Introduction to Forum Theatre

Workshops are offered in house for small and large organisations as a CPD learning tool, a team building activity or to explore group dynamics. Forum is particularly useful when assisting the process of change & transition

Brief Description

Forum Theatre is an interactive form of theatre that presents a theatrical debate to create a group ethos that encourages audience interaction and is a powerful tool for exploring solutions to difficult problems.

This one day workshop explores the practice of Forum Theatre and its application to communities and groups. It offers an entertaining and meaningful way for:

  • Working with socially excluded or disempowered groups
  • Challenging established perceptions
  • Understanding group/team dynamics in the work place
  • Exploring specific issues affecting individuals/groups experiencing disempowerment
  • Identifying areas of conflict and possible solutions

This workshop is suitable for anyone interested in the creative process who would like to learn more about using theatre as a medium for healing. The tools and techniques can be applied in any work setting when considering group dynamics and roles within the work place and also for those engaged in the more intimate setting of group work wishing to explore relationship issues. Forum is also used to gain a deeper understanding on more global issues and to raise awareness and create a theatrical debate.Forum theatre scenarios are designed to stimulate audience participation through discussion, interactive role-playing and shared experience.

To book a place please contact Rachel at Scenario on 07983 393165 or


More About Forum Theatre

Forum Theatre (also known as Boal’s Theatre, ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’, ‘Theatre for Development’) is an interactive theatre form invented (or discovered) in the early 1970s by Augusto Boal who wanted to empower the audience of his plays.

An audience is shown a short play in which a central character (protagonist) encounters an oppression or obstacle which s/he is unable to overcome; the subject-matter will usually be something of immediate importance to the audience, often based on a shared life experience.

When the play has been performed members of the audience can take to the stage and suggest alternative options for how the protagonist could have acted. The actors explore the results of these choices with the audience creating a kind of theatrical debate, a group ethos, in which experiences and ideas are rehearsed and shared, generating both solidarity and a sense of empowerment. In the UK Forum Theatre has been used by the organisation Cardboard Citizens to give homeless people a voice – enabling them to reach and recognise their potential.


Used For:

Forum Theatre sessions allow people to take the stage and show many different possibilities. In this way, the event can be used to rehearse for an imminent occasion, or to uncover and analyse alternatives in any situation, past, present or future.
The experience can build empathy for the situation of a particular group or to try to overcome a sense of powerlessness amongst the audience.


Suitable participants:

Forum Theatre can be used with any type of audience; Therapists/Trainers/Teachers/Group Workers. The method has been used by and with groups who feel excluded, such as the homeless or residents in areas affected by poverty. A powerful tool for exploring group/team dynamics in the work place or specific issues affecting individuals/groups in schools or other place of learning.


When To Use / What It Can Deliver:

Forum theatre can provide a voice for people who normally struggle to be heard. It can also increase the audience’s empathy for others. Through the audience participation new ideas and solutions to existing problems can be explored. The theatre setting can be a very powerful tool to explore difficult issues.


When Not To Use / What It Cannot Deliver:

Forum theatre is not a decision making tool or a method for capturing the views of the audience.



  • Combines high quality, innovative and interactive theatre with social objectives.
  • Acts as an ambassador for the arts in the social sector.
  • Provides a entertaining and meaningful way for working with socially excluded groups.
  • Challenges established perceptions.
  • Powerful tool for exploring solutions to difficult problems
  • Develops skills of the actors, who are often people from socially excluded groups.



International Development/Community Development.

Created by Augusto Boal.
Augusto Boal was a Brazilian theatre practitioner, writer, director, theorist and teacher, and the founder of an international movement, the Theatre of the Oppressed.

© 2015