Forum Theatre

The Play4Real team creates a customised piece of drama on the basis of careful research into the ‘story’ of your chosen business issue. A metaphorical or ‘parallel universe’ approach brings your story to life, but never points the finger at particular people.

Our actors perform this play as a way of illuminating business relationships and behaviours afresh for you and your colleagues. The action is usually open-ended; it could concern past or present experience, or could depict a future scenario with which you’d like to play ‘what if…?’

The facilitator then guides you, the audience, ‘in forum’. You redirect the actors-in-character, who improvise around your suggestions. This may bring the fiction to a ‘happy ending’; it will certainly show up the behaviours that are getting in the way, giving everyone a chance to voice opinions on how to improve things – and instantly see their ideas succeed or fail in practice. It’s ‘roleplaying by proxy’: engaging with a fictitious world in a way that seems so real, you go away with new insights and new inspiration about tackling actualities.

See an Example

Here are some extracts from The House that Danny Built, a custom-written play commissioned by Arts & Business in association with St Andrews Knowledge Consortium.

Using the metaphor of a couple going through some difficulties in their marriage, the play explores the relationship between two companies working in partnership on a joint project.

Part 1 shows extracts from the play, professionally performed in situ by professional actors, before an audience from both companies.
In Part 2, the actors engage in character with the audience to draw out their insights about the behaviours and relationships. The actors then replay scenes, improvising around the suggestions made by the audience on ways of behaving differently to see whether these work or not.
In Part 3, the audience discuss what they’ve learned.