14 May 2009

Vanuatu's Wan Smol Bag marks 20 years of operations this week

1:57 pm on 14 May 2009

The Vanuatu theatre group, Wan Smol Bag, celebrates 20 years of work in the arts and in the community this weekend.

The group began with a small band of actors and now produces plays, films, CDs, television and teaching resources that educate and entertain audiences across the Pacific.

It has also gone on to establish health clinics, a sports complex, youth centres, a conservation network, and workshops to boost employment skills.

Co-founder Peter Walker says community projects seemed to grow naturally out of the theatre work they embarked on.

"'For example, if you are doing a play about reproductive health and you are looking at condoms and access to confidential services for young people, the next step when we had a little bit of money, everyone seemed to think it was a good idea to build a reproductive health clinic onto the back of the theatre."

Peter Walker says Wan Smolbag is holding an Open Day this weekend, and an international theatre festival in June.