Child rights through interactive forum theatre
In December 2006 UNICEF supported regional tour of the interactive theatre performance called “Donors” highlighting the problems of poverty and vulnerability many children face in Georgia. In particular, the performance was held in three cities of Georgia Gori, Akhaltsikhe and Kutaisi. The project was implemented by the NGO Biliki with the support of the Women’s Network for Peace.
The performance is part of the interactive theatre initiative designed by the British Council and implemented in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. The launch of the performance was held on 1 December with the support of the British Council and British Petrolium.
UNICEF support came in extending the performance to the different regions of Georgia. The performance focuses on the problems of street children in Georgia and uses the participatory technique called the forum theatre.
The goal of forum theatre is to make people more aware of some problems that they may have not considered previously. Forum theatre scenarios are designed to stimulate audience participation through discussion and interactive role-play.
The forum theatre enables the audience to get involved into the performance and influence the outcome of the play. Some characters (“the oppressors”) remain the same, while the other characters in the scene (“the oppressed”) will be replaced by audience members who apply different scenarios to prevent or stop the violence as it is happening. Audience members are allowed to attempt their solutions until they feel satisfied they have done everything they have wanted to do. Several audience members can replace the same character if they desire. After the forum scene has been worked through, discussion takes place about the issue.