In Forum Theatre actors perform a scenario depicting a workplace problem which is familiar and common to the audience. A facilitator solicits the audience’s views on the issues raised by the scenario and gathers their suggestions as to how the actors could be directed to change their behaviour to achieve a more satisfactory and effective outcome. The facilitator may also invite individual audience members to take the place of an actor in order to try out their suggestion in situ.
- I was trained in Forum Theatre by Adrian
Jackson of Cardboard Citizens Theatre Company – the UK’s foremost exponent of
- I am extremely experienced in facilitating
Forum Theatre which requires me to field suggestions from the audience as they
re-direct the scenario (often holding several suggestions in balance as I
gather a number of alternatives from them); lead the audience to identify
positives and negatives after they have seen suggestions in action; keep the
scenario moving forward and not become bogged-down in matters of process;
recognise and encourage when an audience member would welcome actually
replacing one of the actors to participate directly in the scene and lead the scenario to a more
successful and effective outcome in the time available.
Case Study – providing a complete Forum Theatre solution
Sometimes I am asked to simply be one of the actors, or the facilitator, involved in a piece of Forum Theatre but on other occasions I will work with the client from the outset to put together a complete Forum Theatre solution. For example, I was asked by the Group Training and Development Manager of Hachette UK to contribute to a series of workshops she was planning entitled ‘How to Conduct Appraisals’. We discussed the benefits of employing Forum Theatre as a vivid and interactive demonstration of a poor appraisal that the audience could then ‘fix’ and we worked together to identify the common issues, fears and concerns that Hachette managers and appraisees were currently encountering in the appraisal process. I also gained a more general overview of the organisation and its people so that I could present them fairly and accurately in the scenario. I drafted a script for a 10-15 minute scene consisting of a manager appraising a direct report, and following feedback from the client and some of her HR colleagues made suitable amendments. I also put together a team of two other actors who would deliver the exercise with me at the workshops and I briefed, managed, rehearsed and directed their work. During the exercise I acted the part of the appraisee and co-facilitated with the client. In their feedback many participants particularly highlighted how the interactive nature of this exercise made it "fun", "entertaining" and "immediately useful and relevant".
I have written, performed in and facilitated Forum Theatre solutions for a large number of organisations and below is a cross-section of examples:
Contact David on 07967 187047 or at firstname.lastname@example.org