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Full immersion in action: as part of World Food Day immersive performances focused on the topic of healthy eating were held in Kyrgyz pilot schools

This year, the senior students were put in charge of the celebration of World Food Day in Kyrgyzstan. The WFP team and SIFI prepared a script for an immersive performance about healthy eating called 'The Aibash Legends and the Mystery of the Magic Cart', and senior students from 14 pilot schools across the country brought it to life.

What is an immersive performance? It is a new kind of show where the audience is fully immersed in the action by actively participating in it, sometimes even alongside the actors. In our case, the actors were the older students from the school, and the audience consisted of the 1 to 4 grade students. In order for children to absorb the information better, interactive elements were included in the play, and the scenes themselves were played out in different genres and techniques: puppet theatre, drawing on water, musical theatre and paper theatre.

To complete the storyline, tchildren drew on water using Ebru paintings, played musical instruments, sang a song about vitamins and minerals, played supporting roles and took part in games. All parts of the play were united by the same topic - healthy eating, its main principles were communicated through the play and interaction.

Immersive performances are designed for smaller audiences, so that as many members as possible could take part in the activities. But schools were faced with the challenge of reaching all primary school students. That's why the schools scheduled plays in advance during the week from 17 to 21of October. The number of audience members for each performance did not exceed 30 people.

There was only one script. But the representations were so different in each of the 14 schools! Some changed the ways of performance, others added their own creative details to the story.

In the Nizhne Alarchinskaya and Ozerny schools in Chuy Region, senior students created the sets themselves and staged a mesmerising play. The young scriptwriters approached their duties with responsibility and imagination, changing some elements of the script. They replaced the paper dolls representing proteins, fats and carbohydrates with actors who used their emotions and movements, in order to show what happens to a growing organism, if you eat only the same foods rich in proteins, fats and carbohydrates all the time.

The performances were chamber-like, with inviting atmosphere and cozy. Almost every child was able to take part in at least one activity.

At the end of the performance, the main character asked questions about the principles of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, which the younger students had learned about from the play. The children actively answered questions, as they were really attentive to what was happening on stage. For the correct answers the young audience received souvenir magnets "Rainbow in a Plate", which they will hang on the fridge as a reminder of the importance of having a varied diet and include seasonal fruit and vegetables of different colours that contain numerous vitamins and minerals.

During the festive week, 1,600 students took part in the performances, who the senior school students were able to engage as the followers of healthy eating and lifestyle. The little ones got very impressed by the performances, and, of course, with an impressive volume of knowledge. Now the young audience know how to choose healthy products for their diet, understand the definition of a balanced diet and try to stick to their daily routine.