Forum theatre has the potential to create a unique and powerful interactive learning space.
Want to know more? Here's a concise overview of its key qualities and benefits.
What is forum theatre?
A short performed case study - played out by skilled actors- that resonates with the audience. It then enters an interactive phase where the audience can test alternative strategies.
Typically, the Forum theatre will explore some aspect of work-based behaviour that the organisation seeks to address. Here are some examples: challenging conversations, managing conflict, resliiance, dignity and respect in the workplace, leadership, breaking bad news, managing change, manging poor performance and so on. Infact any work-based behavioural issue can be explored through a well designed forum exercise.
In essence, well-executed Forum Theatre provides a powerful space for peer learning and a springboard for action.
-Creates the conditions for insight through looking at the familiar in an unfamiliar way.
-Through exploring the impact of behaviours, and the potential for change, transformative learning is facilitated.
-The Forum provides a unique space to explore workplace challenges that would be difficult to articulate meaningfully without the concrete example.
-With Forum Theatre the audience isn’t passively watching – they are provoked into thought, dialogue and action.
-It has high impact: it is memorable, engaging, and encourages positive action.
-It provides a vivid focal point for peer learning.
-Deep learning on professional competence is facilitated. This aspect of work-based learning is often overlooked in a prevailing culture of learning that focuses on work-based knowledge.
-Forum Theatre holds up a mirror to the workplace culture. It can cast a spotlight onto behaviours and aspects of the culture that can be challenging -and necessary- for a business to confront.
A word of caution!
Like any learning method, its effective delivery requires skilled and experienced practitioners.