Forum theatre, a method of working with groups, which combine theatre and education for life, was created by a Brazilian drama practitioner Augusto Boal. The fundamental element, and the feature distinguishing Forum theatre from traditional theatre, is the permission for the audience to enter the stage, hence the term “spect-actors”.
Spect-actors take on the role of the protagonist, explore possible alternatives and practise solutions for the problems corresponding to their everyday difficulties. This allows them to see clearly their own problematic situations and the role they play in them as well as consequences of actions taken or not taken.
This method gives an opportunity not only to reflect, but also to act. As Boal himself wrote: “(...) no matter that the action is fictional; what matters is that it is action!”
Forum theatre may be treated as a method in working with a group on the basis of a previously prepared play, so-called “anti-model” (i.e. a history based on non-constructive behaviours). Spectators, alongside actors and the workshop leader (called “the joker”) work on each scene, and by transforming it, they look for constructive solutions.
Forum theatre may be successfully applied in working with youth and adults on almost every subject, for instance sexual education, violence prevention, developing social skills or making life choices. The method is widely used all over the world with remarkable results.