Forum Theatre for Children

Enhancing Social, Emotional and Creative Development

April 2015
More details
  • Publisher
    Trentham Books
  • Published
    20th April 2015
  • ISBN 9781858565569
  • Language English
  • Pages 144 pp.
  • Size 6.125" x 9.5"

This innovative book illustrates the vital role of drama for young schoolchildren. A dynamic fusion of theatre and psychology, it describes each step of the process of Forum Theatre – the activities, workshops and performances – to enable those who work with children to develop their own FT projects. The book shows how FT can help children to explore personal and collective challenges in their lives and how its secure scaffolding enables them to share their views and fears and develop their social, emotional and creative skills.

The book provides vivid and carefully constructed models of FT that have helped children to cope in conditions of austerity and family instability, and to explore difficult issues such as transition – be it to secondary school, a new home or even a new country. We see how FT can operate in a child-centered way so that schools and youth organizations develop children's sense of solidarity, belonging, problem-solving, constructive protest and community membership, and encourage them to experiment with roles and find sustainable real-life solutions to personal and shared challenges. The real-life Forum Theatre case examples explore the link between child, family and community well-being, and demonstrate the transformative potential of theatre and psychology.

This book is an invaluable resource for primary teachers, drama teachers and trainee teachers, and for psychologists, youth workers, social workers, drama students, theatre practitioners, art therapists and others interested in working with children and young people in educational and community settings.

"Written for a broad audience by an applied psychologist uniquely placed to apply psychological principles to the therapeutic potential of theatre, this short and very readable book is an excellent source for getting started in this area.

One feels in the safe hands of a practitioner who has walked the talk and shares his experience in a
no-nonsense, non-expert but authoritative style.

The text can be used as a framework that empowers readers to develop their own approach creatively. Key terms and ideas are explained in a practical way and great care is taken to draw on various forms of evidence that comprehensively illustrate the approach and engage the reader throughout."

Martin Hughes, Lecturer in Educational Psychology - , University of Sheffield

" inspirational guidebook that gives a nuanced introduction to the dynamics of running forum theatre, and it gives the reader an in-depth appreciation of FT's challenges and creative possibilities."

Dr. Glenn A. Williams, Senior Lecturer in Psychology - , Nottingham Trent University

"This book can only be an asset to practitioners and to the individuals and groups they engage with, as it emphasizes the importance of exploration to develop the learning and self-awareness within us all. Both enlightening and powerful."

Sarah-Jayne Bailey, Qualified Youth Worker - , Plymouth

1. Setting the scene
2. The workshops
3. The performance
4. De-role and aftercare
5. Resources and materials for a forum theatre project
6. The road less travelled: The unanswered questions and research potential of FT

Nick Hammond

Nick Hammond is an educational and child psychologist, a social theatre practitioner and film maker.