Manual Forum Theatre in Peacebuilding

With experiences from Jordan

Forum Theatre is one of the theatrical techniques developed in the 1960s by Brazilian activist Augusto Boal under the umbrella methodology “Theatre of the Oppressed” during the time of the Brazilian military dictatorship. Since then, the methodology has developed further and spread to more than 90 countries around the world. Forum Theatre is a community-driven, interactive theatrical approach that breaks the barrier between performers and audience and is applied to examine and transform conflicts: the topics for a play are taken from real-life experiences and relate to questions of power, discrimination, or exclusion, and audience members have the opportunity to actively participate in the performance. 
Over the last decades there has been a growing tendency to include theatre approaches in peacebuilding, especially when working with youth. Theatre can be used to reflect on and actively and creatively shape the future that individuals and groups envision.
One of the purposes of this manual is to offer both practical and theoretical insights into the technique of Forum Theatre in peacebuilding. Out of a long-term creative engagement with members of a youth theatre group in the south of Jordan, the creation of a manual on theatre as a tool for change has emerged. For the collection of exercises in this manual, we want to acknowledge the many contributions of the community of Al-Karak. It is a resource for those wishing to learn about and use the technique to engage young people towards positive social change. People sometimes wonder how it is possible that the “Theatre of the Oppressed” methodology has spread so far around the world; not only does it work, but it can also be applied to any context. This methodology can accompany the process for social justice. 
Theatre, music, performing art and visual arts along with other socio-cultural approaches serve as important conflict transformation and peacebuilding tools which stimulate encounter, exchange and empathy, whereby interpersonal and social tensions can be transformed into trustful relationships. 
This manual is a bilingual English-Arabic text. 





Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit