The Theatre in Health Education Trust (THETA) has delivered innovative health education programmes to the rangatahi of Aotearoa New Zealand through the experiential medium of theatre for 30 years. 
 
Their latest show, Sexwise, uses live performance theatre and dynamic facilitation to engage young people in dialogue about relationships, sexuality and identity.
 
“The goal is to create a transformational and empowering experience, rather than simply deliver information,” said Eleanor Riley, Trust Manager. “The facilitation method acknowledges rangatahi as people who can make healthy choices.”
 
“Once the performance ends, the students are given the opportunity to say how they would deal with the situation. The main aim of the show is to create a safe space where rangatahi can have these conversations.”

“We receive funding from the Ministry of Health for the start-up costs of developing and rehearsing a new show every year,” Eleanor said.

A grant of $15,000 from Toi Foundation assisted with the costs of bringing the show to Taranaki. Sexwise was delivered to four high schools in the region in 2021, with almost 500 young people participating, along with teachers. 
 
“In order to meet the demand presented by schools, we seek regional funding in order to extend the tour to regions that might otherwise miss out. We go to funders that align with our ethical funding policy and our values,” Eleanor said.
 
“Because of the generous support of the Toi Foundation, the rangatahi of Taranaki were able to engage in meaningful conversation surrounding healthy relationships, sexuality and gender identity. The positivity we get from the teachers and students means the job is quite fulfilling.”