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A STUDY OF THE USE OF ORGANISATIONAL THEATRE:\ud THE CASE OF FORUM THEATRE\ud

By ELIZABETH JANET RAE

Abstract

The use of theatre- and drama-based techniques in organisations for supporting learning, development and change in organisations has been a growing phenomenon over the past fifteen years. However, there has been limited empirical research into the process and effectiveness of such interventions. The starting point for this research was exploring organisational theatre - an umbrella term to cover any organisational intervention which involves the use of theatre and drama. The review of the literature led to some preliminary questions concerning the nature and form of organisational theatre and established forum theatre as the focus of this research. There were a number of reasons as to why this was an appropriate focus, including the extent to which its ‘political’ origins translate to the organisational setting, the potential tensions within its delivery and the resource-intensive nature of the activity.\ud \ud Through undertaking qualitative interviews with key stakeholders (consultancies, actors and facilitators, commissioners and participants) the research explores the different perspectives of forum theatre, how it is constructed, what are the espoused aims and objectives and what is the actual impact on participants. The research highlights tensions between the ‘ideal’ of forum theatre interventions, which aims to provide more participatory learning experiences and achieve participant-led learning and change, how commissioners and practitioners construct and implement such interventions, and how forum theatre approaches are experienced by participants.\ud \ud Overall, I conclude that while forum theatre has the potential to provide a valuable learning experience, unless the tensions are fully acknowledged and addressed, it will not achieve the changes that commissioners look for. Furthermore, there is a need for greater understanding by commissioners of the purpose and potential uses of forum theatre, clarification of the role of the facilitators (who often perform a dual role as actors), more innovative approaches to evaluation and the need for follow-up activities to be an integral part of such events. \u

Topics: organisation theatre, forum theatre, learning and development
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.dur.ac.uk:3268
Provided by: Durham e-Theses

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