Community Interactive Theatre


Brief Description:

From the Interactive Theatre Project
"...Interactive Theater provides professionally scripted and improvisational performances addressing difficult issues that impact community. These creative forums are designed to engage community, faculty, staff and students, about social justice. The performance becomes a springboard for dialogue among the characters, facilitator and the audience. This conversation often allows groups to explore difficult, complex issues and contributes to greater community strength, creativity and competence."

Example Applications:

  • Work to understand local experiences and ideas that might otherwise be hard to uncover.

Full Description:

From the Interactive Theatre Project
How Interactive Theater Works
  • Participants can experience empathy for and identification with those involved in the performed scenario.
  • Participants can think through what actually happened in the scenario.
  • Participants can think about possible consequences of the performed scenario.
  • Participants have the opportunity to discuss possible solutions and potential strategies for change.

Tell Your Story of this Method

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From the KS Project in Rwanda:Jaime Stewart wrote:

As part of this initiative, we wanted to assess the feasibility of using community interactive theatre and other participatory knowledge sharing and sensitization methods to collect sensitive information on RH and FP and to change behavior. Other CARE country offices such as CAREs Georgia and Burundi as well as other development agencies have been using it with great success.

To test the feasibility of using theater our original plan was to do FGDs and then (immediately!) have the FGD facilitators role play the key issues raised by the participants, emphasizing socio-cultural factors and factors associated with power relations between men and women that influence use of FP services by women. Given the feedback above that facilitators may not be comfortable and skilled enough to do that we discussed the possibility of doing all the FGDs and then analyzing the information collected and then working with a professional theater troupe to develop a play based on what we learned. CAREs Georgia and Sierra Leone have done it this was. But unfortunately we don't have the time or resources to do this.

So what we have decided to do is use FGDs complemented by storytelling. The FGD facilitator will tell a story that includes a key message on social barriers to women's FP use. FGD participants will then have the opportunity to relate their experiences. We will then use this information to develop a play with a professional drama troupe - we are already in discussion with several - and will integrate interactive theater into our future FP programs.

If you are interested in learning more about the work in Georgia, I am attaching a case study on how they have used stop-action theater to "make private issues public". And for those of you who have good bandwidth, I am imbedding a short video clip that students made to discourage young men from kidnapping girls. It's fabulous!

external image pdf.png Georgia Case Study.pdf

Who is using this method at CARE?

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Related Methods/Tools/Practices:

  • Playback Theatre

More Information/References/Related Resources:

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