Participatory theatre – community theatre

We can also use participatory theatre as a method to activate people and develop their commitment to the cause. The forum theatre is the most well-known of the participatory theatre forms that is known and used all over the world based on the methods of Augusto Boal, Brazilian theatre experts, director, politician and adult educator. The forum theatre is suitable to facilitate those people who are not capable to express themselves and speak about their feelings in writing or with words to do it with the help of dramatic actions, because during the performances they become active participants from passive recipients. In general, the actors of the theatre performance are not professional actors, but members of the community. First, they learn the language of the theatre then they make together a drama about their life and problems. This drama has no solution or has a negative end. At first, they perform this drama then the programme manager announces that the drama will be repeated, but during this second performance, the viewers can stop the performance any time and advise a solution so that things take a positive turn and there is solution to the story. According to Boal, if somebody is capable to act and achieve a solution on the stage in the imaginary situation – that evidently shows lot of similarities with real life – then that person will have a more positive approach to reality and actually believes that he/she is capable of change.

There are some professional workshops also in Hungary (for example, “Tegyünk együtt a szegénység ellen!” (’Let’s fight poverty together’) – Dialóg a Közösségekért Közhasznú Egyesület’ ’Dialogue for the communities Public Benefit Association) that deal with the theory and practical implementation of the of forum theatre. If we opt for this method, it is important to involve the above Company into the implementation. The activities do not end with the forum theatre but continue with the persons who have become more active. In the course of common work, play and togetherness, based on free and positive experiences, we can continue the road to achieve social changes.
This article based on the following document: Esélyegyenlőségi módszertani útmutató