We value the activities of Forum Theater clubs in the process of voicing community issues and making community members participate in finding solutions to these issues in a non-formal way.
Art is one of the best ways to discover the world. The impact of art on human being is wide and contains various functions and goals, and the most important goal is educational. Theater is an alternative, memorable, more emotional and impressive method of delivering a message. Taking this into account, since 2015 “Women for Development” NGO started to apply Interactive Theater or, similarly, the Forum Theater as an alternative conflict resolution method. Torosghyugh community was selected for implementation of the pilot project, where a club consisting of 15 members was formed. The goal of the Forum Theater club was to use this methodology for voicing local issues and finding their solutions with the participation of local youth. The first performance done by Torosgyugh’s Forum Theater was received with high interest and enthusiasm. Based on the positive feedback, it was decided to introduce Torosghyugh’s experience in other communities as well. Presently, Forum Theater clubs are active in 8 communities, with participation of more than 230 children of ages 12-16.
Through their performances, Forum Theater members are voicing both intrapersonal and interpersonal issues, school and community conflicts, and various problems concerning their community and the environment. After the performance, the issue is being immediately discussed with the audience. This is the best platform, where the presentation of the problem is done in an artistic manner, and the resolution of the issue is found as the result of an extensive discussion. Forum Theater clubs help schoolchildren express their opinions freely and voice the issues of their concern. Teachers and parents gain an opportunity to participate in children’s issues in an informal environment and find alternative resolutions together.
The invisible 4th wall of the stage is not dividing, but uniting the actors and the audience and provides the pupils and their teachers with an opportunity to exchange their roles. Forum Theater helps value honesty and free speech.
The so-called community Forum Theatre tours to the neighbouring villages are also organized, which allowed participants to exchange experiences as well as to see problems in other communities.
“I became more friendly, courageous and initiative-taking here. I am more honest here than at home with my mother, here they understand me…” – these are words from a pupils, which speak about the positive impact of the Forum Theater.