Between October and December 2020, Mixed Company Theatre and Newcomer Women’s Services – Toronto (NEW) partnered on “Sister Solutions,” a project that aimed to help a group of brave women find solutions to challenges they have faced as newcomers.
We started with a series of workshops which led the group through improvisation, human sculpting, and image theatre to identify the main challenges they wanted to address in the final Forum Theatre presentation.
These workshops culminated in the performance of a Forum Theatre play presenting a “universal story” drawn from the collective experiences of the participants. The final presentation from this group focused on overcoming language barriers.
The Forum aspect of the performance allowed audience members to intervene and safely play out potential strategies to address the situations presented in order to result in a positive, alternative ending.
Throughout the project, one staff member from NEW was provided with active mentoring, expert guidance, and professional training to observe, facilitate, and practice Forum Theatre in future NEW projects. This virtual training initiative is the first of many projects we plan to take on to spread the use and practice of FT and transform this artistic community engagement practice into a sustainable movement.