Forum Theatre: Advising through acting theme meeting with Swedish expert a success!

 

VIFIN and UU Vejle jointly hosted a successful theme event in Vejle last May 17th, that introduced counsellors and other interested parties to the forum theatre method, and presented how the project will use interactive theatre in combination with web- based media for better counselling for young people about education and  their future.

Some 40 counsellors, teachers and other professionals working with young people, from several parts of Denmark chose to spend the afternoon together with an international expert in FT method and experts in multimedia didactics from VIFIN.

Vejle Municipality’s Director for Child and Youth Division, Claus Svold, opened the event.  He said that the municipality believes in the importance of developing guidance counselling to keep young people in education.

“Vejle Kommune would like to be ahead in terms of delivering better services to our children and youth.  It must constantly innovate and develop new initiatives and methods, and use new communication forms the young people use, for example online and mobile media“, Mr. Svold said.

Following this was an introduction to the use of forum theatre by the Swedish expert, Katrin Byréus. She started by narrating the story for her reasons for developing methods, who directs the interactive theatre especially towards young people. After the story, Byréus sought to actively involve the audience in her presentation of warm up exercises and forum theatre itself. The participants were asked to contribute with thoughts and observations.

The personal experience of using forum theatre as a process tool for work with different issues and problems, created a close to practice feeling and a good foundation to understanding the dynamics and effect of the methods.

The day was concluded by a presentation from the project’s experts in multimedia didactic. Niels Ole Ankerstjerne and Mads Bo-Kristensen explained the advantages of using digital media in counselling. Blogs and mobile phones can expand the learning environment and make counselling more relevant, and at the same time it is possible to maintain and process topics longer than usual, for example by writing about and commenting, sending pictures or make videos before, during or after a forum play.

The partners of the project from the UK and Finland were also present at the event. In spite of language barriers they took active part in the exercises and the forum plays and also got inspiration to how they can market the project in their own countries.

The event and the speakers got positive feedback from the participants. Indeed, they have learned more about, and were inspired to use forum theatre in counselling. They also said that they need a deeper introduction in methods and pedagogy to get an optimal exploitation of the potential of forum theatre and digital media. This, they will definitely get when they attend the training course to be conducted in September this year!