‘I AM ME!’ A Forum Theatre Approach to Mental Health


25.02.2020

UWTSD Swansea College of Art Applied Drama Lecturer and Practitioner Ali Franks has been collaborating with Inside Out Cymru to develop a Forum Theatre project for adults accessing mental health services across South Wales.

UWTSD Swansea College of Art Applied Drama Lecturer and Practitioner Ali Franks has been collaborating with Inside Out Cymru to develop a Forum Theatre project for adults accessing mental health services across South Wales.

As part of Mind Cymru’s Women Connect Project, Inside Out Cymru ran writing workshops with women suffering from mental health difficulties.  This writing then formed the basis of the development of the Forum Theatre. 

Forum Theatre is a form of theatre that was developed by Augusto Boal as part of his Theatre of the Oppressed.  It is a participatory model that requires those who are viewing the scene/play to change the outcome of the protagonist.  This is done by stopping the ‘actors’ performing and trying out alternative solutions to potentially resolve the problem or ‘oppression’ they are experiencing.  It is a democratic process aimed at empowering and activating positive change for communities and individuals.

For this project Ali worked with a group of BA Applied Drama students to devise the forum scenes based on stories that emerged from the women’s writing project, as the women themselves did not want to act in the stories themselves.  The performance was then taken to mental health service users as tool to spark dialogue and foster empowerment within these communities.  The work was also presented at the Mind Cymru’s Women Connect Event in January and Ali is working with MAD Swansea and Inside Out to develop the project into an interactive digital film resource for peer support groups in the future.

“It was showing real life situations and different ways of looking at them, which helped me a lot,” John (participant)

“It was empowering and the situations shown were relevant for everyday situations that most of us at Mind actually go through – the anxiety and the stress. It enables you to think about things when you are in those situations.” Sharon (participant)

“I found the group actually very helpful in finding solutions to problems I may be experiencing with my mental health.” Carys (participant)

 

UWTSD Swansea College of Art Applied Drama Lecturer and Practitioner Ali Franks has been collaborating with Inside Out Cymru to develop a Forum Theatre project for adults accessing mental health services across South Wales.

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Tel: 01792 483695

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Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk