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Leveraging Theatre Tools for Collaboration

Posted on January 8, 2019
By Megan Wanless

Participants using Theatre toolWe know that when tackling complex community issues, bringing a diversity of voices to the table is a key ingredient to finding the best path forward. We don’t however, always do a great job of intentionally creating an environment where people – with varying backgrounds and perspectives – can thrive and feel comfortable contributing. This is where leveraging tools and techniques from our friends in the theatre community can come in handy.

This new tool – A Challenge in Hypnosis: The Power of the Give and Take – offers a simple and fun exercise that can help break down barriers between group members and provide a space and context to play, reflect and share with one another before diving into the task of working collaboratively. It can be used as a standalone ‘ice breaker’ at the beginning of a community gathering, or in conjunction with other exercises and built upon over time with groups whose work is long-term and ongoing. No matter how you choose to use it, it is a great way to encourage individuals to get out of their shell, move around the space, and share with one another.

Don’t fear – you do not have to be a theatre practitioner or expert to use this tool, or others like it; they are designed to be used by actors and non-actors alike. So consider shaking things up at your next gathering and get people out of their chairs and into their bodies. 

Download the Tool: A Challenge in Hypnoses: The Power of the Give and Take

Learn More:

  • For other theatre-based exercises like this one, pick up a copy of Augusto Boal’s Games For Actors and Non-Actors. This tool has been adapted from an exercise pulled from this book called Colombian Hypnosis.

Community Engagement, Megan Wanless, Applied Theatre

Megan Wanless

By Megan Wanless

Megan is a Senior Community Animator at the Tamarack Institute and works across the organization to improve and deepen the learning experience for over 27,000 members within Tamarack’s learning communities and online platforms. Having worked with Tamarack for over 5 years, Megan oversees key strategic areas for the organization including strategic learning, content production and events. Prior to Tamarack, Megan worked in the field of international development, earning a Master of Social Science degree from the University of Edinburgh and worked in Malawi to engage with communities around sexual and reproductive rights using applied theatre. With a Bachelor Arts Degree in Theatre, Megan has been leveraging theatre as a tool for community change for many years and has had the pleasure of practicing it in communities within Canada as well as South Africa, Uganda and Malawi.

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