A new theater group in the Solomon Islands has set its sights on helping to reduce gender-based violence.

The national women's theatre will use drama, dance and movement to convey its message.

Women from the country's nine provinces will take part in the Stages of Change project under the guidance of New Zealand-Fijian director, Nina Nawalowalo, and her husband Tom McCrory.

Ms Nawalowalo says their intention is not to blame men, but rather to provoke thought and discussion about gender-based violence through the medium of theatre.

"It brings people together to look at those themes. It puts it out there in the public and it also really empowers other women. So it's a very big learning curve and I've never worked in the Solomons before. But it's a wonderful meeting between myself and these fabulous Melanesian women," she said.

Ms Nawalowalo says the group will take a cautious approach.

"There are horrific stories and things that go on to do with violence against women. But to open those themes up and to be a foreigner I think you must tread carefully to do with how you explore imagery and what you put out on stage," she said.

"And for the women themselves, they have to feel safe with what they're doing on stage because they have to go and live in their communities. It can be dangerous," Ms Nawalowalo added.


Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/