Forum theatre is a fun, effective and highly interactive drama-based training technique. We use forum theatre as a tool to create debate on training courses and as an issue-raising device at conferences and other events.
How does it work?
To explain Forum Theatre, let’s use a training issue to illustrate an example. Two actors present a short sketch or scene illustrating some of the challenges of say, ‘Managing Poor Performance’.
One actor plays an employee and the other actor plays a manager who is seeking to address a performance issue. After a few minutes the action is stopped and the actor playing the manager turns to the delegates in the audience and asks for suggestions on how he/she might approach the situation differently. The suggestions from the audience are then taken back into the sketch and played out – stopping and starting the scene – to illustrate the benefits and pitfalls of the various approaches.
The sketch continues exploring various avenues and concludes when a model of best practise has been identified and vividly illustrated. Any behavioural model or new process which the training session has touched on can be explored using this highly flexible and interactive technique.
Forum Theatre is very lively, engaging and encourages open, meaningful discussion within a group, particularly if there are controversial issues at stake. It raises otherwise difficult to tackle issues in an entertaining and memorable form. It encourages all the participants to put forward their ideas. Forum Theatre can be used with large or small groups.