The Annual Summary Meeting of the Forum Theatre Clubs

On May 6th, the annual summary meeting of WFD NGO 8 beneficiary communities’ forum theater clubs took place.

WFD NGO education department coordinator Susanna Ghazaryan presented a detailed report of forum theater activities starting from 2015, including the number of performances, selection of scenarios, audience feedback, successes and challenges. Afterwards, forum theater club leaders from each beneficiary community presented their accomplishments, emphasizing the changes and results which were achieved due to the club activities.

According to the club leaders, forum theater contributed to personal growth of the pupils, formation of creative and critical thinking, active listening, understanding each other and improved communication skills. Children became more sensitive, empathetic and tolerant towards each other, they are now more united and willing to find solutions to difficult situations together. According to the teachers, forum theater has left a big impact on the community residents as well, who have changed their opinions on various matters and became more caring towards community issues. “One of the keys to forum theater success is presenting issue of everyone’s concern through a performance and voicing such problems, which are usually hard to speak about. This is very impressive for the audience, who will never repeat the same mistake again, I am sure”, mentioned Gohar Hayrapetyan, the leader of Lanjik forum theater club.

School principals and vice principals who have attended the meeting also emphasized the importance of club activities in their communities. As mentioned by Gohar Manukyan, vice principal of Tsoghamarg school, forum theater club gave them an opportunity to know their pupils from new and different perspective, to embrace their potential and respect their way of thinking, which would otherwise be “hidden” in the regular study process.

Goghovit club leader Margarita Tadevosyan mentioned that forum theater had a positive impact not only on the pupils, but also on her own professional growth in the capacity of a psychologist.

The meeting closing remarks were made by WFD NGO president Gohar Markosyan, who thanked the school principals and club leaders for their continued collaboration with the organization, efficient work of forum theater clubs and the achieved successes.

Gohar Markosyan summarized her closing remarks – “Based on all the opinions and feedback received, I can assure that we managed to achieve positive change among the members of the clubs, and that performance participants really changed their way of thinking, learnt how to listen to each other, how to speak about a problem and find solutions together. We have reached a level when anyone from the audience feels free to get on stage, start acting with the children and express his/her opinion freely, which was quite difficult for everyone when we first started this journey. Forum theater club is an amazing tool, which can and must be institutionalized at schools. We suggest the schools to own the forum theater clubs and recommend each school principal and pedagogical council to make forum theater club a type of an extracurricular activity, or a type of a club which is already being run at Lanjik school”.

The meeting was also attended by Tsoghamarg forum theater club members who performed their new and interesting play for the audience.