Gisda Forum Theatre Performance

A few weeks ago a group from our partners GISDA performed a piece of Forum Theatre at Capel Noddfa in Caernarfon, in the culmination of our Arts Council of Wales funded Momentum project.

As well as delivering a successful Forum Theatre facilitator training at the beginning of the year, we then worked with several partners to deliver Forum Theatre workshops.

The GISDA group met up once a week in Porthmadog through the summer with our Tutor Delyth Harries, an experienced Forum Theatre Joker (Facilitator) and who noted,

“it was a fun and powerful process which had a really positive impact on everyone involved; relationships, confidence and compassion grew throughout. Everyone participated, contributed, explored and learned from the wealth of support from each other and from sharing experiences in a safe space”.

Although our involvement had to come to end in September, we were delighted that the group continued and was facilitated by two of GISDA’s members of staff who had attended the facilitator training, and had then furthered their learning by attending the GISDA workshops and observing and experiencing Forum Theatre facilitating first hand.

The performance in Caernarfon tackled every day real life issue’s that arise in mental health, and as well as provoking the audience to stop the performance to take the place of the character who is being oppressed in the piece to try and achieve a more positive outcome, an essential piece of Forum Theatre, there was also a lively discussion at the end from all involved, audience and performers.

Martin our North Wales Project Officer said,

“It was brilliant to see the participants really grasp the concept of Forum Theatre and have the confidence to perform their piece, which can feel like a risk, and in turn provoke such an animated response and raise awareness of many of the issues, stigmas, and ignorance’s that surround mental health. Also great to see the work Elen and Enlli from GISDA have done in facilitating and keeping the group going”

The group now plan a second performance to invite a more targeted audience of people who work in mental health, or whose work brings them into contact with the mental health sector, and further on to the future GISDA are planning to engage more of the service users through Forum Theatre.

Gethin Evans Gisda’s Head of Development said

“The performance our service users gave today was amazing. The two members of staff who attended the Community Music Wales joker training in April have gone on to become brilliant facilitators. Watching the young people today, confident, assertive and feeling ownership of the work they produced have made us proud. Theatre Forum is an amazing medium to raise awareness and give our young people a voice. We look forward to continuing our work with CMW on bigger, better theatre forum projects in the future.”