Forum theatre is an excellent tool for exposing and addressing the diverse conflicts that persist within society. This innovative theatrical technique offers a platform to explore, engage with, and ultimately seek solutions to complex social issues. By bringing these conflicts to the forefront, in a safe and creative space, forum theatre enables individuals to better understand and actively participate in the process of resolving them. It serves as a catalyst for open dialogue, empathy, and positive change, making it an invaluable asset for fostering a more harmonious and just society.
The Facilitator’s Approach
Dr. Ravindra Ranasinghe, a prominent Drama Therapist in Sri Lanka conducted the Forum Theater performance in Lewalla, Kandy. He delivered a comprehensive briefing about the program, providing participants with a clear understanding of its purpose and agenda. He also established essential ground rules, emphasizing their importance for maintaining a productive and respectful environment throughout the event. His facilitation was marked by a strong commitment to promoting participant engagement and practical learning. He skillfully guided participants through these activities, fostering an environment where theory was translated into action, aligning with his emphasis on directing participants’ attention towards practical implementation. This approach not only enhanced understanding but also encouraged the application of knowledge in real-world contexts, making the event an enriching and productive experience for all involved.
The Participatory Experience
The event was held in the village of Mahaiyawa in Kandy District. It was a powerful and participatory experience. There were mostly female spectators, and it brought a fresh and dynamic approach to addressing real-life issues. Rather than being passive observers, the audience was encouraged to actively participate by taking on various roles and crafting new scenes that resonated with their personal life experiences. This hands-on involvement allowed for a more profound connection between the audience and the subject matter, making the message more effective.
One noteworthy aspect of the event was that it targeted peace volunteers and coordinators from various dioceses. This approach has the potential to amplify the impact of Forum Theatre across different communities. The participatory and inclusive nature of this event not only engaged the audience but also served as an effective means of conveying important messages and fostering positive change within the community.
Forum Theatre, as demonstrated by Dr. Ravindra Ranasinghe’s recent event in Lewalla, Kandy, is a valuable asset for addressing and resolving societal conflicts. By providing a platform for open dialogue and active participation, it encourages individuals to better understand and engage with complex social issues. As witnessed in this event, the participatory approach can have a profound impact on communities, fostering empathy, understanding, and positive change. Forum Theatre stands as a testament to the power of the arts in promoting a more harmonious and just society.