FORUM PERFORMANCES 2018-2019 / SUMMARY AND ONWARDS:
In the spring of 2018, forum workshops and public forum performances took place within the framework of the Platform Shift + project. On the topic of “Protest”, the production was completed under the name “State Examination”, more specifically the education system and the compulsory examination of the mathematics examination. In the autumn of 2018, a public forum performance took place within the framework of Plaform Shift + at a conference on education and technology at HITSA, a production called “In a Digital Boat Together”. In February 2019, a public forum performance “Referendum = referendum?” to celebrate the arrival of the forum theater method in Estonia from Finland and the first trainings and performances in the spring of 1999.
DURING THE YEARS: MAIN TARGET GROUPS: schoolchildren, teachers, students, youth, social workers, TORE support student movement, people involved in detention, young people with special needs (eg AK, special schools, security center), amateur theater youth and tutors, etc.) MAIN TOPICS: school violence, street violence, family and other relationship problems, addictive behavior, career counseling, education policy, environmental issues, sexual behavior and health, etc.
In 2019, the most active practitioner in Estonia was MTÜ Forumteater., Piret Soosaar is also conducting trainings separately. Method applied in the VAT Theater for educational activities.
SUMMARY AND EXAMPLES OF FORUM THEATRE AS PART OF EDUCATIONAL WORK AT VAT THEATRE 2012-2019 (and onwords):
- VAT Theater participated in two large international projects Platform 11+ and Platform Shift + (2009-2018) for 8 years. In both cases, the involvement of the audience in the creative process and technological innovation in the theater play an important role.
- Educational activities are activated in VAT Theater, including educational workshops in the main place and the forum theater method as the mainstay. The workshops help to analyze the problem topics of the productions or to independently enrich the activities of the invited person, to look for solutions to different topics, etc.
- VAT Theater plays a lot for schoolchildren and productions are often on sensitive issues and taboos. Forum theater as a method of research and analysis: finding play material, themes and stories through the forum method, applying the productions in the pre-production process and when the productions are completed, educational workshops and analysis of theatrical performances (eg ”„Kirjaklambritest vöö”, „Netis sündinud”, „Web Demon”, „Salto Mortale” and other productions).
- In 2018, the forum workshop “Youth in the Virtual World” was launched after the production “#Kaotamindära”. Through forum theater workshops, it is possible to analyze a visit to the theater and look for solutions to problems, as well as to open up social issues that are of concern to a specific group of the community.
- Workshops for both students and adults. For example, participation in Pedacocium’s “Learning from the Game, Really!” (“Õpime mängult, päriselt!”)training (2018).
SUMMARY AND EXAMPLES OF FORUM THEATER ACTIVITIES AT VAT THEATRE 2012-2015:
- Public forum performance on the celebration of the 25th anniversary of VAT, actors VAT employees who previously participated in the training of Iwan Brioc (Wales) (2012)
- Paldiski Gymnasium Health Day workshops on addictive behavior (2012)
- Workshops on the School Youth Career Day (2012)
- Forum Theater Friends’ Day and the Theater of the Oppressed – Newspaper Theater Training (2012)
- “Born on the Internet” public forum performance in the RR Tower Hall and before that a large number of performances and workshops all over Estonia to find material for the requester, check the characters and create dialogues for students on the topics of acting and production (2013)
- Forum theater workshops for social pedagogy students of Tallinn University Rakvere College (2013)
- Dracademy students forum workshop (2013)
- Forum group Joker Piret Soosaar conducts in-depth forum theater courses (2015)
- ETV “Children’s Room” broadcasting a sample forum scene (2015)
- Participation, performances and workshops in the Smart Parent campaign “Promoting authoritative parenting practice” (2015)
ACTIVITIES IN 2015 AND BEFORE (longer description):
17.-18.01 In-depth forum theater course for actors, part I in the Theater Association. The facilitator was Piret Soosaar. On January 26, 2 forum theater workshops took place at the English College. The instructor was Uku Valner. On 25 February, the 2014 Open Development Program Interim Analysis of the Hobby School Involvement Development Program (HUKK-AP) funded by the European Economic Area (EEA) Grants Program “Children and Youth at Risk” under the open application round “Youth and Youth Work Organizations’ Inclusion conducting an Impro and Forum Theater workshop as part of a meeting / training. The supervisor was Piret Soosaar. Teachers participated.
On March 15, the scenes of the forum theater were recorded and the forum theater method was introduced on the ETV2 program “Lastetuba”. The studio featured Piret Soosaar, Liisi Randma, Kadi Jaanisoo and Rahel Ots. On March 21-22, an in-depth forum theater course for actors took place in Part II Theater Association. Conducted by Piret Soosaar. On 16-17 May, an in-depth forum theater course for actors took place in Part III Theater Association. Conducted by Piret Soosaar. On May 21, a forum workshop was held at Viimsi school under the guidance of Kadi Jaanisoo. On 12 July, two forum theater workshops took place at the Creative Education Seminar at Tallinn University. Conducted by Piret Soosaar.
ACTIVITIES SPRING 2015
VAT Theater Forum Group participated in the campaign http://tarkvanem.ee/. More specifically in the project “Promotion of authoritative parenting practice”. We conducted activities in the period January-May 2015. A total of 27 performances took place in schools across Tallinn. The project activities are coordinated by DDB Eesti OÜ and financed by the Ministry of the Interior. We supported the campaign by conducting forum performances in schools. With the forum theater performances, we gave the children the opportunity to think about options for how to behave in life when you find yourself in a situation where you are pressured to drink alcohol. Together, we analyze cause-effect relationships and all this in a pleasant participatory theater format, where everyone’s ideas and suggestions were welcome. Forum theater performances are based on material collected from children of the same age group. We conducted 8 workshops to map what problems children see in relation to alcohol. Below are brief introductions of the performances and the questions we opened during the performances and the solutions most offered by the children.
1.-2. class forum performance “Maria’s story”
The story dealt with communication problems between children and parents about alcohol. The story of 8-year-old Maria, who is confused when her aunt offers her a taste of wine. Later, however, Maria can quarrel with her grandmother if she wants to try the wine again. The mother behaves differently in both situations. Through the performance, we opened topics and discussed issues with children such as: Why is alcohol consumed ?; At what age can alcohol be consumed ?; Why shouldn’t children drink alcohol ?; What to do if you are offered alcohol but do not want it? The most popular solutions for children were sticking to themselves and consistently “No!” and later honestly explaining to the grandmother what had happened before. These simple and clear solutions have many different variations. We also use this story in the village on the ETV children’s show “Lastetuba”.
3.-4. class forum performance “The Story of Grete”
Discussed the problems of peer communication on alcohol. The story is about 12-year-old girlfriends Martha and Grete. Martha likes 6th grade Kevin and she gets an invitation to go to a park near school with Kevin and her friends after class. Because Matha is afraid to go alone, she invites her girlfriend Grete. Grete misses her piano lesson during her fierce approach and goes to the park. In the park, Kevin and the boys offer the girls alcohol from Kevin’s older brother. A drinking game is being played, Grete doesn’t want to drink, but Matha insists on it, because she doesn’t want to be ashamed of the boys. However, since Grete wins a lot in the game, he also has to drink a lot and ends up so drunk that he vomits full of himself and Kevin. The next day at school, his girlfriend is mad at him why Grete embarrassed him in the park. Besides, Grete gets a new nickname, Vomit-Liis, at school. Together with the audience, we looked for answers to the following questions: What could have been different in this story to make this story end better ?; At what age will alcohol be consumed ?; Why start drinking ?; What can happen if you drink alcohol ?; What to do when you are pressured to drink alcohol but don’t want to? The most popular solutions in this forum story are Grete’s refusal to either go to the park (and instead take part in her piano class) or later refuse to drink alcohol in the park. Solutions such as talking to a teacher and calling the police or a parent have also been tried. The performances were well received and the children took an active part. In addition to the performances, there were also class teacher lessons for the children in the schools, where they could further discuss these topics and learn more about alcohol. The children were also given flyers that invited the parent and the child together to the http://tarkvanem.ee/ website to find additional information on children and alcohol.
In 2014, the Forum Theater was established mainly through the Ombudsman’s project. There was also an active creation of forum theater workshops through educational workshops. In addition, for example, 4.06 four forum theater workshops in the KEAT summer camp (about 100 young people participated), where Piret Soosaar and Gertha Teilda-Kunitsõn were the organizers. Also 01.08 Tools, Rakvere youth center for young people forum forum training, conducted by Piret Soosaar. 3.01 three forum workshops + performances took place in Pärnu, organized by the Defense League. Conducted by Liisi, Ann, Anne-Liis, Heidi and Kristel-Liis.
ACTIVITIES AUTUMN 2013
On September 16, the performance of the “Born on the Internet” forum theater took place in the RR Tower Hall. (feedback to the play), where the young people of Saku Gymnasium and the teacher participated. On October 25, the Forum Theater workshop for social pedagogues took place at Tallinn University Rakvere College. The facilitators were Nikolai Kunitsõn and Gertha Teidla-Kunitsõn. From 2 to 3 November, forum theater training was held for Dracademy students. The facilitators were Margo and Piret. The members of the NGO Forum Theater (MTÜ Foorumteater) and the Jokers of the VAT Theater Forum Group increasingly overlap, as do the projects created. You can also read more about the activities here: (http://foorumteater.com/?page_id=202)
ACTIVITIES SPRING, SUMMER 2013
The spring of 2013 was thoroughly under the project “Born online”, when condidering the activities of the forum theater. It was also more strongly integrated into educational activities and the use of the forum was expanded through educational workshops, ie after the “Belt from Paper Clips”, after any production and also independently. In January and February, “Born online” meetings were held at VAT with project partners (police, youth of the forum, jokers-director), processing of materials, screening of material for the forum, assembly of a workshop and performance, rehearsals, agreements with schools and youth centers and other activities related to online forums. We also attended a conference on Internet safety, etc. The organizers of the forum theater workshop and performances were: Piret Soosaar, Nikolali Kunitsõn, Gertha Teidla-Kunitsõn, Agnes Merilo, Uku Valner, Margo Teder, Mari-Liis Velberg. Kristiina Jalasto was also with her as a playwright. Kilingi-Nõmme and the last forum in RRs also had actors. In the spring of 2013, there were also Platform 11+ “Face Me” activities and preparations at Lilleküla Gymnasium.
“Born Online” forum theater performances: 12.02 – Tallinn 32 Secondary School; 19.02 – Audentes Private School; 19.02 – Audentes Private School, 27 participants; 20.02 – Audentes Private School; 20.02 – Audentes Private School; 27.02 – Saue Youth Center; 27.02 – Padise Basic School; 28.02 – Keila School. In March, work on the finished play, rehearsals, work on scenes, a new forum workshop model and a meeting were prepared to test the playwright’s material on young people. Preparatory work with schools for new meetings in April. Also preparation of an event introducing the forum to the project team (story, video, exercises, etc.).
On April 8, the “Born on the Internet” sample was a forum workshop and a performance in the VAT Theater hall for the project team. On April 14, the training of the youth leaders of the Defense League took place, conducted by Piret. Next, the workshops and performances of the “Born on the Internet” forum theater took place: 17.04 – Old Town Education College; 22.04 – (performance) Laulasmaa school; 22.04 – (performance) Lagedi Youth Center; 26.04 – Lilleküla Gymnasium; 29.04 – Saku Gymnasium, took place in the Theater Hall of the National Library; 29.04 – Viimsi Secondary School; 29.05 – (performance) Kiling-Nõmme Gymnasium; 29.05 – (performance) Kiling-Nõmme Gymnasium 15.07 Raasiku youth forum theater workshop in Susisoo took place, conducted by Piret. 5.08 A forum workshop for local young people took place in Juula village, conducted by Piret. On August 7, a forum workshop for young people from Jõgeva took place at the summer camp in Palamus, conducted by Piret. Forum workshop for young people and after the youth show for everyone. Conductors: Piret, Anne-Liis, Liisi. On August 28, a presentation introducing forum theater was given by Piret at the Rapla, Kabala Basic School teachers’ gathering on the Day of Health Promotion.
ACTIVITIES IN AUTUMN 2012
Since the autumn of 2012, the forum method at the VAT Theater has been mainly as part of educational workshops and when a workshop or training is invited. To invite a forum theater event, please contact Mari-Liis Velberg, Head of Educational Activities and Forum Theater Project Manager: mariliis [at] vatteater.ee We offer workshops, performances and training opportunities to the community. In September, the members of the forum group Mari-Liis, Nikolai and Gertha participated in the sensory Labyrinth Theater training in Serbia. 19.09 Nikolai Forum Theater workshop was held within the framework of Tallinn Student Days. On September 22-23, the training of the Iwan Brioc Forum Theater took place at the VAT Theater, where a public workshop training and a public forum performance took place on the second day. VAT Theater people (actors, directors, artist, forum group, office people together), new forum theater participants participated. On September 29-30, the forum theater workshop took place in Saue Youth Center under the guidance of Nikolai. 3.10 A PUBLIC FORUM PERFORMANCE took place within the framework of the events of the 25th anniversary of the VAT Theater. Viewers received 3 stories from today, found during the Iwan training. The VAT Theater Forum Group + office people + actors were on stage for the first time together in a forum performance. Joker Margo Teder. Actors: Katariina Ratasepp, Inga Sermann, Tiiu Talvist, Meelis Põdersoo, Ago Soots, Pille Kose, Agnes Merilo and Anne-Liis Rips. On 13th October, a forum theater workshop for EVS volunteers took place at the Estonian Youth Work Association NoOr. Facilitated by Nikolai. From October 26 to November 6, the “Act4Change Reloaded” forum theater workshop took place at the Antrona Schieranco youth exchange in northern Italy. About 30 young people from Italy, Estonia, France, Turkey, South Africa and Bulgaria participated. The facilitators were Ann and Liisi. 12.11 a forum theater workshop was held at the 32nd Secondary School. Joker Nikolai. On 13 November, a forum theater workshop and performance took place at the 32nd Secondary School as part of the student seminar “Keep Your Health”. Facilitator also Nikolai. On 14 November, the forum theater performed within the framework of the Environmental Education Conference “Environmental Education Shapes the Mindset” in Põlva. Facilitators Ann, Kristel, Uku, Mart. On 14th November, a forum theater performance took place within the framework of the co-operation seminar of the Finnish-Estonian joint project “Promoting the well-being of employees at school 2009-2013” of the Institute for Health Development. Joker Nikolai. On November 22th, a forum theater performance took place in Haapsalu within the framework of the Environmental Education Conference “Environmental Education Shapes the Mindset”. Faciliators Ann, Kristel, Uku, Akky. On November 29th, a forum theater performance took place in Viljandi within the framework of the Environmental Education Conference “Environmental Education Shapes the Mindset”. Conductors Niki, Uku, Mart, Kristel-Liis. On December 6th, a forum workshop was held at the HEAK year thanksgiving event and training for its members in Laulasmaa. Facilitated by Mari-Liis and Gertha.
ACTIVITIES IN SPRING 2012
On March 1st and 13th, Mari-Liis conducted forum workshops for the 7th grade of Saku Gymnasium. The topic is communication, caring, getting along with boys and girls. We also met the same class last spring, then we played a forum performance on teacher-student relations together. On March 15th, Gertha and Mari-Liis held two workshops in Paldiski Gymnasium as part of a health day. 7th-9th grades participated. The subject of addictive substances. The head of the school, Enel Pärs, received feedback from the students to the facilitators: THEY WAS AWESOME, BRIGHT, JOYFUL AND GREAT. Of course, they (students) liked from this the day the most, what you did and offered, which I also expected – because it was playful, creative and practical. Students more and more like things where there is practicality and you can contribute, not listen to the lecture. That you were like a dot on the letter i, that is, the candy or pearl of that day. I am glad that everything worked and worked. So thank you very much again!
On April 9th, Anne-Liis and Mari-Liis conducted an educational workshop for the 6th grade of Roca al Mare School after watching the production “Belt from Paper Clips”. On April 14th-22nd, Anne-Liis, Anete, Gertha, Heidi, Kristel-Liis (from VAT Forum Group) and Madleen-Maria, Kirte and Liise (from VHK 9th grade) participated in the Platform 11+ youth exchange “Through Our Eyes” (Interpreter Through Our Eyes) organized by the Pilot Theater (York, England). In addition, young people from Norway, Portugal, Hungary and the Netherlands took part. During the week, young people participated in theater workshops, got to know each other’s culture and as a result of the week a joint performance was created.
On April 25th, Mari-Liis, Piret, Gertha and Ann held two workshops at the Jõgeva Cultural Center Career Day. Subjects: choices regarding the future, education and work path. On May 3, we organized and participated in the Forum Theater Friends’ Day. On May 4-6, we organized and participated in the newspaper theater training. It is also participatory theater method, which is part of the technique of the oppressed. The training was conducted by Uri Noy Meir, a trainer from Israel. During the three days, various techniques and methodologies of newspaper theater were studied.
More than 30 people participated in the Forum Theater Friends’ Day, created in cooperation between the NGO Forum Theater and the VAT Theater Forum Group! As there are more and more people in Estonia who are aware of forum theater, it is important to continue and meet from time to time and share thoughts and experiences. Joint synergies. By organizing the day, we also wanted to value the supporters of the forum theater method, its existence and history in Estonia. We are glad that the representatives of the Child Welfare Association, VAT Theater and Tallinn University were also present, because among others, the development of forum theater has been supported by Estonia through their friends. We talked about forum theater for three generations: VAT Theater director and artistic director Aare Toikka, why he decided to bring the forum theater method to Estonia via Finland in 1999. Mari-Liis Velberg and Piret Soosaar talked about the different currents of forum theater in Estonia from 1999-2012 and possible developments based on the rich experience of the VAT Theater Forum Group. Nikolai Kunitsõn said that the ideas give impetus to the activities of a young, so-called third generation forum theater. Continuity is important and that each generation brings new quality, but also always values the base and roots, because that is where the strength comes from. In summary, you can read about the developments of the VAT Theater Forum Group in 1999-2012 (Mari-Liis and Piret) at the Forum Theater Friends’ Day look from materials. During the day, a forum theater of theatre of the oppressed methods invented by Augusto Boal (conducted by Gertha Teidla and Ann Kulasalu) and a rainbow of desire (Gertha Teidla and Piret Soosaar) took place. The Rainbow of Desires method involves techniques that focus on identifying a person’s mental and emotional depressions and finding solutions. The method consists of multilayer techiquecs that require time and deepening. In the workshop we could taste a technique called Masks and rituals.
In the evening, a jokers’ think tank was held, where we discussed: Where do we want the theater of the oppressed, including the forum theater, to go in Estonia? “Direction is more important than the length of steps taken” A. Boal
Some questions of the think tank that all Estonian practitioners might think about:
What are we focusing on, will it increase? What do we emphasize when we do theater for the oppressed? Are we against or for something? Which attitude would rather lead us to solutions? Forum Theater full-length course – whether university! But where? But to whom? Is there teacher training and a full-length course? Where could systematic instruction be offered? So far it has been in some specialties, but not as a full-time course (eg 3 years of study). Who and when translates A. Boal’s books into Estonian? An increase in the awareness of Estonians about other oppressed theater methods is necessary. Continuing in-service training for Estonian practitioners – are the current opportunities sufficient to ensure competent practitioners? Have we reached all the target groups that need forum theater? What about people with disabilities? What about the elderly? What about forum theater in every school? Women’s issues, addictive behavior, etc. Versatility and openness is one of the keywords of the unstressed theater – accessibility in different contexts! Estonia could also spread more and in different places, as part of different activities. Times are renewing, it is no longer the middle of the 20th century. The method needs to be updated, although it is important to rely on basic ethics! We do not serve technology, but technology serves us and people. In what direction is forum theater developing in Estonia? A summary of the friends’ event can be found here: http://prezi.com/acngfteihciq/foorumteatri-soprade-paev-3mai-2012/. Many forum theater fruits have already been born and matured in Estonia for 13 years and are something to be proud of and celebrate. But there are also many raw fruits that can be further baked with care and love. Like any heart-created thing, forum theater needs to be further developed by those who have taken care of it in different places. It depends on everyone’s decision, joy and creative contribution, to which the theatrical method of the oppressed moves here.
The key word in 2012 was INNOVATIONS AND CHANGES. It is a great pleasure that, for example, the youth of the Child Welfare Association, which has established the VAT Theater Forum Group for years, and the youth of the NGO Forum Theater, established last year, have grown a good and active future generation that develops its activities in Estonia responsibly and with dignity.
4.-6. In May 2012, the newspaper theater method training “Newspaper Theater in Praxis” took place: Aim of the training: The topic of the workshop was newspaper theater and its connection with 21st century media. Newspaper Theater is a system of techniques created by Augusto Boal, the aim of which is to turn news into production. Augusto Boal has said: “Newspapers are a fiction. Sometimes they tell the truth, sometimes they only tell the truth in part, and the reader does not understand what is really going on. ” Conductor: Trainer Uri Noy Meir from Israel. During the three days, various techniques and methodologies of newspaper theater were studied. Videos can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8T9e_TtDio and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_0obYycrv0&feature=youtu.be In addition, several workshops and trainings took place in the spring of 2012 through the NGO Forum Theater, the members of which are also members of the VAT Theater Forum Group. You can read more here: http://foorumteater.com/?page_id=202.