Forum Theatre Play Karina’s Story – Fly Your Kite
Participants reflect on their 12-week process of creating Forum Theatre to address gender-based violence:
- I have so much empathy now for people on both sides of the issue
- Each character reminded me of some parts of my life and helped me realize a lot of things about the members of my family and friends
- We added a human dimension to the discussion about GBV
The forum theatre approach was powerful and empowering:
- We created everything ourselves – it is empowering
- There was flexibility in the way the project evolved
- You gave us confidence
- Compassionate and active listening, non-judgemental
Ending the Silence: Forum Theatre with Newcomer Women on the Topic of Gender-based Violence
My own experience of working in forum theatre was life changing so forever grateful to you, Pavla and Newcomer Women Services for that!
— Afshan, participant
Resilient Seniors: Forum Theatre about Senior Resilience and Mental Health
Break the Taboo: Community Dialogue about Domestic Abuse
I engaged a group of women from Flemingdon and Thorncliff neighbourhoods of Toronto and created a supportive environment to discuss a difficult and often taboo subject of violence against women. I facilitated the creation of an original forum theatre play titled "Caged" addressing the issues of domestic abuse. We performed two exclusive presentations for Newcomer Women Services and Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities and two for invited neighbourhood audience. I generated dialogue about domestic abuse with audience of 120 people. The forum presentations were lively with very active participation, which generated informative and meaningful dialogue. The project was transformational for the participants as well as audience members.
This project was funded by OAC:
I would like to thank “Break the Taboo” forum theater presentation, for encouraging all to look deep within, promoting dialogue & highlighting the impact domestic violence has on individuals. Let's break the cycle of violence, & start the conversation!
— Debbie Lee, Seniors Health Program Coordinator
Health Promotion, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities
Alternative Approaches to Diversity & Inclusion Training through Image Theatre
This workshop for the HRPA (Human Resources Professional Association), Grey Bruce Chapter, co-facilitated in May 2021 with Afrouz Mobayen, was designed for HR professionals (referred to here as participants) who engage daily in multi-dimensional interactions in increasingly and culturally diverse workplace environments. Such multi-layered diversity is a challenge and calls for a unique approach that cultivates a deeper understanding of what constitutes inclusion and how individuals can play an important role in it.
The approach used in this workshop is Image Theatre, which is part of a transformative methodology called Theatre of the Oppressed. It utilises embodied and interactive activities based on participants’ stories and experiences and is the best fit to address the challenges they face in their diverse workplace. Through this process, participants are invited to actively examine possible solutions and alternative strategies to the challenges (through role-play). The collective wisdom of the group and the individual experiences of participants are honoured by the facilitator who asks questions rather than offers ready-made solutions.
HRPA (Human Resources Professional Association), Toronto Chapter, Employee Networking Group – Alternative Strategies in Overcoming Challenges in Your HR Job Search, October 2019
TNO - The Neighbourhood Organization – Women Leadership Workshop, September 2019. Bread, Drinks and Storytelling Festival, October 2019
George Brown College – Interactive and Embodied Approach to Conflict Resolution, professional development workshop for ESL department administrative staff and ESL Instructors, March 2019
ClimateFast, Toronto - Climate Crisis: The Struggle to Act on Climate Change, 2018 – read the blog post here
St. Stephen’s Community House, Toronto - Communication Training for Mediators: Body Language and Power Dynamics, 2017
Interchange for Peace, Toronto – Inter-active Workshop for Peace-makers, 2016
TDSB schools – Courage to Act: Bystander of Ally workshop, 2017
Burning Bush, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – It’s My Life: devising original theatre piece with drug recovery program residents, 2015
Blue Bricks, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – professional development training for educators, 2015
Mixed Company Theatre, Toronto – Joking Mixed Messages, a Forum Theatre piece, 2014
Community Access, New York City – developed and facilitated Forum Theatre piece to address issues facing residents with psychiatric disabilities, 2010
Action: reaction Conference, Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers’ Federation, Toronto, 2017
- Led 25 high school youths through an in-depth reflection on how to advocate for others and stand up for their rights in a workshop entitled Courage to Act: Bystander or Ally?
Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators (CODE) Conference, Deerhurst, Ontario, 2017
- Presented a workshop titled Interactive and Embodied Story-sharing as Wellness
Education for Peace and Justice Conference, OISE, University of Toronto, 2017
- Presented experiential workshop, Transformation toward Equity: Examining Power and Privilege through Image Theatre, to teach student teachers equitable practices design
Mirrors in Drama and Dance; A Journey to Identities Conference, Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators (CODE), Ottawa, 2014
- Created Process Drama – Us and Them, a workshop for secondary educators demonstrating the use of theatre methodology in connecting global political events with social studies and language curricula
Common Ground, NYS Alliance for Arts Education, Albany, NY, USA, 2010
- Co-presented Taking A Risk: Theatre-in-Education For Curriculum And Decision Making to explore the power of role playing in decision-making situations
Risking Innovation, AATE / ATHE Conference, New York City, USA, 2009
- Co-presented a practical session titled Process Drama - Practicing Risk-taking for Life addressing the challenges of racial integration in US public school system