The Joker introduces the principles and the rules of Forum Theatre
to the audience (you can find a version of the rules under supporting documents)
Introducing the participants to what is going to happen can happen at different stages. They can be introduced to the theatre form in advance, and be given time to reflect on it and prepare the scenes. They could also be presented to it on the day, and then given the task to set up and act out scenes. Expectations to the length of the scene and level of complication should be adjusted in relation to the amount of time the group is given to work on it.
Apart from introducing the method and the rules/principles of forum plays, the Joker invites the audience to join him/her and the actors in warm up exercises. This should tear down the gap between the actors and the audience so they become spect-actors.
After warm up, some value clarification exercises could be introduced. This is a good way to get everyone actively participating by forming an opinion, since they leave little room for participants to be neutral. The value exercises could also serve as a starting point for dividing the larger group into smaller play groups
, which can then create plays from their mutual interest.
Digital incorporation in the introduction
Immediately before the play, the facilitator should check the equipment that will be used. Battery, tape/memory space, sound check, etc. This would minimise inconvenience and disturbance during the play itself. It is also a good idea to consider camera angles when setting up the equipment and the stage. It should be possible to see as much of the stage as possible and the faces of people, and it should be done in a way where during the plays it will not be necessary to attract focus on the camera by correcting the actors’ positions. This could put too much attention on the filming and not the acting and dilemmas.
At the start of the event, the facilitator should explain the media used, why the event is being filmed and what it will be used for. He/she should also discuss and underscore the unacceptable use of the material afterwards. Some from the group might be chosen to be in charge of filming and taking pictures or others could be encouraged to film with smart phones.