by the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion’s Healthy Communities Fund.
- Physical Activity
- Healthy Eating
- Substance Misuse Prevention
What People Have Said About Project Act:
“Empowered youth get involved when they can explore, discover and feel they have a voice. Mixed Company Theatre provides an opportunity for witnessing and then participating. A perfect mix creates safe dialogues about important health issues and weeks of integrated follow up activities help build healthy communities. This show inspires everyone to re-think, re-work and reinvent themselves.”
– Patricia Gough, Artsaround Program Director & Retired Elementary Principal
“The McGuinty government is committed to improving the overall well-being of individuals and their broader communities. Working together with organizations like Mixed Company Theatre will help Ontarians enhance and maintain their most valuable asset – their health.”
– Honorable Margarett R. Best, Minister of Health Promotion
This presentation toured across the province as outlined below in 2010, in addition to a tour extension in the Winter and Spring of 2011.
- Thunder Bay: September 27-October 1, 2010
- Sudbury: October 4-8
- North Bay: October 11-15
- Ottawa: October 18-22
- Kingston: October 25-29
- Windsor: November 1-5
- Hamilton: November 8-19
- Halton & Peel Region: November 22-26
- York Region: November 29-December 3
- Durham Region: December 6-10
- Toronto Region: December 13-17
How did Project ACT work?
Project ACT was an Ontario-wide three-tiered approach to empowering students to live active, healthy lives.
TIER ONE: Project ACT – The Play & Interactive Forum
Developed in consultation with youth and community partners, “Project ACT – The Play” followed four friends as they tried to make sense of mixed messages about physical activity, healthy eating, and substance misuse while turning their school into a healthier place. Each character relied on unhealthy coping mechanisms for the everyday stresses in their lives. The Joker guided students to replace the actors on stage and change the outcome. Whether on stage or watching their peers, it was an immediate way for students to step into someone’s shoes and think about what they would do in similar situations.
TIER TWO: Post Show Discussions
After a short break, students were split into small discussion groups with local health and wellness experts. This expertise in physical activity, healthy eating and substance misuse prevention gave students and educators the opportunity to discuss the issues in more detail and link them with local resources.
TIER THREE : Activate Student Ideas
Project ACT continued as students put their learning into action. Mixed Company Theatre’s website, the Project ACT Study Guide and other healthy living resources were designed to activate manageable changes in student communities, helping young people organize initiatives to help make their schools healthier.
Suggested activities might have included special announcements and posters, guest speakers, and activity days. Schools were encouraged to work with existing school committees and connect with local community resources. Initiatives and events could have been recognized by the Ontario Ministry of Education Healthy Schools Recognition Program.
Mixed Company Theatre shares common goals, objectives and interests with the following organizations in supporting physical activity, healthy eating and substance misuse prevention among youth in communities across Ontario. In an effort to expand outreach efforts and services to youth across Ontario, MCT established working relationships with each of these organizations to achieve goals that we mutually believed were important in improving the lives of Ontario’s youth. The goals of these community partnerships were to collaborate on Project ACT and build on each others’ strengths with the aim of empowering students to live active, healthy lives.