The Our Shared Cause Is Animal Protection Foundation launched a programme titled Artists for Animal Welfare at the Thália Theatre on Saturday.
During these awareness-raising sessions, which precede children’s and youth productions, a stage actor, accompanied by a four-legged friend, utilizes experiential pedagogy to draw attention to the importance of animal protection and responsible pet ownership. On Saturday, the audience had the opportunity to meet Bernadett Gregor and her two dogs before the puppet show titled Boribon’s Vacation. As a member of the foundation’s board of trustees, the actress engaged in a discussion about responsible pet ownership with the children in the presence of the two dogs in the theatre’s studio.
Szilvia Vetter, the foundation’s chairperson, explained that as the first and so far only animal welfare foundation established by the state, they continuously seek ways to reach out to new societal groups, including culture-consuming and theatre-loving audiences, with the ideas of responsible pet ownership. She emphasized the importance of reaching children, in whom love for animals is inherent from birth. Within the framework of a pilot project in collaboration with other theatres, actors will conduct brief animal welfare presentations ten times before children’s performances. Vetter highlighted that
children meeting animals not only benefits animal welfare but also has numerous positive effects on children’s development,
aiding in the formation of bonds and empathy. The participating artists will base their sessions on predefined professional content but will tailor them to their own personalities, ensuring that no two sessions are alike, Vetter remarked.
Viktor Nagy, the theatre’s artistic director, said that the theatre can serve as a direct arena for education. Therefore, this season they are preparing children’s performances and have collaborated with the foundation to create a programme in which their actors introduce their pets and talk about animal welfare. He added that in the coming months, they will hold awareness-raising sessions alongside performances two to three times a month. He also mentioned that in the next season, the repertoire of children’s performances will expand with three new shows. Nagy announced that after Bernadett Gregor, other artists including András Mózes, Győző Szabó, and himself will also bring their dogs to the theatre.
Following the performance, Bernadett Gregor said that she felt children were receptive to animal-themed topics, inherently possessing a passion for animals. She stressed the importance of seizing this opportunity to ensure that love for animals and nature remains ingrained in them.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/MTI