Acting Out was a project about reclaiming public space through providing drama workshops in the city centre. The project lasted for a year and a half, with weekly workshops available to homeless young people in Brisbane, through the support of Brisbane Youth Service, Brisbane City Council and students of Applied Theatre.
During this project young people moved from refusing participation, preferring to try to not look too intent in their watching of the drama activities from the sidelines, to becoming facilitators of their favourite drama games for new-comers. The culmination of a year of casual drop in drama sessions saw the core young people choose to participate in a youth arts festival, Backbone Youth Arts’ Two High, as a platform to share their stories with the wider community and educate people about what it was really like to be homeless. The site-specific performance at the Brisbane Powerhouse allowed the young people to shape their own future by taking control of the narrative of how their circumstance of homelessness was framed for the general public. The show was constructed as a game of snakes and ladders, where participants shared experiences of navigating the housing game, sharing with audiences how easy it was to slip back into homelessness from temporary accommodation and conversely how many barriers stand in the way of a young person obtaining stable accommodation.