A co-executive director of Aiding Dramatic Change in Development (ADCID). Through ADCID projects and in partnership with other social actors, he is exploring approaches that engage community members in conversations, consciously orientated to maturing visions of the future. Stephen has over 12 years experience engaging community members through participatory theatre for development. In 2004, he co-created the InFusion Performance a multi-disciplinary, audience immersive event, which involved music, dance, spoken word and video in London UK. This proved a key experience in his exploration into how artists from different art forms relate to theatre performance aesthetically, logistically and culturally, that still informs his work. This was the seed for ADCID’s InFusion Lab.
He has worked with deep rural communities in South Africa, setting up the Zisize drama group in Ingwavuma, which toured schools facilitating workshops and forum theatre on peer influence for 6 years. He also trained staff and developed projects in South Africa with Tholulwazi Uzivikele (Empower Yourself through Knowledge) to engage community members around water issues. He approaches all his community development projects through an asset-based lens – recognising the strengths and assets that lie within the experience and knowledge of the community members. His focus in Toronto has been inclusion and community building. The last six years, he has been on a creative journey with a group of community members who have Cerebral Palsy and use alternative forms of communication. This has evolved into the Imagining Possibilities Project where the group are developing ways of creating and expressing their stories through performance arts. With ADCID he recently begun a series of Roots to Passionate Community Building workshops out of Artscape Youngplace, as part of the CrossGEN: initiative in Toronto – working towards a more inclusive and welcoming community.