Forum Theatre is a process that allows the audience to become directors and scriptwriters with a team of professional actors and a facilitator. It is an exciting and innovative way of exploring leadership issues and opening up discussion for people to discuss freely.
After seeing a short scene on one of the chosen themes the audience is then divided into three groups and each group given an actor to work with, participants then direct the actors with new actions and lines, challenging situations and raising issues. As the participants work with their actor it enables them to empathise with a character’s point of view. During the process the actors change groups and the participants can experience other points of view. The participants are also allowed to stop the action and rewind to explore new ideas and challenge language or situations suggested by the other groups. The process is widely used for training in organisations and does not require the audience to act or perform at any time.
Feedback sheets have revealed that delegates using Forum Theatre:
- are challenged by the activities demanded of them
- learn by seeing good practice and not bad practice
- understand the skills and competencies underpinning good leadership
- genuinely enjoy the process.
This particular training stresses the importance of understanding the reality of issues and the implications of choices or decisions that leaders and managers make in the workplace. The power of seeing such scenes acted out can lead people to change their behaviour.
Content of Forum Sessions
The organisations that we work with are free to choose the themes and issues that they wish to explore and Forum Theatre is particularly good at exploring issues around diversity, managing effectively and culture change. Examples of other training sessions include:
- leadership, performance management
- team building
- customer service, confrontation
- community cohesion, diversity
- domestic violence, bullying
Is Forum Theatre suitable for my organsation?
Forum Theatre works as a group activity and if you need to train large numbers of people then it can be an effective and enjoyable way of achieving this. Groups can be as large as thirty per session with up to two sessions a day. You can also book a single session for a particular group or team, or use a single session at a conference to open up issues or provide it as a choice for different break out groups.
The use of Forum Theatre for our diversity training enabled our managers to see things from another perspective and engage in lively debate over some difficult issues. The sessions were well researched with the facilitators demonstrating a high level of expertise and the company of actors brilliant as they worked with our teams; it really was an innovative and creative process and a number of our managers commented that it was some of the best and most enjoyable training they had experienced.
After today’s workshop I’d just like to feed back about how interesting and refreshing I thought the day was. I found that the format of the day worked incredibly well to highlight inclusion and diversity in the workplace. The level of knowledge around the subjects delivered by the external trainers was exceptional, with clear and concrete advice.