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Forum theatre is a method of the so called theatre of the opressed, developed by Augusto Boal during the Junta regime in Brasil. Today it is updated through the Centro de teatro do oprimido, which was founded through Boal. Beyond the forumn theatre Boal and his team developed as well other interesting drama methods that reflect social reality and motivate to active participation. In example, the invisible theatre or the newspaper theatre.

Time 90 min and longer

Group Size 20 people

Created By i.a. Südwind

Keywords theatre, acting, experience based method,


Related:

Goal

The classical forum theatre picks up everyday experience with violence or discrimination, develops small scenes, and finally seeks for behavioral alternatives. This happens jointly between actors and audience. Everybody is allowed to become involved in the play.

The raw material are concrete experiences of the audience. One goal is to make mechanisms visible, alternatives or behavioral patterns. The not spoken might come to the surface and object of a discussion. In further steps the participants are allowed to make experiments, they can try out different behavioral alternatives in the save space of the theatre.

Through play people act together over things that they all share - everyday experience. The method is as well suitable for conflict solution.

The moderator is not intervening in the content of the scenes. He or she is simply coordinating the choice of the scenes that should be played and picks up the "stop" shouts. The moderator starts the scenes and stops only then, when no further development takes place.

Basic method

  • 20 people
  • 1,5 hours

Choice of a scene

The participants agree on one situation they'd like to play and that is based on real experience. Some participants play the scene in around 10 minutes. There is no text, everybody is improvising. It is an advantage when the players show their roles a little bit catchy, so the audience can easily remember them. [20 minutes]

Feedback of the audience

The audience gives a feedback how they experienced the scene and if they are satisfied. Often the audience has ideas for alternative solutions. [10 minutes]

Repeat

The scene will be played again by the same actors. When a person wants to involve he shouts "stop". Then he replaces the player, whose role he'd like to play different. The other players react according to the new co-actor. [10 minutes]

Reflection

The audience gives again a feedback. The scene will be played again and again, until all alternative solutions are played through.

Evaluation

The different possibilities will finally be discussed and evaluated regarding their practicability in the reality.

Experience

Precondition for a dynamic play is trust in the co-players. If this is the case, the forum theatre can be used as well as a method for conflict solution.

References

  • Wikipedia: Theatre of the Oppressed
  • Boal, Augusto: Theatre of the Oppressed (Get Political) New Edition, 2008
  • Forumtheater-Toolkit von KommEnt – Paulo Freire Zentrum für transdisziplinäre Entwicklungsforschung und dialogische Bildung
A joint project of the Competendo Community. Implemented with financial assistance of the European Union

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