Completion of Franciscan Social Theatre Project for Ukrainians

Completion of Franciscan Social Theatre Project for Ukrainians

Light Dispelling Darkness

A follow up training for Franciscan Social Theatre’s new facilitators was held 2-6 February 2023 at the Franciscan Friary in Kalwaria Pacławska, on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

Friar Stefano Luca, OFM Cap., Director of the Franciscan Social Theatre Program, and Friar Michael Lasky, OFM Conv., General Delegate for JPIC, worked with participants to process ELEVEN social theatre workshops held over the past six months. Their light dispels the darkness of war and despair by bringing hope, peace and goodness to those in need.

Friar Michael Lasky OFM Conv.
Friar Stefano Luca OFM Cap.

In Poland workshops were held for blind and visually impaired Ukrainians as well as for children, including some with autism. Another workshop assisted adults who came to remember that dialogue is better than conflict in everyday life.

Workshops in several Ukrainian cities are being held for school children in classrooms or in the basement of the school when the air sirens sound. While life was made a little brighter through workshops held in eastern Ukraine, including one Christmas pageant in Kharkiv.

Special attention was given to both women and children who have been forced to flee the east and resettle elsewhere within Ukraine. Their social theatre workshops include public speaking lessons for women from Russian speaking parts of Ukraine, while children benefit from workshops that incorporate field trips to local cultural museums.

These programs are having a transformative effect on everyone, as Dostoevsky’s words ring true, “Beauty will save the world!”

Participants of the program are currently in the process of establishing a Social Theatre Network in Ukraine & Poland to better support their work into the future. To learn more about our Franciscan Social Theatre Project for Ukrainians, we have produced a video that can be viewed here: