Forum theatre is a fun, effective and highly interactive drama-based training technique that encourages open, meaningful discussion within a group, particularly if there are controversial issues at stake.
We often begin with two actor/facilitators illustrating a behavioural model or new process that may have been touched on earlier in the training session. Then, using a semi-scripted scene the actor/facilitators raise a challenging issue in an entertaining and memorable way. The scene is often humorous and designed to provoke comment from the audience. Following the scene the participants are encouraged to put forward their ideas, discussing the issues at stake and what they have witnessed. The scene is then replayed and this time the participants contribute to the evolving scene by coaching the actor/facilitators to explore different approaches. We conclude when a model of best practice, directly related to the theory/process/model introduced at the start, has been vividly illustrated.
Forum theatre can be used with large or small groups. It can be used as a tool to create debate on training courses, or as an issue-raising device at conferences and other events.