What we do:
Our theatre work is grounded in the theory and practice of community-based transformation and peace-building. Typically, our work explores how a community can envision a desired goal and find concrete ways of achieving that goal through collective and self-expression. We approach the practice of community-based theatre from the perspective of conflict transformation – as a way of addressing the key question of how to build community not only in times of harmony but also out of the embers of conflict. In other words, our approach does not necessarily aim to de-escalate struggle, but rather recognizes the ecology of conflict as an ebb and flow. To this end, we describe our approach to as theatre an expressive process of community development which centres as much on building relationships as it does on developing artistic content. Our main objective in all of our projects is to explore a dialogue around social change, strong communities and peace.
Through workshops and performances, we illuminate everyday struggles as revealed by our participants. We strive to create a space where life’s conflicts become a springboard for dynamic personal and social change.
In Forma Theatre creates and performs audience interactive theatre which explores individual and community empowerment with the goal of creating visions of change.
We facilitate courses and workshops on using image and forum theatre for community development, visioning and peacebuilding with organizations, schools and community groups. We also offer theatre programs for children and youth.
In Forma Theatre works in the disciplines of popular theatre and community-based collective creation. We have successfully completed many artistic projects with youth, adults and seniors from marginalized communities throughout Toronto. Our casts are often multi-generational and multi-cultural, providing a rich and vibrant representation of communities in our city. Many of our projects draw from the Theatre of the Oppressed, and have focused on such diverse topics as environmental sustainability, community violence and mental health. Overall, our goal is to create, produce and perform audience-interactive theatre that explores individual and community empowerment, with the ultimate goal of creating collaborative visions of change. We strive to create an artistic space where life’s struggles become a springboard for inspiration as well as dynamic personal and social change.
The quality and experience of our process is as important as the final product. We describe our overall process as a marriage of several different performance creation techniques. In addition to the Theatre of the Oppressed, we also incorporate improv theatre, dance and movement theatre, collective creation, and ethno-drama.
We employ a variety of theatre and research methods designed to guide our participants through the creative process in such a way as to explore and develop shared community stories for the stage and for a live audience.