Citation:

Jan Selman and Jane Heather. Theatre, Teens, Sex Ed: Are We There Yet. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2015.

The participatory theatre piece around which Theatre, Teens, Sex Ed is arranged, titled Are We There Yet?, has had a widespread and meaningful effect across Canada in urban centres, rural towns, and first nations. This polyvocal anthology features the voices of theatre and education scholars, popular theatre practitioners, health educators, and the many groups of touring actors who facilitated the project over the decade that it ran. All are heard in formal papers, interviews, a manifesto, a script, and how-to contributions. Importantly, the voices of select teen participants also appear in anonymous chapter epigrams and appendices. A lot of care and thought has been put into the editorial apparatus of this book, from the organizational principle to the accompanying DVD that features extraordinary footage of the performances themselves as well as interviews and commentary from the producers, directors, and actors who animated Are We There Yet? and from the participating teens themselves.

In all, this collection represents the best of socially relevant, social action theatre—the best of theatre that directly impacts our communities, our schools, and our children. Are We There Yet? has, with little fear of hyperbole, reimagined how sex education can, even should, be presented. Along with Jan Selman and Jane Heather, the project’s originators, Edmonton’s Concrete Theatre and Options Sexual Health Association (previously named Planned Parenthood Association of Edmonton), are responsible for the project’s vision and extraordinary impact.

The collection itself represents a SSHRC-funded assessment of the project, providing evidence of the all-important self-reflexivity that pervades these pages and those performances. It will, no doubt, inspire future educators to emulate Are We There Yet? Indeed, the collection may inspire future theatre anthologies to aim to include material diversity.

Cette anthologie polyphonique présente les voix de chercheurs en théâtre et en enseignement, de praticiens connus du théâtre, d’éducateurs sanitaires et de nombreux groupes d’acteurs de tournée qui ont contribué au projet durant la décennie qu’il a duré. Ce recueil représente le meilleur en fait de pertinence sociale, de théâtre d’action sociale touchant directement les collectivités, les écoles et les enfants. Fait important, la parole de quelques adolescents se fait entendre tout au long du recueil. Le texte Are We There Yet? redéfinit comment l’éducation sexuelle, peut, voire devrait, être présentée. Le livre lui-même est une concrétisation, financée par le CRSH, du projet théâtral et met en évidence toute l’importance de l’introspection ayant imprégné tant les performances que les pages du recueil.