Do you know why live theatre was so popular in Ancient Rome? What role did it fulfil? Are we missing out on a great form of communication in our modern day world? Besides being entertaining, could plays be a good way of educating people? Find out what teachers think about the effect of live theatre on our impressionable youth …
The Romans loved all forms of entertainment. Sports contests, chariot races, gladiators and live theatre were popular pastimes. Theatre was an important aspect of Roman society because it was the main way the people could express and convey emotions during a time of great political change. The plays were either comedies or tragedies. Lunchbox Theatre employ comedy to avert looming tragedies in lives and the environment.
The Lunchbox team experience how effective live theatre shows are, first hand, and can expound on the subject. However, more importantly, what do the teachers and our audience think?
We were delighted to be invited to take our Last Drop Show on tour KZN, thanks to funding from the National Lotteries Commission. The aim was to sensitise the children about the national water crisis. The cherry on top was when and Uhambiso Consulting (Pty) Ltd as representatives for Nelson Mandela Municipality engaged us to educate Learners in Eastern Cape where the water situation is becoming increasingly serious.
The educators in KZN offered these interesting perspectives …
“Thank you, Lunchbox Theatre for presenting this very successful show to our Learners who enjoyed the excellent acting. It held their attention and they were very animated as they learnt about the importance of becoming water wise. We will definitely incorporate the concepts into our Eco Schools Program.”
Tracy Vorster, Amanzimtoti Primary
“The Last Drop Show was very relevant because the Learners keep hearing about droughts and water shortages, however they don’t really understand the end result of not saving water as we still have adequate water in KZN. It was great to see the Learners laughing and interacting. Covering a person to illustrate the useable amount of water on Earth was excellent. Lunchbox Theatre are a very professional organisation. Their promptness, excellent diction, tempo and pace conveyed the message well.”
Janine Saunders, Benjamin Pine Primary
“The Last Drop Show was a very effective complement to our Natural Science Curriculum. The Learners were engaged by the appealing songs, rapping and drumming. The practical hints like using a cup of water when you brush your teeth can be reinforced in class.”
Koreene Pillay, Pitlochry School
“Our Learners enjoyed the story and the props. We look forward to making props out of upcycled material and performing our own plays based on The Last Drop Show. This was fun education at its best.”
Elzabe Leech, Dirkie Uys Primary
Some opinions from the Eastern Cape …
“Wow! We could see by the positive response from the Learners that they enjoyed The Last Drop Show tremendously. You are never too old to learn and, as a teacher, I will definitely be ‘stealing’ some of the ideas about the importance of water and how to save it.”
Saraya Adam, Bethvale Primary
“Our girls found The Last Drop Show interesting, funny, creative, well prepared and full of useful information. This inspired and encouraged them to save water in a joyful, interactive, excellent and practical way. The idea of fast tracking to 2026 gave insight into what could happen if they are not responsible with water, so it was very relevant. The energy, enthusiasm and effort invested by the actors was very noticeable and much appreciated.”
Catherine Gouws, Collegiate Junior
“Live theatre brings play, humour and laughter to learning which improves motivation and reduces stress. The important topic of saving water will be remembered because of this fun, interactive comedy. The Last Drop Show allowed learners to relate and show compassion. The costumes, humour, interaction and language used was ‘on point’.
John Jansen, De Vos Malan Primary
“The visual representation to reflect the amount of fresh water on earth by dressing a person up in different coloured cloths was very effective. As teachers we can use the water saving methods to teach children to become socially and environmentally conscious members of society. The humour, music, dance and interaction completely captured the Learners attention.”
Natalie Brettenny, Herbert Hurd Primary.
“The serious content combined with playful situations engaged the Learner’s attention. They enjoyed the songs about how to save water – from now on they will be closing taps! The visual effects and audience interaction ensures that they will remember the messages for a long time to come. The upcycled costumes were fantastic!
Lynette Herselman, Settler’s Park Primary
“Lunchbox Theatre must continue teaching Learners about how to save water in this playful manner. The children really concentrated during this very active show and it was a fruitful way of getting the message about saving water across – even down to a simple message like ‘do not flush the toilet when you pee’!”
Xholiswa Gwama, Daniels Pre Primary
Having performed nearly 700 shows, we know that live theatre works and spreads great joy while creating healthy attitudes. However, we thought it best for you to hear from those who matter, the teachers! These critically important members of society do what they do because they care for children, as do we. It is our pleasure to always give of our very best to support them with our educational productions.
So far, we have only educated around 160 000 South African children. Our main challenge, when it comes gaining support from local authorities, is that they are bound to choose the cheapest option. Quality is generally not the cheapest choice. And what can one compare a live theatre show to as a proven means of communication? There is no comparison.
Are you convinced by the teacher’s comments? If so, you can help to strengthen the case for live theatre education by encouraging everyone you know – especially the decision makers – to consider live theatre shows as a way to help teachers.
We are very grateful to anyone or any organisation who assists us in our Mission and we sincerely thank Assitej and Theatre4Youth, who have been such magnificent partners in realizing the Vision of changing the world through live theatre education, one child at a time.