Behind the Scenes

Actors performing Behind the Scenes logo

Behind the Scenes is a theatre-in-education programme for secondary school students that explores the health risks of vaping and the influence of social media.

Designed for Year 11 students, the programme uses the successful format of Life Education Trust’s SMASHED and SMART$ programmes to entertain and educate students. In a 45 minute performance, the audience follow a social media influencer and her friend as they explore the rights and wrongs of paid promotion and the health risks of vaping. During the performance, the actors interact with students to explore key learnings.

Vaping rates in rangatahi have increased dramatically since vape products were introduced to New Zealand as a smoking cessation device. In 2021, research* showed 27% of young people had vaped in the last 7 days. School leaders have described vaping as an ‘epidemic’ amongst students and asked for help to manage it.

In response, and in association with the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation, Life Education Trust launched Behind the Scenes in 2022 alongside other vaping initiatives for schools.

 

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Why Theatre?

Theatre-in-Education (TiE) is a unique learning experience supporting a wide range of learning styles and behaviours. TiE is frequently used as an educational tool to explore social behaviour and attitudes using social cognitive theory. Social cognitive theory (SCT) holds that portions of an individual's knowledge acquisition can be directly related to observing others within the context of social interactions, experiences, and outside media influences.

Consistent with the New Zealand Curriculum, and the Ministry of Education Guidelines for teaching Alcohol and Other Drugs, Behind the Scenes focuses on students acquiring skills and knowledge.

*Asthma and Respiratory Foundation/Secondary School Principals Association

Teacher resources
Whānau information sheet