From 7 to 11 November 2016, in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, an international training was held within the ForProve Theatre project. Participants from all partner countries: Poland, Spain, Lithuania, Croatia, Italy and Bulgaria became acquainted with the new innovative method of the Forum Theatre and Improv Theatre, during the theoretical lectures and practical workshops.
Lectures explained the idea of these two forms of theatre and familiarized youth workers with the Guide on ForProve theatre. A special role was given to the Joker – a key figure in the Forum Theatre. The participants learned practical tips on how to play the role. Topics of Improv Theatre inspired participants to work on the stage and encouraged them to improvise. This knowledge was used by the participants in the final performance. Participants also used skills acquired during the practical exercises, planning the presentation or plays. Group from each country had the task to prepare a performance that presented selected social problem. The purpose of this task was to present the real situation, which people performing experienced in real life. An important element of the Forum Theatre is to recognize the role of Oppressor and Oppressed. The ending of a performance must be open – finding a solution is the role of the audience. In the common discussion, moderated in a special way by the Joker, the audience is looking for the best situation for a presented problem. For this purpose, audience members may personate the selected characters on stage and propose other behaviours. The real dimension of a shown situation indicates that this is no ordinary theater, but one that aims to help the Oppressed out of trouble.
In addition to lectures, for five days of the workshops, participants under the guidance of two trainers from Spain, learned the techniques of the performing on stage. Lecturers passed along basic practical knowledge and rules of the scene concerning – the use of space, voice emission, relationships with other actors. They also conducted a wide variety of games and worm-up activities, which aimed at taming the participants with the stage, the audience and their colleagues, who they had to create the final performance with.
The effect of the workshop was six performances, ending a long discussion. The search of solutions to the problems was a difficult process, but we managed to find at least one optimal solution for a given problem. The participants completed the workshop gaining theoretical and practical knowledge on the Forum Theatre and Improv Theatre. However, the main goal was to learn innovative techniques of ForProve Theatre, which combines the previously described the Forum and Improv Theatre. Participants coped really well with this task. They learned how to implement the new method in their work in order to stimulate youth entrepreneurship and how to use the project products.