Drama therapy: Playback and Forum Theatre
Time: 10:30 - 17:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Forum theatre – also known as Boal’s Theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed, or Theatre for Development – uses theatre to achieve social aims and is often undertaken by socially excluded or disempowered groups. It is an interactive form of theatre that engages the audience in exploring different options for dealing with a problem or issue.
Playback Theatre – audiences are invited to share stories from their lives and the actors and musicians reflect them back. It is lots of fun and offers a chance to gain insight into one's own experiences in life.
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
Course Code: DPP073
Duration: 1 session
What is the course about?
The audience in Forum Theatre is shown a short play in which a central character encounters a form of oppression or an obstacle. The topic will usually be something of immediate importance to the audience, often based on a shared life experience.
Actors or audience members can stop the play, either spontaneously or at predetermined points. Audience members then suggest alternative options or actions for the protagonist to change the outcome. Forum Theatre can be used to prepare for a specific occasion, or examine alternatives in a past, present, or future situation. The actors explore the results of these choices with the audience, creating a kind of theatrical debate, in which experiences and ideas are rehearsed and shared, generating both solidarity and a sense of empowerment.
The Playback 'form' as developed by Fox and Salas utilises component theatrical forms or pieces, developed from its sources in improvisational theatre, storytelling, and psychodrama. These components include scenes (also called stories or vignettes) and narrative or non-narrative short forms, including "fluid sculptures", "pairs", and "chorus".
In a Playback event, someone in the audience tells a moment or story from their life, chooses the actors to play the different roles, and then all those present watch the enactment, as the story "comes to life" with artistic shape and nuance. Actors draw on non-naturalistic, as well as conventional improvisation styles to convey meaning, such as metaphor or song.
What will we cover?
We will learn by practising the main techniques in Forum Theatre the way that its creator Augusto Boal intended it. You will also be introduced to the role of 'the joker' in Forum Theatre.
In Playback Theatre we will cover the idea behind the technique and practise the majority of the main 15 'forms' used in Playback Theatre. You will also be introduced to the role of 'the conductor' in Playback.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
This course will offer you an insight into how Forum Theatre as well as Playback Theatre is executed. You will, by the end of the workshop, be able to set up your own Forum Theatre play and make use of it as a powerful Theatre technique, in the way it was intended by the inventor Augusto Boal.
You will also become familiar and confident in using Playback Theatre as a therapeutic theatre tool used in several different contexts including Drama Therapy. In this exhilarating and interactive class you will experience being a performer as well as an active part of the audience who are invited to share stories from their lives, where the actors reflect them back.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Some experience in improvisation theatre is recommended and a willingness to work physically as an actor. This course will be lots of fun and offers a chance to gain insight into one's own experiences in life. You will be guided towards developing your playback skills.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is a practical course, and you will learn by doing. There will be no work outside of the class, but you are encouraged to write down the different techniques which you will practise and learn in this class, as well as the general rules of Forum Theatre and Playback Theatre.
You may be asked to participate in rigorous activity from time to time. Please consider whether you could do this; if you are in any doubt consult a medical practitioner.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring clothes which offers you easy movement as the theatre techniques you are introduced to are often very physical. There are no other costs. Do bring lunch and drinks with you or money to buy locally. Bring paper and pen to write any notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
The Drama Therapy courses:
'Drama Therapy' as well as 'Drama Therapy: Intermediate' are recommended.
You may also be interested in the 'Storytelling for business and pleasure' classes.
Dan graduated as a Dramatherapist from Central School of Speech and Drama in 2000 and has nearly 20 years of extensive experience working with people in various settings. He is employed by the London Borough of Sutton as a Dramatherapist for the Sutton Clinical Health Team and has worked there for over 14 years. As the placement manager, he also supervises Dramatherapy Roehampton University students. Dan has taught drama therapy at City Lit since 2011, and now also runs The Acting room: developing potential, which is ideal for anyone who may require a little more time, support and adjustment to engage in the acting process. Dan regularly facilitates and make use of Forum Theatre, Playback Theatre and Gabriel Roth‘s 5 Rhythms, and recently worked with women and men who experience domestic abuse, in the London Borough of Greenwich. Dan’s more recent work, since 2017, includes facilitating ongoing therapy and therapeutic discussion groups for men. Dan is a registered Clinical Supervisor and offer supervision to all professionals who work in the Health and Caring professions and his private practice is in London Bridge next to Borough Market [see www.counselling-directory.org.uk]
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.